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.
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