Policy analysis as a hermeneutic activity

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95 Citations (Scopus)


Any piece of policy analysis must be appropriate to the context of its intended use. Social science often fails as policy analysis due to insensitivity to context. This paper explores a number of different modes of policy analysis to determine the circumstances in which the application of each is appropriate. It is argued that each mode is appropriate only under a fairly limited set of conditions; many of the problems policy analysis encounters are a result of attempts to apply a mode outside its niche. Greater use should be made of what is developed here as a hermeneutic model of policy analysis, appropriate in a residual set of conditions which none of the traditional models of policy analysis copes with adequately.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-329
Number of pages21
JournalPolicy Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1982
Externally publishedYes


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