Epistemological orientations and analytical framework

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter or section


This chapter proposes a set of orientations and an analytical framework for the empirical investigation, explanation and evaluation of regimes of governing practices, and their socio-political ordering effects. I set out two key orientations for our approach to governance analysis. These are, first, that governance analysis entails a position of critique (that can be more less strongly or explicitly expressed). This position of critique treats all research on governance as a political. Governance analysis is itself a form of political practice. Our second orientation is the inductive or abductive methodological approach to conceptualisation, theorisation, research design and analysis, stemming from interpretivist or critical realist epistemologies. The chapter goes on to outline our analytical framework. This is concerned with the dynamic, mobile and recursive relationships between structural conditions; actors engaged in meaning-making and political action; and institutional processes in governance. Having examined the importance of relationality in this framework, the chapter identifies three dimensions of contextualisation that iteratively contribute to the empirical investigation and theorisation of governance in particular cases. These are: socio-spatial, socio-economic and temporal contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGovernance Analysis: critical enquiry at the intersection of politics, policy and society
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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