Interpretive Political Science: Selected Essays: Volume II

ISBN : 9780198786115

R. A. W. Rhodes
288 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jul 2017
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Interpretive Political Science is the second of two volumes featuring a selection of key writings by R.A.W. Rhodes. Volume II 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. Part I provides a summary statement of the interpretive approach, and Part II develops the theme of blurring genres and discusses a variety of research methods common in the humanities, including: ethnographic fieldwork, life history, and focus groups. Part III demonstrates how the genres of thought and presentation found in the humanities can be used in political science. It presents four examples of such blurring 'at work' with studies of: applied anthropology and civil service reform; women's studies and government departments; and storytelling and local knowledge. The book concludes with a summary of what is edifying about an interpretive approach, and why this approach matters, and revisits some of the more common criticisms before indulging in plausible conjectures about the future of interpretivism. The author seeks new and interesting ways to explore governance, high politics, public policies, and the study of public administration in general. Volume I collects in one place for the first time the main articles written by Rhodes on policy networks and governance between 1990 and 2005, and explores a new way of describing British government, focusing on policy making and the ways in which policy is put into practice.


1 Further on Down the Road - Blurring Genres

Part I: Theory
2 On Interpretation

Part II: Methods
3 On Ethnography
4 On 'Being There'
5 On Focus Groups
6 On 'Life History'
7 On 'Court Politics'

Part III: Applications
8 On Greedy Institutions
9 On Reform
10 On Local Knowledge
11 On Westminster
Conclusion: Interpreting the 'Interpretive Turn'
12 What Is New About the 'Interpretive Turn' and Why Does It Matter?

About the author: 

Rod Rhodes is Professor of Government (Research) at the University of Southampton. He is life Vice-President of the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom; a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia; and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (UK). In 2012, he was awarded International Research Association for Public Management and Routledge Prize for Outstanding Contribution to Public Management Research. In 2014, he was awarded the Special Recognition Award by the Political Studies Association of the United Kingdom for his outstanding contribution to political science. In 2015, he was awarded the biennial ECPR's (European Consortium for Political Research) Lifetime Achievement Award.

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