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Women, Policy and Politics The Construction of Policy Problems by Carol Lee Bacchi

Women, Policy and Politics The Construction of Policy Problems


Women, Policy and Politics The Construction of Policy Problems by Carol Lee Bacchi

This book offers a powerful new approach to policy studies. Drawing on recent perspectives from social constructionism, discourse analysis, the sociology of social problems and feminism, Carol Bacchi develops a step-by-step analytical tool for deconstructing policy problems. Her `What's the Problem?' approach encourages students to reflect critically upon the ways in which policy problems get constructed within policy debates and policy proposals.


`This is a profoundly thoughtful book that challenges accepted ways of approaching policy issues. It brings a refreshingly new perspective to some of the key areas that have exercised feminists for several decades' -Jeanne Gregory, Middlesex University

`Not the problem, but the process of problematizing. A simple shift of focus - but it's one of those rare and gifted conceptual reconfigurations that cut like a hot knife through butter. The result is that we come away with some immensely practical policy tools' - Cynthia Cockburn, City University London

`I certainly don't know of any other book that explains the constructionist position so clearly and effectively and the application to gender issues is an additional plus' - Myra Marx Ferree, University of Connecticut

`This book will create worthwhile debate. It offeres an immensly useful approach for students of policy studies. It is provocative for policy makers, who should answer: What's the problem with their social vision?' - Australian Journal of Political Science

`Anyone interested in theoretical developments in policy studies and the sociology of social problems, especially in relation to gender issues, needs to add this to their reading, as should those concerned with different merhods of poilicy analysis.In addition, anyone concerned with any of the policy issues Bacchi has selected for analysis could bebefit from consulting the relevant chapter for the insights offered.' - Political Geography

`This well referenced and thoughtful book will challenge the thinking of all who read it and I expect it will have a profound impact on the reader, and in particular on women in leadership positions' - International Review of Women and Leadership

`The book has lived up to expectations; Bacchi's writing is once again clear and compelling. She achieves a position in which her ability to marshall argument, to ensure that the reader has got the point by careful rehearsal of main themes and the provision of impressive arrays of supporting references, is immediately observable. As a text this book will be of great service to university teachers and supervisors; it embodies its message in that it achievs the initial aim of presenting a particular approach to the study of social policy and it models this approach in applying it to a range of social issues' - Discourse

About the Author

Carol Lee Bacchi is Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Adelaide. Her publications include The Politics of Affirmative Action: 'Women', Equality and Category Politics (Sage, 1996), and Same Difference: Feminism and Sexual Difference (Allen & Unwin, 1990)

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Book Info

Publication date

16th June 1999


Carol Lee Bacchi

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SAGE Publications Inc


256 pages


Social issues & processes
Gender studies, gender groups
Social welfare & social services
Central government policies



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