Theoretical Frameworks for Policy Analysis

  • Jon Yorke
  • Lesley Vidovich
Part of the Policy Implications of Research in Education book series (PIRE, volume 7)


Chapter 4 details the contribution of several different theories as the foundation for the analysis of quality and standards policy in this study. Specifically, this chapter explicates and critiques the central principles of critical theory and post-structuralism, with the former having a more macro focus and the latter orienting more towards micro level interactions. The primary advantage of drawing on both theories, in a hybridised approach, is to span macro (global) to micro (institutional) levels and to capture the complexity and contestation embedded in policy processes in globalising times. These two theories underpin the concept of a ‘policy trajectory’ framework which guides the structure of the study. A policy trajectory approach consists of the contexts of influences, policy text production, practices/effects and longer term outcomes. While these four contexts represent continuous policy processes, they are separated here for analytic convenience. They are used to generate the four main research questions for the study.


Critical theory Poststructuralism Policy analysis Policy trajectory Hybrid policy analysis Critical discourse analysis (CDA) 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon Yorke
    • 1
  • Lesley Vidovich
    • 2
  1. 1.Curtin UniversityBentleyAustralia
  2. 2.The University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia

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