Generalised and Particularistic Thinking in Policy Analysis and Practice: The Case of Governance Reform in South Africa
Article first published online: 1 APR 2009
© The Author 2009. Journal compilation © 2009 Overseas Development Institute.
Development Policy Review
Volume 27, Issue 3, pages 287–306, May 2009
How to Cite
Frödin, O. (2009), Generalised and Particularistic Thinking in Policy Analysis and Practice: The Case of Governance Reform in South Africa. Development Policy Review, 27: 287–306. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-7679.2009.00447.x
- Issue published online: 1 APR 2009
- Article first published online: 1 APR 2009
- first submitted November 2008final revision accepted January 2009
- public policy;
- development planning;
- South Africa;
- local government;
- governance theory
This article is concerned with the relationship between generalised and particularistic knowledge in the context of policy-making and policy analysis. It argues that it is problematic to assume that a reform model will generate similar outcomes across a wide variety of contexts. It presents a conceptual framework, including the concepts of transaction domain and domain consensus, that enables context-sensitive analyses. The argument is exemplified by South Africa's introduction in the 1990s of an Integrated Development Planning model, based on British reform experience and various international public-management models. With a case study of such planning in Lukhanji Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, it illustrates how the conceptual framework may be used in policy research and analysis.