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Social Quality as a Tool for Policy Analysis

The Place of Children in Family Policy

Yitzhak Berman

This paper will consider the use of social quality as an analytical tool for the study of social policy, with special emphasis on the social quality of children placed within the framework of family policy. The paper’s main focus is on the relationship between parents and children as expressed through family policy. Two central themes are addressed. The first concerns the expectations from the relationship of parents and children as expressed through family policy, and how these policies enhance the social quality of children. The second theme asks the question whether social quality is a useful tool for policy analysis, and is based on a case study analysing a European family policy document.

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Learning from a Contested Project in the Netherlands

The Clash over the Amelisweerd Forest, 1957–1982

Odette van de Riet and Bert Toussaint

The Amelisweerd case, a highly debated highway network expansion project from the late 1970s, has been widely portrayed as a symbolic mismatch between government and entrenched stakeholder opposition. The aim of this article is to learn from the case by unraveling the policy process using a multiactor policy analysis model. The result is that the policy process scores poorly on all the three applied criteria, and this has had a discernible negative effect on the level of stakeholder support for the policy proposals. Since then, major changes have taken place in the planning processes of infrastructural projects in the Netherlands. However, the potential for learning from Amelisweerd is much wider, as since the 1960s public projects are increasingly subject to public scrutiny and comment. Careful analysis from iconic cases like Amelisweerd can help current infrastructural policymakers and planning project managers as they develop fresh policies and projects.

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Melody Viczko

Internationalisation of higher education has been overwhelmingly embraced by Canadian universities (Beck 2009). Yet, the decentralised nature of higher education institutions, coupled with the absence of a national governing body with responsibility for higher education, creates an interesting terrain for internationalisation. In this paper, I examine the ideas related to internationalisation pursued by one Canadian organisation, the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). Responding to concerns from Canadian institutions and government ministries about their potential exclusion from global markets, the AUCC took a national lead to better acquaint Canadian institutions with the Bologna reforms, declaring an urgent need to respond to the reforms taking place in Europe (AUCC 2008a). I analyse the policy knowledge, spaces and actors involved with internationalisation through the AUCC's interaction with the Bologna Process, to argue that a deeper entangling of universities in the ideational market-based competition embedded in neoliberal reforms has created tensions in how autonomy can be conceived in Canadian higher education.

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Anna Wesselink and Jeroen Warner

The aim of this special volume is to critically examine the various ways in which floods and flood management are framed in current policies, especially the “space for rivers” policies that have been adopted in many countries of Western Europe. The articles in this volume discuss different aspects of this framing, while employing different theoretical frames. Of these, Spiral Dynamics stands out as the most intriguing and least known. The papers thereby potentially contribute to reframing policy contents and/or procedures: either because they show alternative policy contents and/or because they show different ways of looking at policy making. This introductory article provides an overview of what framing means in a policy-making context, thereby highlighting the politics of engaging in (re)framing.

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Hans-Christian Crueger

Siegmar Schmidt, Gunther Hellmann and Reinhard Wolf, eds., Handbuch zur deutschen Außenpolitik (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2007)

Thomas Jäger, Alexander Höse and Kai Oppermann, eds., Deutsche Außenpolitik. Sicherheit, Wohlfahrt, Institutionen und Normen (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2007)

Gunther Hellmann, Deutsche Außenpolitik. Eine Einführung (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2006)

Wilfried von Bredow, Die Außenpolitik der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Eine Einführung (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag, 2006)

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Jennifer Dodge, Richard Holtzman, Merlijn van Hulst, and Dvora Yanow

Interpretive Policy Analysis (IPA) International Conference, held at Wageningen University, The Netherlands, in 2014. This session followed on another organised by the second author at the previous year’s conference. The IPA conference attracts scholars from a

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Regional and sub-regional effects on development policies

The Benelux and the Nordic countries compared

Lauri Siitonen

comparative analysis and a qualitative policy analysis. The quantitative analysis will test whether the development policy behavior supports the underlying assumptions of Europeanization, on the one hand, and the expectation of difference based on the type of

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Des Gasper

“Good governance” may be viewed as governance that effectively promotes human rights, human security and human development. This article discusses human security analysis, which in certain ways offers an integration of these “human” perspectives together with a “social” orientation, by combining a person-focus with systematic investigation of the environing systems of all sorts: physical, cultural, organizational. The importance of such analysis is illustrated through the example of climate change impacts and adaptation. The article presents applications of a human security framework in governance, for policy analysis, planning and evaluation issues in climate change and other fields. The concluding section suggests that human security analysis may provide a way to apply insights from social quality analysis to detailed case investigation and policy analysis, while reducing macro-sociological abstraction and neglect of the natural environment.

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Género, desarrollo y políticas públicas

La doble discrepancia de las aristas del poder

Edith Kauffer

Abstract

Presently, international development organizations have adopted gender perspectives in all policy spheres as a transversal approach as a result of a process that has transited through different foci since the 1950s. Nonetheless, different studies have highlighted the fact that implementation is limited beyond the recurring discourses of governments, non-governmental organizations and funding agencies. We can speak of a discrepancy between rhetoric and practice around gender in development policies, a subject that lies on the edges of power. Furthermore, there is another discrepancy between policy analysis and a gender perspective, where we find little research that achieves a theoretical articulation between two traditions that somehow seem irreconcilable. This article aims to initiate a reflection on that which it identifies as a double discrepancy between gender and policies focused on the edges of power: the failure to integrate gender in development policies and the difficult theoretical articulation of gender within policy. Faced with this double discrepancy, the article proposes some points of convergence around an inclusion of power relations both as a goal of development policies and a policy analysis.

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Ming-Lun Chung

Abstract

This article explores the formation of school anti-bullying policy in Taiwan with the development of democratization, and draws on critical realism to explain how generative mechanisms activate policy making under the operation of party politics within the Taiwanese school system. The article describes the planning and practice of Taiwanese anti-bullying policy, and argues how critical realism can help bridge the gap between empirical analysis and generative mechanisms in critical policy analysis. Light is shed on an empirical inquiry into anti-bullying policy, which analyzes different ideological debates over the policy and power struggles between different policy stakeholders. A crucial attempt is to identify the generative mechanisms behind the anti-bullying policy making and elaborate on how the “generative mechanisms” embedded in Taiwanese top-down governance make social control possible in the schooling system. The conclusion reflects on the possibility of democratic schooling through the critical realist approach and praxis of collective agency for social change and human emancipation between political governance, policy research, and school practice.