This is the first book to present a discourse approach to the field of public policy.
In recent years a set of radical new approaches to public policy has been developing. These approaches, drawing on discursive analysis and participatory deliberative practices, have come to challenge the dominant technocratic, empiricist models in policy analysis. In this text, Frank Fischer brings together this new work and critically examines it. In an accessible way he describes the theoretical, methodological and political requirements and implications of the new "post-empiricist" approach to public policy. The volume includes a discussion of the social construction of policy problems, the role of interpretation and narrative analysis in policy inquiry, the dialectics of policy argumentation and the uses of participatory policy analysis.
Introduction ; 1. Making Social Science Relevant: Policy Inquiry in Critical Perspective ; PUBLIC POLICY AND THE DISCURSIVE CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY ; 2. Constructing Policy Theory: Ideas and Discourse ; 3. Public Policy and Discourse Construct: Multiple Realities and Interpretative Understanding ; PUBLIC POLICY AND DISCURSIVE POLITICS ; 4. Public Policy and Discursive Analysis ; 5. Policy Discourse versus Advocacy Coalitions: Interpreting Policy Change and Learning ; DISCURSIVE POLICY INQUIRY: RESTITUTING EMPIRICAL ANALYSIS ; 6. Postempiricist Foundations: Social Constructionism and Practical Discourse ; 7. Interpreting Public Policy: Analytical and Methodological Perspectives ; 8. Public Policy as Narrative: Stories, Frames, and Metanarratives ; 9. The Argumentative Turn: Policy Analysis as Discursive Practice ; DELIBERATIVE GOVERNANCE ; 10. Citizens and Experts: Democratizing Policy Deliberations ; 11. The Deliberative Policy Analyst: Theoretical Issues and Practical Challenges