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An increasing number of scholars are engaging with interpretive approaches to policy analysis. While IPA scholars adopt a range of methodological techniques, they share a focus on the ways in which policy meanings are constructed, communicated and received. Empirical work is an important part of the IPA tradition, but it insists that ‘facts’ are always theory-laden and that policy meanings require deliberate interpretation. As such, interpretive policy analysis acts as a critique of an objectivist conception of reality and too great a reliance on technical rationality within policy-making.

The IPA aims are:

  • To provide a platform for exchange and co-operative support between those who have an interest in interpretive policy analysis, possibly through an email/discussion list;
  • To invite, initiate and organise contributions on interpretive approaches to policy at the NZPSA conferences and at other workshops and events;
  • To build a network of interested scholars and to facilitate research co-operation in interpretive policy-oriented research;
  • To establish an institutional form better able to facilitate engagement with IPA scholars and networks overseas.

If you wish to join the IPA please contact Dr Patrick Barrett: pbarrett@waikato.ac.nz.

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