Policy assemblages: Proposing an alternative conceptual framework to study public action
This paper looks to propose an alternative conceptual framework that could help policy studies to better capture the complexity and multifaceted character of contemporary policy processes. Mixing science and technology studies with critical policy studies,it sees policies as assemblages formed by an ample array of heterogeneous elements,from technical standards to everyday practices. Three major configurations of policy assemblages are explored: problematization (when an issue is turned into a matter of policy),infrastructuration (when a new infrastructure is organized trying to transform the issue at hand),and regime (when the infrastructure is put to work). In order to explore the empirical applicability of this conceptualization,the second half of the paper analyses one particular case: the introduction of ramps for wheelchair access in public transport buses in the city of Santiago,Chile. This case study will show how policies are never the pure application of rational guidelines or the result of powerful individuals but multifaceted processes in which a multitude of entities,all of them carrying different agencies,intervene and are continually reenacted,changing the policy's outcome in accordance with the presence/absence of certain articulations and practices.
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Institución: Universidad Alberto HurtadoFacultad: Ciencias SocialesUnidad: Sociología