Social Science and Public Policy

Richard Freeman

Policy as Practice

What is it that policy makers do when they make policy? What kinds of activity does policy making entail? This seminar series hosted by the Universities of Birmingham and Edinburgh, with APSE (the Association for Public Service Excellence), was funded by ESRC.

'Doing Politics'

was given as an inaugural lecture on 4 February 2015...

A New Politics of Knowledge

announced Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy on the LSE's Impact blog...

Knowledge in Policy: embodied, inscribed, enacted

edited with Steve Sturdy, has now been published by Policy Press...

Critical Comparison

'For a (self-)critical comparison', written with Eric Mangez, appeared in Critical Policy Studies in summer 2013...

Representing Practice

is the title of a panel at the conference on Interpretive Policy Analysis in Vienna in July 2013...


How does politics happen? When we do politics, what are we doing? And how do we know what to do?

We commonly distinguish between knowing and doing, between politics and policy and between policy and practice. But politics and policy are themselves practices, and those who do politics and make policy are themselves practitioners. So what do they do, exactly? What do politics and policy making consist of?

These questions are explored in a series of research projects, fellowships and seminar series detailed on these pages, and expressed in the publications listed separately.

They have emerged from earlier research on prevention in health policy, AIDS politics, health sector reform, cross-national learning, mental health policy and the generation and mobilisation of knowledge in policy making.

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Richard Freeman
Academy of Government
School of Social and Political Science
University of Edinburgh
21 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LD

+44 (0)131 650 4680