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

A place at the table: Policy analysis, its postpositive critics, and future of practice

Listed author(s):
  • Laurence E. Lynn

    (Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago)

Registered author(s):

    Postpositivist critics have brought a new stridency to the ongoing discourse about the nature, applications, and usefulness of policy analysis. Regrettably, their critique is based on a decontextualized caricature, virtually a parody, of policy analysis training and practice. Their assertions are chilling but false, ideological rather than analytical, and detached from the inconvenient realities of policy making and management. Far from being narrowly technocratic and scientistic, policy analysis is dedicated to improving the craft of governance. It is fueled by intuition, argument, and ethical promptings; clearly engaged with the world of political action; and often identified with interests and values otherwise unrepresented at the table. Q-methodology and other approaches to values identification and analysis can be important contributors to policy analysis practice, but postpositivists have a very long way to go if they are to be relevant to the practical challenges of democratic governance that arise in the many roles that working policy analysts perform. © 1999 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Policy Analysis and Management.

    Volume (Year): 18 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 411-425

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:18:y:1999:i:3:p:411-425
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199922)18:3<411::AID-PAM5>3.0.CO;2-G
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    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:wly:jpamgt:v:18:y:1999:i:3:p:411-425. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    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.