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.

Rethinking Policy Studies
Rethinking policy studies
From Political Rationalism to Postpositivism

I have headed this section in a way that suggests transition because I will argue that some authors, despite claims to have left behind incrementalism and to have embraced postpositivism, retain the political rationalists' optimism about democracy and a positive role for the policy analyst. The basis of their optimism is very different, as is the role for the analyst. In these accounts, the technical expert of the comprehensive rationalists and the conflict manager of the political rationalists is replaced by the analyst as public critic. The authors I have selected as transitional, Frank Fischer (1980; 1990; see also Fischer and Forester, 1987), John Drysek (1990) and Giandomenico Majone (1989), also continue to insist on the ...

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