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Geographical knowledge and policy: the positive contribution of discourse studies

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The ‘discursive turn’ has been blamed for a lack of engagement between geographers and policymakers. This paper argues that such a view is fundamentally flawed. It ignores the positive contribution that discourse analysis has made to policy studies and the particular role that geographers have played in developing such analyses. It is based on a misconceived view of the policy process and how knowledge can contribute to policy outcomes. A closer attention to policy discourses reveals exactly how knowledge is constructed within the policy process and can help identify how policy may be improved through discursive means.

Keywords: discursive turn; geographical knowledge; knowledge; policy discourses; policy process

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography and Environment, LSE, London WC2A 2AE, Email:

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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