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Tom Baker and Pauline McGuirk

Why does policy tourism remain a popular and influential method of policy circulation in an age of information abundance? Framed by a case study of homelessness policy tourism to New York City, this chapter suggests that policy tourism remains popular because it allows for (1) thinking outside the everyday strictures of the bureaucratic workplace; (2) the development of associational bonds between policy tourists, and between tourists and hosts; (3) the verification of information; and (4) the legitimation of decisions/positions. Noting the powerful influence that tourist encounters have on policy tourists, the chapter then discusses the production of authenticity. The chapter calls for greater attention to the active and affective production of authenticity as a means to better understand policy tourism and its significant impact on policy circulation.

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Phillip O’Neill and Pauline McGuirk

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Laurence Murphy and Pauline McGuirk

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Tom Baker, Mauricio I. Dussauge-Laguna, Roosa Jolkkonen, Olga Löblová, Pauline McGuirk, Sergio Montero, Michelle Morais de Sá e Silva, Alexandru Rusu, Titilayo Soremi, Jennifer Spence, Christopher Walker and Astrid Wood

Like philosophy, the study of policy circulation has become pluralistic and we too are faced with the question of how best to respond to such pluralism. This chapter, and the book it summarises along the way, offers one way forward. First, the chapter discusses a range of possibilities open to scholars of policy circulation in grappling with the plurality of their research field. Inspired by recent discussions in other heterodox fields of social scientific research, we argue that, to date, policy circulation studies have often been fragmented under the labels of policy diffusion, transfer, learning or mobilities. This exemplifies a form of ‘fragmenting pluralism’ that falls short of proper dialogic interaction across different research traditions and disciplines (Dolowitz and Marsh, 2012; McCann and Ward, 2012) and, indeed, often becomes an obstacle to advance knowledge on the what, how and why of policy circulation (Dussauge-Laguna, 2012; Cook, 2015). Following Bernstein (1989), we suggest that consciously embarking on a collegiate project of ‘engaged pluralism’ offers one route to a trans-disciplinary, not simply multi-disciplinary, research endeavour. Second, the chapter discusses the practices involved in creating the ‘trading zones’ (Barnes and Sheppard, 2010) through which engaged pluralism might take root in policy circulation studies, including a commitment to intellectual openness, the creation of venues for dialogue, and the (de/re)construction of coordinating concepts. We recount the circumstances involved in the creation of this book as a humble, and in many ways accidental, example of such practices.