Bringing Bourdieu’s Theory of Fields to Critical Policy Analysis

Avec la contribution de Jérémie NOLLET

Jérémie Nollet

The ‘grip’ of the journalistic field on national public policy : a sociological explanation of a media-oriented governmental decision
in Bringing Bourdieu’s Theory of Fields to Critical Policy Analysis
Vincent Dubois (ed.)
Edward Elgar Publishing (Advances in Critical Policy Studies series)
January 2024
p. 188-206

Laying down the foundations of a critical sociological approach to the interdisciplinary domain of public policy, this insightful book presents the first systematic reflection on the use of Bourdieu’s theory of social fields to analyse policy processes. Engaging with theoretical dimensions, it provides innovative methodological tools, both quantitative and qualitative in nature. Bringing together an array of eminent contributors and case studies from across the globe, it presents theoretical and methodological insights, as well as empirical information on national cases and policy sectors.

Contributors include : Valentin Behr, Pierre Clément, Joan Cortinas Muñoz, Stephan Davidshofer, Victor Demenge, Vincent Dubois, Caroline Dufour, Didier Georgakakis, Jonas Hagmann, Paul Hathazy, Thomas Hélie, Elisa Klüger, Vincent Lebrou, Thomas Medvetz, Arthur Morenas, Jérémie Nollet, Brian F. O’Neill, Franck Poupeau, Florent Pouponneau, Melaine Robert, Antoine Roger, Lili Soussoko, Amal Tawfik

This volume is a timely and long-expected contribution, spanning over a wide range of countries and policy domains. The book delivers precisely what the title announces : It brings Bourdieu’s powerful theory of fields into a new domain – policy analysis – where it can provide a critical edge that this field of research has been waiting for. The book provides a range of valuable examples of how Bourdieu’s relatively abstract theory of fields may be operationalized and put to work in empirical analyses of new topics. The proof of the value of this theoretical approach lies in the insights the numerous empirical contributions provide into the complex working of the power struggles underlying policy formations. Highly recommended reading !’
– Annick Prieur, Aalborg University, Denmark

‘At last, a book on policy analysis which tackles head on power and its unequal distribution between policymakers. The authors not only use Bourdieu’s concept of the field to unpack power relations in a range of issue areas but also make significant contributions to Bourdieusien sociology and social theory.’
– Andy Smith, University of Bordeaux, France