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Knowledge in policy

Knowledge in policy: Embodied, inscribed, enacted

Richard Freeman
Steve Sturdy
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  • Book Info
    Knowledge in policy
    Book Description:

    This important collection presents a radical reconception of the place of knowledge in contemporary policymaking in Europe, based not on assumptions about evidence, expertise or experience but on the different forms that knowledge takes. Knowledge is embodied in people, inscribed in documents and instruments, and enacted in specific circumstances. Empirical case studies of health and education policy in different national and international contexts demonstrate the essential interdependence of different forms and phases of knowledge. They illustrate the ways in which knowledge is mobilised and resisted, and draw attention to key problems in the processing and transformation of knowledge in policy work. This novel theoretical framework offers real benefits for policymakers, academics in public policy, public administration, management studies, sociology, education, public health and social work, and those with a practical interest in education and health and related fields of public policy.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-1000-6
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Preface and acknowledgements
    (pp. x-xii)
    Richard Freeman and Steve Sturdy
  2. ONE Introduction: knowledge in policy – embodied, inscribed, enacted
    (pp. 1-18)
    Richard Freeman and Steve Sturdy

    In recent years, both policy scientists and policymakers have taken a growing interest in the role of knowledge in the formulation, implementation and regulation of policy. This burgeoning literature encompasses a striking diversity of ideas about what counts as knowledge, what different types of knowledge there may be and how they are to be observed empirically. Different approaches attend variously to: the source or derivation of knowledge (eg from experience or from scientific investigation);its epistemic content (ideas or information);the characteristics of those who have or hold it (administrative, professional or lay); or its function or purpose (agenda-setting or evaluation). The...

  3. Part One: Policy knowledge in space and time

    • TWO Seeing knowledge in mental health in Scotland
      (pp. 21-42)
      Jennifer Smith-Merry

      The research I present here uses the embodied–inscribed–enacted framework to interrogate data gathered from a large qualitative research project that has sought to understand the way that knowledge functions in relation to Scottish mental health policy. This formed the first part of the work conducted by the Scottish health team under the KNOWandPOL project, which aimed to understand the different dimensions of knowledge use in relation to policymaking across Europe. My overarching interest in this chapter is on how the new framework might help to answer these questions and add to the analytic toolbox from which policy scholars...

    • THREE Knowledge moves: regulation and the evaluation of Portuguese schools
      (pp. 43-60)
      Natércio Afonso and Estela Costa

      This chapter explores the role and function of knowledge as a regulatory instrument. It examines how knowledge is produced and reproduced, thus performing its regulatory role within a specific policy process. It does so by means of a case study of the design and implementation of a programme of external evaluation of public schools in Portugal.

      In a general sense, regulation is a form of policy. It is an expression of power, simply construed: it constitutes an attempt by one player to structure the behaviour of others. Now, in highly centralised countries like Portugal, the term ‘regulation’ is associated with...

    • FOUR Knowledge, policy and coordinated action: mental health in Europe
      (pp. 61-76)
      Richard Freeman and Steve Sturdy

      Between 12 and 15 January 2005, a World Health Organization (WHO) Ministerial Conference on Mental Health in Europe took place in Helsinki, attended by over 450 delegates and observers. Approximately half of the 52 member states of WHO Europe were represented by their respective health ministers; the others by ministerial delegates. Most country delegations also included psychiatrists and departmental heads with responsibility for mental health services. Additionally, the participant list included representatives from the Council of Europe, the European Commission and selected local and international non–governmental organisations (NGOs), as well as service user and carer groups. In the course...

  4. Part Two: Embodied, inscribed and enacted knowledges

    • FIVE ‘We know who to talk to’: embodied knowledge in England’s Department of Health
      (pp. 79-102)
      Jo Maybin

      This chapter illuminates the significance and character of embodied knowledge in policymaking through a case study of work practices of civil servants in England’s Department of Health (DH). It describes the distinctive importance of embodied knowledge to the ways in which civil servants construct understandings of the objects of national health policy, and the possibilities for their transformation. It sets out how civil servants identified to whom they should turn for knowledge, and offers an analysis of the in–practice principles guiding whose knowledge was permitted to contribute to policy formulation.

      The second half of the chapter offers an account...

    • SIX Reconstructing school inspectorates in Europe: the role of inscribed knowledge
      (pp. 103-122)
      Sotiria Grek

      Although education in Europe has always ‘travelled’ (Lawn and Grek, 2012), until recently, school inspectors were firmly rooted in particular national contexts, and derived clout from their local and authoritative standing as education ‘connoisseurs’; their embodied expertise in making evaluative judgements on the quality of schooling is perhaps the best example of such knowledge in the field of education. However, this seems to be rapidly changing; inspectors are not alone any more:

      Inspectorates are today only one among many institutions and organisations that produce evaluative material on schools, teaching and learning. The place, role and status of inspectorates can no...

    • SEVEN Enacting knowledge in a European project
      (pp. 123-140)
      Maria José dos Santos Freitas

      We live in a world where both policy and practice increasingly transcend boundaries well beyond those imposed by geography and national borders: a world of cross–national partnerships, projects and plans. In this World, European Union (EU)–funded collaborations (EU projects) go beyond incorporating policy partners and local policy actions in project design: EU projects are primary sites for generating knowledge that informs the EU policy process. But what happens when people get together to work together on an EU project? How do theyknowwhat to do? The answer to this question is thatthey do not know. Any...

  5. Part Three: Knowledge interests, knowledge conflict and knowledge work

    • EIGHT Knowledge interests: promoting and resisting change in mental health in Hungary
      (pp. 143-158)
      Bori Fernezelyi and Gábor Eröss

      International policy transfer is an extensive global phenomenon,evident not least in Central and Eastern Europe. In the early 1990s, drawing lessons from international policy ideas was considered a means of the region ‘catching up’ with its Western counterparts — both politically and economically (Rose, 1993). Policy transfer appeared an appealing solution to the unversed policymaker, promising a quick fix to policy problems with no necessity to reinvent the wheel (Rose, 2005; Stead et al, 2010). New policymaking standards presented a challenge to politicians and civil servants who lacked skills and experience in policy formulation. Thus, it appeared easier to emulate or...

    • NINE Knowledge conflicts: embodiment, inscription and the education of children with learning disabilities in Germany
      (pp. 159-178)
      Alma Demszky

      The struggle of activist parents of disabled children for inclusion of their children in kindergarten and school has a long history in Europe that begins in the 1970s. In Bavaria, some parents have been fighting hard since the 1990s for the right of their children to an element of normality in their lives. In their view, these children are not ill, but as normal and healthy as other children, from whom they should not be separated in everyday life. Heralded by the parents as a great achievement, the Bavarian Education Act was reformed in 2003, permitting inclusion of disabled children...

    • TEN Knowledge work: organising mental health care networks in Belgium
      (pp. 179-200)
      Sophie Thunus, Gaëtan Cerfontaine and Frédéric Schoenaers

      This chapter analyses the production of knowledge in mental health care networks during a policy process that took place in Belgium between 2007 and 2010. This process intended to test ‘The model of mental health care circuits and networks’ (NACH, 1997, 2007) developed by the National Advisory Council for Hospital Services (NACH), with the aim of reforming a mental health system that still depended on a model of hospital care. The development opened with an initiative called ‘Therapeutic Projects and Horizontal Consultation’, which comprised a set of pilot projects designed to test new forms of local service delivery in mental...

    • ELEVEN Knowledge and policy in research and practice
      (pp. 201-218)
      Richard Freeman and Steve Sturdy

      Knowledge is at the heart of our lives as social beings. It is how we order our society, and it is how We order our personal lives within that society. We embody knowledge as we learn to navigate our way through the world. We inscribe it in the instruments with which we structure our world, and we enact it as we create and recreate our collective reality. This is nowhere more true than in the sphere of policy, which is a form of action that is fundamentally,intentionally concerned with the ordering of society. Understanding how knowledge works in policy is...