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Cultural political economy and critical policy studies

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date2010
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Journal number3-4
Volume3
Number of pages21
Pages336-356
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article introduces cultural political economy as a distinctive approach in the social sciences, including policy studies. The version presented here combines critical semiotic analysis and critical political economy. It grounds its approach to both in the practical necessities of complexity reduction and the role of meaning-making and structuration in turning unstructured into structured complexity as a basis for ‘going on’ in the world. It explores both semiosis and structuration in terms of the evolutionary mechanisms of variation, selection, and retention and, in this context, also highlights the role of specific forms of agency and specific technologies. These general propositions are illustrated from ‘economic imaginaries’ (other types of imaginary could have been examined) and their relevance to economic policy. Brief comments on crisis-interpretation and crisis-management give this example some substance. The conclusion notes some implications for research in critical policy studies.