This book offers a powerful new approach to policy studies. Drawing on recent perspectives from social constructionism, discourse analysis, the sociology of social problems and feminism, Carol Bacchi develops a step-by-step analytical tool for deconstructing policy problems. Her `What's the Problem?' approach encourages students to reflect critically upon the ways in which policy problems get constructed within policy debates and policy proposals.

What's the Problem? An Approach to Policy

What's the Problem? An Approach to Policy
What's the problem? An approach to policy


This first section of the book is designed to introduce students to relevant literature for thinking about policy and social problems. There are indeed a number of relevant literatures, generated by different disciplinary approaches. For example, there is the literature associated with the discipline most commonly designated political science or policy studies. Within this field the student will find books which talk about ‘public policy’ or ‘social policy’. Related material will address administrative behaviour and decision making in public bureaucracies. A completely separate but directly relevant literature has been generated within sociology and is commonly characterized the sociology of social problems. This literature is large and has a long history. The interest ...

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