Policy & Politics
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Rethinking depoliticisation: beyond the governmental

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Matt WoodUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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Matthew FlindersUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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Stagnating political participation, the growth of delegated agencies and the prevalence of rationalistic-technocratic discourse all represent interlinking aspects of what can been termed ‘the depoliticised polity’. Existing research has overwhelmingly focused on institutional or governmental depoliticisation strategies and fails to acknowledge repoliticisation as a critical counter-trend. This article argues that these weaknesses can be addressed through ‘a three faces’ approach that embraces societal and discursive depoliticisation strategies as complementary statecraft dynamics that often underpin more tangible governmental strategies. By revealing the existence of multiple forms of depoliticisation this approach also offers new insights in terms of politicisation and sociopolitical change.

Matt WoodUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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Matthew FlindersUniversity of Sheffield, UK

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