Narrative Policy Analysis presents a powerful and original application of contemporary literary theory and policy analysis to many of today’s most urgent public policy issues. Emery Roe demonstrates across a wide array of case studies that structuralist and poststructuralist theories of narrative are exceptionally useful in evaluating difficult policy problems, understanding their implications, and in making effective policy recommendations.
Assuming no prior knowledge of literary theory, Roe introduces the theoretical concepts and terminology from literary analysis through an examination of the budget crises of national governments. With a focus on several particularly intractable issues in the areas of the environment, science, and technology, he then develops the methodology of narrative policy analysis by showing how conflicting policy "stories" often tell a more policy-relevant meta-narrative. He shows the advantage of this approach to reading and analyzing stories by examining the ways in which the views of participants unfold and are told in representative case studies involving the California Medfly crisis, toxic irrigation in the San Joaquin Valley, global warming, animal rights, the controversy over the burial remains of Native Americans, and Third World development strategies.
Presenting a bold innovation in the interdisciplinary methodology of the policy sciences, Narrative Policy Analysis brings the social sciences and humanities together to better address real-world problems of public policy—particularly those issues characterized by extreme uncertainty, complexity, and polarization—which, if not more effectively managed now, will plague us well into the next century.