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.
Domestic Violence: Battered Women or Violent Men?
In Part One of the book I elaborate an understanding of policy as discourse (see Chapter 2). As described there, discourse is meant to capture the ways in which language limits what can be said. This is because existing language reflects commonly accepted ways of seeing, or frameworks for organizing social existence. Within these commonly accepted ways of seeing, I have attempted to demarcate a space for change, rejecting the view that hegemonic discourses are all-controlling. In other work (1996: 2), I have stressed the active deployment of concepts and categories for political purposes. There I build upon Tanesini's emphasis on the inferential-justificatory role of kinds of expressions. According to Tanesini (1994: ...