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Making interpretive policy analysis critical and societally relevant: emotions, ethnography and language

Author: Anna Durnová1
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  • 1 Charles University Prague, Czech Republic and University of Vienna, Austria
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This article summarises the main achievements of interpretive approaches to policy analysis and signposts ways to develop them to strengthen inclusivity and diversity. By visualising tangible strategies used in the approach, it demonstrates how we can better understand how policies are made and understood. At the same time, the article places a strong focus on emotions and ethnography as a way to strengthen the societal relevance of the approach. Focusing on emotions in policy research goes beyond a simple interest in emotions, using them as a specific critical lens to view the researched phenomenon while considering how policy ideas are framed as relevant or irrelevant through expressive language. Analogously, the article describes ethnography as an epistemological lens for analysing policy wherein researchers embrace human bias and the normativity of their research. To illustrate how these two lenses work in practice, the article concludes by discussing the research design of an analysis of the role of fathers in the policy debate around birth care in Czechia.

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  • 1 Charles University Prague, Czech Republic and University of Vienna, Austria

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