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Policy as Practice: Making Sense of Governing (2023)

(Publisher : Routledge)

Author(s) : H. K. Colebatch & Calista Castles

H.K. Colebatch has taught and researched in the field of public policy and administration in Australia, Papua New Guinea, East Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe for over four decades.

Calista Castles is an Adjunct Fellow and a social researcher in mental health theory and practice at Griffith University. She has worked in government and non-government organisations as a consultant.


Colebatch, Castles and a collection of policy practitioners and scholars investigate the process of policy making through a range of current policy issues in Australia.

With case studies including childcare, educational policies, mental health, and environmental policies, the expertise and experience of policy practitioners and academic observers offer an empirical understanding of what makes for policy work in practice. From problematising to participating, structuring to judging, the authors reflect on the significance of the practices of governing in relation to current policy issues in Australia. They also present a robust conceptual framework for making sense of how we are governed to draw meaningful inferences about policy as a practice.

A practical guide for students and practitioners of policymaking, which goes beyond the policy cycle model to look at how real policies are really made and how they really work.

Table of contents

1. Introduction

H.K. Colebatch and Calista Castles


2. Policy as a Process

H.K. Colebatch


3. Problematization in school education policy: underperformance and parent hyperactivity

Sarah Warner


4. Local Governments as Policy Shapers

Sarah de Vries


5. It’s just the way we do things around here – how policy worlds influence the implementation of policies

Prudence R Brown


6. The evidence-base of policy: changes in the use of data, information, and knowledge within government

Fiona McKenzie


7. When government is not the only option for setting public performance standards and ensuring compliance

Richard Curtain


8. Evaluation as a governing practice: Judging the outcomes of policy and practice

Calista Castles


9. Contested viewpoints on the management of social problems: The case the Australian Child Support Scheme

Kay Cook


10. Performing the Policy Cycle

Cosmo Howard


11. Public value and complex problems in pluralistic settings and the Meriba Omasker Kaziw Kazipa (For our Children’s Children) Act 2020

Prudence R Brown and Sarah Warner


12. Stocktake and future agenda


H.K. Colebatch and Calista Castles

Bibliographic Information

SBN 9781032437170
136 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
Published October 30, 2023 by Routledge

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