British Politics

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 293–318 | Cite as

Depoliticisation: Principles, Tactics and Tools

  • Matthew Flinders
  • Jim Buller


Although the concept of depoliticisation has existed as an important theme in a range of disciplines for some time, in recent years it has become a significant issue for scholars interested in European politics, governance and public policy. Within the same period depoliticisation has been championed by government ministers and proposed by think tanks and pressure groups at the national level as a solution to both public policy and constitutional challenges. At the global level depoliticisation has been promoted by the World Bank and United Nations as a means through which developing countries can enhance state capacity and market credibility. However, the wider literature on depoliticisation has arguably failed to offer any definitional clarity. Nor has it sought to tease apart and deconstruct the concept of depoliticisation in order to distinguish between different types of depoliticisation tactics or understand the interplay between them. This article gleans insights from a number of disciplines and synthesises the wider literature in order to offer a multi-level analytical framework. This framework, it is suggested, facilitates a deeper understanding of contemporary depoliticisation strategies, tools and tactics while also providing an insight into shifts in contemporary modes of governance.


depoliticisation arena-shifting governance accountability public policy 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Flinders
    • 1
  • Jim Buller
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Department of PoliticsUniversity of YorkYorkUK

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