A Policy Travelogue
Tracing Welfare Reform in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada
Berghahn Books 2016
An ethnography of the development and travel of the New Zealand model of neoliberal welfare reform, this study explores the social life of policy, which is one of process, motion, and change. Different actors, including not only policy lites but also providers and recipients, engage with it in light of their own resources and knowledge. Drawing on two analytic frameworks of the contemporary anthropology of policy-translation and assemblage-Kingfisher situates policy as an artifact and architect of cultural meaning, as well as a site of power struggles. All points of engagement with policy are approached as sites of policy production that serve to transform it as well as reproduce it. As such, A Policy Travelogue provides an antidote to theorizations of policy as a-cultural, rational, and straightforwardly technical.