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Policy Practice and Policy Analysis I

Policy Analysis
Political Theory
Public Policy
P307
Richard Freeman
University of Edinburgh
Hendrik Wagenaar
Kings College London

Saturday 09:00 - 10:40 (10/09/2016)

Building: Faculty of Law Floor: 1 Room: FL120

Abstract

The purpose of this panel is to explore and articulate the role of the practice approach in policy analysis. The practice approach can be said to rest on three premises. The first is the primacy of interventionism. This is the insight that reality – the environment that we live and move about in and that rubs and brushes against us from all sides, and that we overwhelmingly experience as ‘out there’, largely independent from ourselves - is a product of our ongoing practical engagement with the world (Dewey, 2008 (1925), Hildebrand, 2003; Cook and Wagenaar, 2012; Law, 2009). The second premise concerns temporal emergence. This is the insight that the constraints and affordances of the outer world only come to us through our experience of them in emergent time. The third premise regards the interpenetration of the human and the material in the way we act on, and understand, the world (Pickering 1995; Law 2004; Pickering and Guzick 2008). While persuasive accounts of practice in science studies (Pickering, 1995), organizational studies (Nicolini, 2012) and everyday life (Shove, Pantzar & Watson, 2012) are available, applications of the practice approach in policy analysis are less common (Wagenaar and Cook, 2003; Colebatch, 2005; Wagenaar and Wilkinson, 2014; Shove, 2010; Freeman, 2015). In particular the question ‘What does a practice approach contribute to policy analysis?” that for example discourse analysis, interpretive political science, or critical qualitative research do not (Wagenaar, 2011), has not been convincingly answered so far. We invite contributions that either demonstrate empirical applications of the practice approach to the analysis of public policy, or conceptualizations of the core question of this panel.

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