Making Politics Visible: The WPR Approach

Published on Jan 1, 2016
· DOI :10.1057/978-1-137-52546-8_2
Carol Bacchi26
Estimated H-index: 26
(University of Adelaide),
Susan Goodwin9
Estimated H-index: 9
(USYD: University of Sydney)
This chapter offers an analytic strategy, or “tool”, called “What’s the Problem Represented to be?” (the WPR approach), to facilitate poststructural policy analysis. It elaborates a poststructural understanding of politics as strategic relations and practices, and of theorizing as political practice. The WPR approach is introduced as a means to engage in such theorizing and to assist in the analytic task of making politics visible. To this end it offers seven interrelated forms of questioning and analysis to critically scrutinize problematizations (the ways in which “problems” are produced and represented) in governmental policies and practices, understood in broad terms. Policy workers and other analysts are enjoined to deploy WPR in practices of interrogating problematizations, reproblematization, and self-problematization.
  • References (12)
  • Citations (1)
📖 Papers frequently viewed together
169 Citations
1 Author (Carol Bacchi)
28 Citations
78% of Scinapse members use related papers. After signing in, all features are FREE.
#1Carol Bacchi (University of Adelaide)H-Index: 26
This article examines how the issue of alcohol use has been problematized using past and current World Health Organization reports and associated publications as illustrations. The 2010 Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol serves as a salient example. Applying an approach to policy analysis called “What’s the Problem Represented to be?” this article highlights grounding presuppositions in selected alcohol policies and policy proposals. Particular attention is directed to the gene...
30 CitationsSource
The purpose of this paper is to introduce and elaborate the varied meanings of problematization in contemporary policy theory. The primary focus is on the different meanings and uses of the term in interpretivism and in Foucault-influenced poststructuralism. The paper argues that interpretive/argumentative adaptations direct attention primarily to how policy makers/workers develop problematizations (ways of understanding a problem) while Foucault-influenced poststructuralists critically scrutini...
20 CitationsSource
#1Carol Bacchi (University of Adelaide)H-Index: 26
#2Jennifer Bonham (University of Adelaide)H-Index: 8
This paper has its genesis in concerns about the return to “the real” in social and political theory and analysis. This trend is linked to a reaction against the “linguistic turn”, on the grounds that an exclusive focus on language undercuts political analysis by refusing to engage with “material reality”. Foucault and “discourse” are common targets of this critique. Against this interpretation, the authors direct attention to the analytic and political usefulness of Foucault’s concept of “discu...
45 CitationsSource
#1Norman Fairclough (Lancaster University)H-Index: 42
This article presents the contribution that critical discourse analysis (CDA) can make to critical policy studies through comparison with two other approaches which also advocate a ‘discursive turn’ in policy studies and that have been discussed in the journal: cultural political economy (CPE), and poststructuralist discourse analysis (PDA). I suggest that there are significant differences between CDA, CPE and PDA in their view of the discursive turn, and that a version of CDA which integrates a...
97 CitationsSource
409 Citations
#1Susan Goodwin (USYD: University of Sydney)H-Index: 9
New approaches to policy analysis suggest that policy is the result of complex negotiations and contestations that take place to a significant extent within language and discourse/s. This chapter provides an account of the ways in which policy has come to be understood as discourse, and what this means for how (and why) policy is subjected to analysis. The main aim of the chapter is to introduce the ‘What’s the Problem Represented to be?’ framework for analysing policy (Bacchi, C. (2009). Analys...
18 CitationsSource
In Australia and New Zealand, the realization of the knowledge object ‘national population’ makes it necessary to involve Indigenous Australians and Māori in the Census. Both Indigenous peoples have engaged in the Census and have made use of the resulting official statistics in their self-representation as peoples not yet accorded social justice. This paper considers two of the issues of representing Indigenous peoples as populations: where to draw the distinction that makes the non-Indigenous/I...
9 CitationsSource
#1Robert Chia (University of Stirling)H-Index: 35
This paper argues that contemporary organizational research and theorizing are circumscribed by the ontological commitments of being-realism. Being-realism is a fundamental ontological posture which asserts the primacy of `things', `entities', `events', `generative mechanisms', etc., as making up our material and social world. It underwrites the dominant academic predisposition which treats relatively unproblematic notions such as `the organization', its `goals', `environment', `strategies', etc...
208 CitationsSource
#1Nikolas Rose (Goldsmiths, University of London)H-Index: 54
#2Peter Miller (LSE: London School of Economics and Political Science)H-Index: 45
This paper sets out an approach to the analysis of political power in terms of problematics of government. It argues against an overvaluation of the ‘problem of the State’ in political debate and social theory. A number of conceptual tools are suggested for the analysis of the many and varied alliances between political and other authorities that seek to govern economic activity, social life and individual conduct. Modern political rationalities and governmental technologies are shown to be intr...
2,335 CitationsSource
Interview accorde par M. Foucault le 20-1-1984 | celui-ci expose son point de vue ethique, ou le souci de soi fonde le souci de l'autre, et la relation de l'ethique au monde de la liberte et de la politique
630 CitationsSource
Cited By1
#1Kathryn Browne-Yung (Flinders University)H-Index: 5
#2Anna Marie Ziersch (Flinders University)H-Index: 18
Last. John Spoehr (Flinders University)H-Index: 5
view all 5 authors...
National Health and Medical Research Council, Grant/Award Numbers: APP1078046, NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence on the Social determinants of health equity
1 CitationsSource