Handbook on Policy, Process and Governing
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Handbook on Policy, Process and Governing

Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe

This Handbook covers the accounts, by practitioners and observers, of the ways in which policy is formed around problems, how these problems are recognized and understood, and how diverse participants come to be involved in addressing them. H.K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe draw together a range of original contributions from experts in the field to illuminate the ways in which policies are formed and how they shape the process of governing.
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Chapter 5: Policy as practice

Koen P.R. Bartels

Abstract

Understanding policy as practice means that policy does not so much take the shape of formal statements (decisions, rules, documents) but is both a process and outcome of the ordinary, situated and embodied activities which policy actors routinely enact in the course of participating in the policy process. This chapter reviews how the historical development of policy studies is intimately tied up with analysis of practice and explains how practice theory provides a philosophical programme that confirms and extends thinking of policy as practice. The chapter also considers a variety of ways in which practice has been analysed and what has been gained from these studies and their different approaches. Finally, several methods and challenges involved with studying policy as practice are discussed.

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