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real life of policymaking and its implications can be analysed systematically and insightfully without retreating to outdated ‘models’ of public policymaking or case-specific critique.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 5: The political ordering of migrant workers through labour admission policies

Regine Paul


This chapter discusses the value of governance analysis in comparative policy research, drawing on an empirical study of contemporary British, French and German labour admission policies. My evaluation highlights three key benefits of a governance analysis approach for explaining varieties across the three admission regimes. First, governance analysis helps in identifying the interactions between migrant classification processes and structurally entrenched institutional norms beyond mere complexity claims in cross-national comparison. Second, governance analysis is suitably sensitive to empirical specificity without compromising on analytical parsimony. This is particularly useful for ideographic comparative research with its aim of accounting for nuanced contextual variations. Third, governance analysis exposes the political ordering effects of public policy arrangements which assemble multiple institutionalized norms for, and processes of, migrant worker selection in specific and consequential ways. Overall, the analytical approach promoted in this volume seems well-prepared to explain the emergence of complex and deeply political variations of defining ‘legal’ migrant workers across countries.

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