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Understanding Governance

Narrative Policy Analysis

Cases in Decentred Policy

Editors: Rhodes, R.A.W (Ed.)

  • Explains shifting patterns of policy and policy making by focusing on actors’ own interpretations of beliefs and practices
  • Explores diverse ways in which situated agents change policies by remaking practices as their beliefs change 
  • Reveals the contingency and contestability of policy narratives
  • Highlights both the importance of local knowledge and the diversity of policy making and its exercise                                   
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eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76635-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76634-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Narratives or storytelling are a feature of the everyday life of all who work in government. They tell each other stories about the origins, aims and effects of policies to make sense of their world. These stories form the collective memory of a government department; a retelling of yesterday to make sense of today. This book examines policies through the eyes of the practitioners, both top-down and bottom-up; it decentres policies and policymaking. To decentre is to unpack practices as the contingent beliefs and actions of individuals. Decentred analysis produces detailed studies of people’s beliefs and practices. It challenges the idea that inexorable or impersonal forces drive politics, focusing instead on the relevant meanings, the beliefs and preferences of the people involved. 
This book presents ten case studies, covering penal policy, zero-carbon homes, parliamentary scrutiny, children’s rights, obesity, pension reform, public service reform, evidence-based policing, and local economic knowledge. It introduces a different angle of vision on the policy process; it looks at it through the eyes of individual actors, not institutions. In other words, it looks at policies from the other end of the telescope. It concludes there is much to learn from a decentred approach. It delivers edification because it offers a novel alliance of interpretive theory with an ethnographic toolkit to explore policy and policymaking from the bottom-up.
Written by members of the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Southampton, with their collaborators at other universities, the book’s decentred approach provides an alternative to the dominant evidence–based policy nostrums of the day. 

About the authors

R. A. W. Rhodes is Professor of Government at the University of Southampton, UK. Previously, he was the Director of the UK Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘Whitehall Programme’ (1994-1999); Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University (2006-11); and Director of the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University (2007-8). In 2015, the ECPR awarded him its biennial Lifetime Achievement Award for his ‘outstanding contribution to all areas of political science, and the exceptional impact of his work’.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

  • What Is Decentred Analysis?

    Rhodes, R. A. W.

    Pages 1-21

  • What is Penal Policy? Traditions and Practices in the UK Ministry of Justice

    Annison, Harry

    Pages 23-46

  • What Makes a Zero Carbon Home Zero Carbon?

    Lovell, Heather (et al.)

    Pages 47-70

  • What Are the Hidden Dimensions to Parliamentary Scrutiny—The Ghosts in the Machine?

    McNulty, Tony

    Pages 71-96

  • How Are Children’s Rights (Mis)Interpreted in Practice? The European Commission, Children’s Rights and Policy Narratives

    Iusmen, Ingi

    Pages 97-120

Buy this book

eBook $119.00
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76635-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $159.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-3-319-76634-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Narrative Policy Analysis
Book Subtitle
Cases in Decentred Policy
Editors
  • R.A.W Rhodes
Series Title
Understanding Governance
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-76635-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-76635-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-76634-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XV, 273
Number of Illustrations and Tables
2 b/w illustrations
Topics