3:2: Analysing the narratives in policy documents

Multiple policy narratives can be found in any field. In this activity, participants are invited to analyse example policy documents that cut across the domains of food and agriculture, water resources, health epidemics and energy and climate change policy – all themes explored by STEPS Centre research.

Below is a list of some policy reports and documentation for you to analyse, as follows:

  1. Select one of these that interests you.
  2. After reading the document, try to identify the policy narratives underlying it, the actors and associated networks involved in creating these policy narratives, and the politics involved.
  3. Ask yourself, in turn, what and who has been excluded from these framings, and the implications this has for these particular policy processes.

Building on your analysis and what you have learned on this module, ask yourself the following, related questions:

  • What expertise is being deployed to justify each narrative?
  • What exclusions are resulting?
  • What pathways are being proposed (and ignored) as a result?
  • How far is it possible to establish how these narratives have been constructed, and which interest groups predominate?

Having completed this analysis, ask yourself the following overarching question and consider the implications of your answer, reflecting on your broader learning on this course:

  • How far can such analyses influence our appraisals of those narratives and pathways?

Try applying a similar analytic approach to some of the other policy documents here, or to other policy documents you find on the internet or encounter in your own research, policy and practice.


Read the documents

Food and agriculture policy documents
Water policy documents
Health and disease policy document
Climate and energy policy document

Last modified: Thursday, 2 February 2017, 2:42 PM