Arenas, Agents and Actions
Edited by Tom Baker and Christopher Walker
Chapter 3: Seeing is believing? Understanding policy tourism as an arena for policy circulation
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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