oa Alternation - The importance of narratives in South African policy work: how to hear the voices in a participatory democracy

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1023-1757



Increasingly, the value of the 'narrative' is being recognized as a legitimate means of both gathering and interpreting information in social science. With its roots in literary theory the narrative is now being used in a variety of ways in the realm of public policy. As policy makers seek to better understand the dynamics of the policy process, policy analysts and researchers are exposing the value of the narrative as an instrumental means of providing coherence and structure to the life cycle of a particular policy issue in order to gain a better understanding of the issue. By way of illustrative example a policy analyst or researcher can attempt to gain increased insight into the Tobacco Products Control Act of 1993 by imposing a beginning, middle and end to the entire 'story' - from when the effects of smoking were first acknowledged globally in the early 1960s to the decisive policy action taken in South Africa - namely the 1993 Tobacco Products Control Act.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error