Generalised and Particularistic Thinking in Policy Analysis and Practice: The Case of Governance Reform in South Africa

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Abstract

This article is concerned with the relationship between generalised and particularistic knowledge in the context of policy-making and policy analysis. It argues that it is problematic to assume that a reform model will generate similar outcomes across a wide variety of contexts. It presents a conceptual framework, including the concepts of transaction domain and domain consensus, that enables context-sensitive analyses. The argument is exemplified by South Africa's introduction in the 1990s of an Integrated Development Planning model, based on British reform experience and various international public-management models. With a case study of such planning in Lukhanji Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, it illustrates how the conceptual framework may be used in policy research and analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-306
JournalDevelopment Policy Review
Volume27
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Keywords

  • local government
  • Africa
  • South
  • development planning
  • public policy
  • Governance
  • institutions
  • governance theory

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