`Putting into context' is a very common phrase - both in the social sciences and beyond. But what exactly do we mean by this, and how do we do it?
In this book, leading scholars in public policy and management tackle these issues. They show how ideas of context are central to a range of theories and explanations and use an international range of case studies to exemplify context-based explanation. The book uncovers the complexity that lies behind an apparently simple notion, and offers a variety of approaches to decipher that complexity. Context is indeed a missing link, which enables us to make sense of the vital relationship between the general and the particular.
Context in Public Policy and Management will prove insightful to academics, as well as to advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students in government, public policy, public management, public administration and political science.
Edited by the Late Christopher Pollitt, formerly Emeritus Professor, Public Governance Institute, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Contents: Preface: Context - a Missing Link? Christopher Pollitt PART I: FRAMING AND UNDERSTANDING 1. Context in the Context - Missing the Missing Links in the Field of Public Administration Turo Virtanen 2. Contexts: Forms of Agency and Action John Clarke 3. Constituting Context? Janet Newman 4. The Intransigent Context: Glimpses at the History of a Problem Fabio Rugge 5. Three Visions of Context as History Mark Bevir and Rod Rhodes 6. Numbers in Context: Applying Frege's Principles to Public Administration Geert Bouckaert First Link Christopher Pollitt PART II: PUTTING CONTEXT INTO THEORY (AND THEORY INTO CONTEXT) 7. Institution in Context, and as Context B. Guy Peters 8. Can Cultural Theory Give us a Handle on the Difference Context Makes to Management by Numbers? Christopher Hood 9. Context, Theory and Rationality: An Uneasy Relationship? Jon Pierre 10. Contexts and Administrative Reforms: A Transformative Approach Tom Christensen and Per Laegreid 11. Context in Public Policy: Implications of Complexity Theory Tony Bovaird 12. The Service-Dominant Context of Public Services: A Suitable Case for Treatment? Stephen P. Osborne, Greta Nasi and Zoe Radnor 13. Explaining Contextual Influences on the Dynamics of Public Management Reforms: Reflections on Some Ways Forward Edoardo Ongaro Second Link Christopher Pollitt PART III: EMPIRICAL APPLICATIONS 14. What We Know So Far and How to Proceed: Contextual Variables in NPM Reform Research Isabella Proeller Third Link Christopher Pollitt 15. Context in Governance Networks: Complex Interactions between Macro, Meso and Micro. A Theoretical Exploration and Some Empirical Evidence on the Impact of Context Factors in Taiwan, Spain and the Netherlands Erik-Hans Klijn, Vicenta Sierra, Tamyko Ysa, Evan M. Berman, Jurian Edelenbos and Don-yun Chen 16. Seeing Context Where There's No `There' There: The EU/USA Financial Crises and the Missing State Richard Stillman 17. The Context of Public Administration from a Neo-institutionalist Point of View: An Analysis with Finland as the Case Pertti Ahonen 18. The Uses and Abuses of Historical Context: A Case Study in the `Mutualisation' of Public Services Johnston Birchall 19. Context and Accountability: Factors Shaping Performance Audit Jeremy Lonsdale 20. The Role of Significance of Context in Comparing Country Systems John Halligan 21. Hospitals and the Dynamics of Multiple Contexts Christopher Pollitt Fourth Link Christopher Pollitt PART IV: REFLECTIONS 22. Context: What Kind of Missing Link? Christopher Pollitt Index