Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe
Chapter 3: Policy as ordering through documents
The processes and work of public policy seem to be deceptively low-tech; documents and meetings seem to be central to the ways policy is done. Documents play the role of policy inputs, the means through which policy workers carry out their tasks, and are also the chief form of policy outputs. This chapter develops theoretical and methodological sensibility for the material, practical and ‘ordering’ aspects of policy documents, foregrounding the ways ‘things’ are translated into arrangements of words and numbers, and translated back into ‘things’ (i.e. action). Policy or governing is in this context understood as ‘sociomaterial ordering’ with the aim to prefigure fields of action, and documents are one of the main vehicles of sociomaterial ordering through which policy or governing are realised. The central contribution of this chapter lies in the description and classification of the ‘powers’ of documents, serving for specifying the methodological approach of tracing documents’ empirical effects in studies of the policy process.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.