IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

What work makes policy?

Listed author(s):
  • Hal Colebatch


Registered author(s):

    The mainstream policy literature identifies a number of activities as part of ‘policy-making’: ‘policy analysis’, ‘policy advice’, ‘decision-making’, and perhaps also ‘implementation’ and ‘evaluation’. Describing policy in these terms is compatible with the Western cultural account, and these terms tend to be applied to positions, organisational segments and official procedures. But policy practitioners tend to find that on the one hand, their experience of their work bears little resemblance to the assumptions in this policy-making model, and on the other, that policy outcomes seem to reflect much broader processes than the work of specialist functionaries. On closer examination, we find that our thinking about policy activity draws on several distinct and potentially conflicting perspectives, and that what is seen as ‘policy work’ depends on the conceptualisation of the policy process. Framing the question in this way helps to understand the apparent differences between mainstream (American) accounts of policy activity and policy practice in other political systems. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLP 2006

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & Society of Policy Sciences in its journal Policy Sciences.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (December)
    Pages: 309-321

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:39:y:2006:i:4:p:309-321
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9025-4
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:39:y:2006:i:4:p:309-321. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.