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Howlett, Michael and Goetz, Klaus H. (2014): Introduction: time, temporality and timescapes in administration and policy. In: International Review of Administrative Sciences, Vol. 80, No. 3: pp. 477-492 [PDF, 150kB]


This article surveys time, temporality and timescapes in the study of public administration and public policy. While references to temporal categories, such as timing, sequence, speed, duration, time budgets, time limits or time horizons, are ubiquitous in political science, there are few systematic treatments of time in administration and policy-making. The special issue which this article introduces focuses on analyses that seek to explain policy development over time; the link between time and power; and the role that visualisation may play in helping to understand change over time. Taken together, the papers seek to advance the debate by 1. exploring different facets of time and how they affect government and public policy; 2. paying attention to time as an institution and a resource; 3. discussing the temporal features of politics and administration, such as, e.g., term limits, and of public policy-making, such as policy cycles or policy horizons; 4. exploring time from both diachronic-historical and synchronic perspectives; 5. debating the status of time in different theoretical traditions in political and policy analysis; and 6. examining time from a methodological standpoint.

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