My post on academic navel-gazing was *ahem*, less popular.
But that post was cathartic for me and it got me thinking about a possible last paper from my doctoral research. So, people, would you be interested in this?:
The governance and governmentality of strategic partnership working: interpreting local knowledge of modern local government
It is widely acknowledged that we have now moved to a networked polity where governance networks are required for all levels of government to achieve their aims. One of the key aims of governments now is to develop strategic partnerships solve wicked issues. This paper presents an interpretive policy analysis of strategic partnership working in Scotland – Community Planning Partnerships – to address three issues. Firstly, to demonstrate the historical contingency of “joined-up government”; secondly to explore the practices and meanings used by policy actors to understand strategic and partnerships. Finally the article problematises this culture, suggesting the presumption that joined-up working is part of what we do is actually a barrier to effective partnership working.
The paper would fit into the work on the interpretive stance in political science and policy analysis of Dvora Yanow and (my new favourites) Bevir and Rhodes.
Taking a historical stance would involve me highlighting the continuity and changes between the "corporate approach" of the 1970s, the "strategic approach" of the 1980s and "strategic partnership working" in the 2000s.
The policy actors bit is my empirical stuff about how policy-makers conceive of "partnership" and "strategic" through meanings and some very bizarre practices at meetings. And this would segue onto a critique, drawing in my other two articles in press, as to how this disengages local communities and actually papers over the cracks in the logic of partnership working.
Or has the stable-door been well and truly bolted in these days of austerity, community budgeting, single outcome agreements and outcome budgeting?