Articulating People, Ideas and Instruments

  • Jo Maybin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy book series (SKP)


The previous three chapters have set out how the civil servants developed their understanding of policy topics through interactions with others and through constructing representations of the objects of policies. Those who were seen as effective at their jobs brought to these tasks particular sets of ‘people’ and ‘analytical’ skills rather than prior in-depth knowledge of the policy topic in question. In this context, knowing the right ways to identify and produce knowledge was more important than having prior knowledge of a policy issue. We have seen how these practices were guided not only by an interest in learning about the world, but also (and often principally) by a need to render policy tasks thinkable and manageable, and a concern with generating support for, and building agreement around, particular understandings of the world that were integral to policy proposals. Meaningful knowledge work in this context was always directed towards making policy happen.


Civil Servant Policy Instrument Policy Agenda Policy Area Knowledge Claim 
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Copyright information

© Jo Maybin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Maybin
    • 1
  1. 1.The King’s FundUK

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