Critical Policy Studies
400 pages, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
10 b&w figures and tables
Release Date:01 Jul 2007
Release Date:05 Dec 2006
Release Date:01 Nov 2007

Critical Policy Studies

UBC Press

Traditional definitions of public policy in Canada have been challenged in recent years by globalization, the transition to a knowledge-based economy, and the rise of new technologies. Critical Policy Studies describes how new policy problems such as border screening and global warming have been catapulted onto the agenda in the neo-liberal era. The book also surveys the recent evolution of critical approaches to policy studies, which have transformed decades-old issues.

Contributors conceptualize the ways in which public policy questions cut across the traditional fields of policy. They cover both topical approaches such as Foucauldian and post-empiricist analysis and new applications of established perspectives, such as political economy. Conventional methodologies reveal new connotations when used to explore such topics as security issues, Canadian sovereignty, welfare reform, environmental protocol, Aboriginal policy, and reproductive technologies.

Critical Policy Studies provides an alternative to existing approaches to policy studies, and will be welcomed by scholars, students, and practitioners of political science and public policy.

Critical Policy Studies is, quite simply, a breath of fresh air. It is a timely intervention into the study of public policy in Canada that covers important substantive ground and raises critical questions about the boundaries of policy studies as a field. This book will excite undergraduate and graduate students and stimulate new approaches to the study of public policy in Canada Leah Vosko, editor of Precarious Employment: Understanding Labour Market Insecurity in Canada
Critical Policy Studies conveys a clear sense that there is much anew and exciting in the field of policy analysis in Canada. It will occupy a significant place in the discipline, opening up new avenues for scholars and policy-makers, and offering a distinctive and enlightening perspective for political science students. Alain Noël, editor of Federalism and Labour Market Policy: Comparing Different Governance and Employment Strategies
Michael Orsini is an associate professor in the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa. Miriam Smith is a professor in the Department of Politics at Trent University.

Figures and Tables


1 Critical Policy Studies / Michael Orsini and Miriam Smith

Part 1: Political Economy

2 Political Economy and Canadian Public Policy / Peter Graefe

3 Policy Analysis in an Era of “Globalization”: Capturing Spatial Dimensions and Scalar Strategies / Rianne Mahon, Caroline Andrew, and Robert Johnson

Part 2: Citizens and Diversity

4 Citizen Engagement: Rewiring the Policy Process / Rachel Laforest and Susan Phillips

5 Queering Public Policy: A Canadian Perspective / Miriam Smith

6 Gender Mainstreaming in the Canadian Context: “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back” / Olena Hankivsky

7 Political Science, Race, Ethnicity, and Public Policy / Yasmeen Abu-Laban

Part 3: Discourse and Knowledge

8 Governmentality and the Shifting Winds of Policy Studies / Karen Bridget Murray

9 Agenda-Setting and Issue Definition / Stuart N. Soroka

10 Scientists, Government, and “Boundary Work”: The Case of Reproductive Technologies and Genetic Engineering in Canada / Francesca Scala

11 Between Respect and Control: Traditional Indigenous Knowledge in Canadian Public Policy / Frances Abele

12 Framing Environmental Policy: Aboriginal Rights and the Conservation of Migratory Birds / Luc Juillet

Part 4: Risky Subjects

13 From the Welfare State to the Social Investment State: A New Paradigm for Canadian Social Policy? / Denis Saint-Martin

14 Canadian Post-9/11 Border Policy and Spillover Securitization: Smart, Safe, Sovereign? / Mark B. Salter

15 The Permanent-Emergency Compensation State: A “Postsocialist” Tale of Political Dystopia / Matt James

16 Discourses in Distress: From “Health Promotion” to “Population Health” to “You Are Responsible for Your Own Health” / Michael Orsini



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