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Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research

Journal Article


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Abstract


  • Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research. Territory, Politics, Governance. The concept of assemblage has captured the attention of critical social scientists, including those interested in the study of policy. Despite ongoing debate around the implications of assemblage thinking for questions of structure, agency, and contingency, there is widespread agreement around its value as a methodological framework. There are now many accounts using assemblage-inflected methodologies of various sorts as analytical tools for revealing, interpreting, and representing the worlds of policy-making, though few are explicit about their methodological practice. In this paper, we identify a suite of epistemological commitments associated with assemblage thinking, including an emphasis on multiplicity, processuality, labour, and uncertainty, and then consider explicitly how such commitments might be translated into methodological practices in policy research. Drawing on a research project on the development and enactment of homelessness policy in Australia, we explore how three methodological practices ¿ adopting an ethnographic sensibility, tracing sites and situations, and revealing labours of assembling ¿ can be used to operationalize assemblage thinking in light of the challenges of conducting critical policy research.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Baker, T. & McGuirk, P. (2017). Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research. Territory, Politics, Governance, 5 (4), 425-442.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84991282428

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/context/sspapers/article/4183/type/native/viewcontent

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3177

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 17

Start Page


  • 425

End Page


  • 442

Volume


  • 5

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom

Abstract


  • Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research. Territory, Politics, Governance. The concept of assemblage has captured the attention of critical social scientists, including those interested in the study of policy. Despite ongoing debate around the implications of assemblage thinking for questions of structure, agency, and contingency, there is widespread agreement around its value as a methodological framework. There are now many accounts using assemblage-inflected methodologies of various sorts as analytical tools for revealing, interpreting, and representing the worlds of policy-making, though few are explicit about their methodological practice. In this paper, we identify a suite of epistemological commitments associated with assemblage thinking, including an emphasis on multiplicity, processuality, labour, and uncertainty, and then consider explicitly how such commitments might be translated into methodological practices in policy research. Drawing on a research project on the development and enactment of homelessness policy in Australia, we explore how three methodological practices ¿ adopting an ethnographic sensibility, tracing sites and situations, and revealing labours of assembling ¿ can be used to operationalize assemblage thinking in light of the challenges of conducting critical policy research.

Publication Date


  • 2017

Citation


  • Baker, T. & McGuirk, P. (2017). Assemblage thinking as methodology: commitments and practices for critical policy research. Territory, Politics, Governance, 5 (4), 425-442.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-84991282428

Ro Full-text Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/context/sspapers/article/4183/type/native/viewcontent

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/sspapers/3177

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 17

Start Page


  • 425

End Page


  • 442

Volume


  • 5

Issue


  • 4

Place Of Publication


  • United Kingdom