Publication Details

McGuirk, P. (2011). Policy research as critical praxis. Dialogues in Human Geography, 1 (2), 233-237.


In responding to Woods and Gardner's (2011) article, this piece positions policy research as a potentially rich site for critical praxis. It works through the possibilities around (i) negotiating the politics of policy research; (ii) the iterative and hybrid nature of policy research; and (iii) the internally differentiated nature of states. While remaining clear-eyed around the limits Woods and Gardner point to that shape collaborative work around policy, the article argues that policy research can be a site where the ethical and normative commitments of a critical agenda can be pursued. This requires that we recognise, first, policy research as a context for situated knowledge production within the complex social terrain of the state and, second, the performative and constitutive effects of knowledge.



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