Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Reframing Public PolicyDiscursive Politics and Deliberative Practices$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Frank Fischer

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242641

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/019924264X.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use (for details see www.oxfordscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 18 November 2018

Postempiricist Foundations: Social Constructionism and Practical Discourse

Postempiricist Foundations: Social Constructionism and Practical Discourse

Chapter:
(p.117) 6 Postempiricist Foundations: Social Constructionism and Practical Discourse
Source:
Reframing Public Policy
Author(s):

Frank Fischer (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/019924264X.003.0006

This is the first of four chapters offering a postempiricist methodology for policy inquiry based on the logic of practical discourse, and examines the problems of policy research from an epistemological perspective. Focusing on the empiricist and technocratic aspects of policy analysis, the discussion first offers a critique of the neopositivist premises that have shaped and guided the enterprise; then, drawing on the theories of social constructivism and practical discourse, it sets out the foundations of a value-critical postempiricist framework for policy inquiry, emphasizing the need to integrate empirical and normative inquiry. The analysis shows the way in which what is understood as ‘science’ is influenced by the socio-historical context in which in emerges, and that social meanings and value judgements are built into scientific practices otherwise described as ‘value neutral’. In particular, it shows that in a world of multiple realities there is no ‘objective’ reality in which a scientific social science can anchor itself, rather, social science –– like science generally Vis a social activity and its products are based more on consensus than proof in the traditional understanding of the term. Towards this end, postempiricism offers a craft-oriented discursive or deliberative approach to policy science, one that better explains what social scientists are already doing; in this view, the analyst functions as an interpretive mediator between the available analytical frameworks of social science and the competing local perspectives. The chapter closes with a discussion of the problem of relativism traditionally associated with intepretivist approaches.

Keywords:   discourse, empirical inquiry, epistemology, history, intepretivist approaches, neopositivism, normative inquiry, policy inquiry, policy research, postempiricist methodology, practical discourse, relativism, social constructionism, social constructivism, social science

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .