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Reconsidering PolicyComplexity, Governance and the State$
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Kate Crowley, Jenny Stewart, Adrian Kay, and Brian Head

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447333111

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447333111.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 02 July 2022

Reconsidering information

Reconsidering information

(p.119) 7 Reconsidering information
Reconsidering Policy

Kate Crowley

Jenny Stewart

Adrian Kay

Brian W. Head

Policy Press

Information is intrinsic to governing and, by extension, to public policy. Policy-related information defines relationships between the state and its citizens. Through public policies, governments seek to understand and influence the environment in which they operate. Information technologies and social media have extended and complicated these relationships in ways that have proved difficult for policy studies to absorb. This chapter suggests a way forward. Two streams of reconsideration are explored: information within public policy, and information as an object of public policy. The first stream brings together key concepts in policy analysis, and scopes the importance of informational processes within policy systems. Reconsidering in the second sense helps to identify shifts in the relationship between information and public policy as a field of action. Both perspectives help us to draw conclusions about the relationship between public policy and the state. Throughout, this discussion is linked with the general framework of the systems thinking developed in Chapter Two. The chapter concludes with some suggestions as to how an informational perspective can be used to advance research agendas in relation to accountability and forms of governance.

Keywords:   information and public policy, Informational processes, public policy and the state, social media, governance, accountability, information technologies

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