This volume collects the main articles written by Rhodes on policy networks and governance between 1990 and 2005. The introductory section provides a short biography of the author's journey, Part I focuses on policy networks, and Part II focuses on governance. The conclusion provides critical commentary, both replying to critics and reflecting on theoretical developments since publication.
This volume looks forward and explores the 'interpretive turn' and its implications for the craft of political science, especially public administration, and draws together articles from 2005 onwards on the theme of 'the interpretive turn' in political science.
"Decentralizing the Civil Service assesses the UK's changing civil services in the wake of two decades of public sector management reforms and New Labour's constitutional reform programme, most notably devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This assessment has significant implications for how we view governance in the UK."--Jacket.
"The Bielefeld project sought to develop a new conception of the rules and institutional relationships in advanced industrial societies. This chapter presents an explicit summary of its conception, focusing on such concepts as interorganizational networks, guidance, control, evaluation, redundancy, and learning. It argues that the project's sociocybernetic approach is underdeveloped and identifies several avenues of relevant theoretical and empirical development." (author's abstract)
The British tradition of political life history has six conventions: 'tombstone' biography, separation of public and private lives, life without theory, objective evidence and facts, character and storytelling. I describe each in turn and review the main debates in the tradition before turning to the swingeing critique by 'the interpretive turn'. Postmodernism deconstructed grand narratives by pronouncing the death of the subject and the death of the author. I outline an interpretive approach that reclaims life history by focusing on the idea of 'situated agency': that is, on the webs of significance that people spin for themselves against the backcloth of their inherited beliefs and practices. I explore, with examples, the implications of this approach for writing life history, stressing the different uses for biography open to political scientists. I end with some brief thoughts on why the British tradition of political life history has proved resistant to change. Adapted from the source document.