Governance Analysis
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Governance Analysis

Critical Enquiry at the Intersection of Politics, Policy and Society

Edited by Emma Carmel

This state-of-the-art book develops the parameters of ‘governance analysis’ as a critical mode of enquiry. From a synthesis of theoretical approaches to public policy and governance, it offers a critical analytical perspective for empirical research and the development of theories of governance. This perspective is applied to seven detailed examples, from local to international and comparative public policy. Both innovative and unique, Governance Analysis shows that the messy real life of policymaking and its implications can be analysed systematically and insightfully without retreating to outdated ‘models’ of public policymaking or case-specific critique.
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Chapter 4: Governing skills, governing workplaces: explaining the New Labour Skills Strategy for England

Hannah Durrant


This chapter appraises the benefits of the governance analysis approach to explaining the New Labour Skills Strategy for England. It starts by identifying a paradox at the heart of New Labour’s skills policy: aspiring to develop a skills system that both responded to the demands of businesses and workers and also sought to increase their demand for skills. The key contribution of governance analysis is its ability to account for this paradox. Its application in this chapter shows how the structural conditions of the UK political economy were strategically utilised to define sets of skills policy actors - and the ways in which they should act - in relation to putatively shared higher skills aspirations. In doing so the chapter reveals highly contested attempts by state and non-state actors to politically order social relations within this policy field.

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