“Turn, turn, turn” -policy theory is for the Byrds…

So, there is a corking PhD that I am reading. It’s called The politics of governing ‘system innovations’ towards sustainable electricity systems.  You can find it here.

Mustn’t quote too much, obviously (copyright etc). but this was useful, from page 27- 8



“Political sociology and political science have focused on how the pursuit of self-interest affects politics and policy making in advanced capitalist societies. This has been true for pluralist, elite, neo-Marxist, historical institutionalist, and rational choice theories. Scholars have paid far less attention to how ideas, that is, theories, conceptual models, norms, world views, frames, principled beliefs, and the like, rather than self-interests,
affect policy making” (Campbell 2002: 21).

However, there has been a turn in policy studies to go beyond traditional explanations of politics based on interests and power struggles. This development, seen since the 1990s, has been described as the ‘argumentative turn’ (Fischer and Forester 1993), the ‘ideational turn’ (Blyth 1997) or the ‘cognitive turn’ in policy studies (Nullmeier 2006). Despite the differences in emphasis, the common aim of these research agendas was to take ideas seriously as explanatory factors in policy change.


And gives me an excuse to hear one of my favourite songs, based on one of the few readable books of the Old Testament.

Vale Pete Seeger

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