Skip to main content

Generalised and Particularistic Thinking in Policy Analysis and Practice: The Case of Governance Reform in South Africa

Buy Article:

$51.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


This article is concerned with the relationship between generalised and particularistic knowledge in the context of policy-making and policy analysis. It argues that it is problematic to assume that a reform model will generate similar outcomes across a wide variety of contexts. It presents a conceptual framework, including the concepts of transaction domain and domain consensus, that enables context-sensitive analyses. The argument is exemplified by South Africa's introduction in the 1990s of an Integrated Development Planning model, based on British reform experience and various international public-management models. With a case study of such planning in Lukhanji Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province, it illustrates how the conceptual framework may be used in policy research and analysis.

Keywords: Governance; South Africa; development planning; governance theory; institutions; local government; public policy

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Sociology, Lund University, Paradisgatan 5, Box 114, Lund SE-22100, Sweden ( )., Email:

Publication date: May 1, 2009


Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
ingentaconnect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more