Policy Network Analysis

R. A. W. Rhodes

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199548453
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Policy Network Analysis

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  • Public Policy
  • Comparative Politics



This article discusses policy network analysis, which is the most common species of network analysis in political science. It provides a review of related literature on policy network analysis, and then distinguishes between theoretical, prescriptive, and descriptive accounts. Three descriptive uses of the term ‘networks’ are provided as well. The article also studies the debates and challenges that are found in the literature. It looks at the difficulties of synthesizing the findings from the growing case studies and on the critics of the ‘new governance’. The latter portion of the article is devoted to a discussion of the problems in managing the institutional void.

Keywords: policy network analysis; network analysis; debates and challenges; findings from case studies; new governance

Article.  10520 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Public Policy ; Comparative Politics

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