Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 267–285

Toward Cultural Analysis in Policy Analysis: Picking Up Where Aaron Wildavsky Left Off

  • Brendon Swedlow

DOI: 10.1023/A:1020302501599

Cite this article as:
Swedlow, B. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis (2002) 4: 267. doi:10.1023/A:1020302501599


To generate policy alternatives and offer policy advice, the policy analysis and planning literature counsels analysts to assess the values and beliefs of policy actors, as well as the organizational and political contexts in which an analyst's proposed solution will have to be enacted and implemented, but does not further specify what these values, beliefs, and contexts might be. Analysts can anticipate the kinds of political values and the kinds of beliefs about human nature, the environment, and the economy that are likely to be associated with different forms of social organization by relying on Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky's theory of culture. Additionally, this form of cultural analysis will allow analysts to deduce which policy problems are most likely to arise, which policy solutions are most likely to be feasible, and which policy advocacy coalitions are most probable in different cultural contexts.

policy analysis political culture culture political feasibility public policy values policy advocacy coalitions 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brendon Swedlow
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaBerkeley

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