Knowledge and Policy

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 85–104 | Cite as

Frame-critical policy analysis and frame-reflective policy practice

  • Martin Rein
  • Donald Schön


Our primary purpose in this article is to explore some of the issues, practical and conceptual, that arise in the attempt to study and cope with public policy controversies. We have organized the article into four sections. The first considers what problems a frame-critical approach seeks to address and explores, in particular, why social science methods seem unable to contribute to the resolution of public controversies. The second section asks what “frames” are and why they are critical to the study of controversy. Section three gives an overview of the elements in a frame-critical policy analysis and of the relationships between it and frame-reflective policy practice. In conclusion, section four examines the main issues that need to be addressed in analyzing and coping with policy controversies.


Conceptual Scheme Policy Discourse Policy Practice Action Frame Public Controversy 
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Copyright information

© Transaction Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Rein
  • Donald Schön

There are no affiliations available

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