Author: P. Zittoun, B. Demongeot Genre:

B. Demongeot, P. Zittoun (2010), »French policy studies : from cognitive to discursive approaches », Critical Policy Studies, n°4, pp.391-406

Revisiting the emergence and structuring of a scientific discipline is undoubtedly a challenge, even if that discipline has been relatively recently established, as is the case with public policy analysis in France. A much more complete contribution on this area has been published recently by Leca and Muller (2008), but the purpose of our endeavor in these pages is different. We aim to highlight the main trends in public policy analysis in order to explain how, amongst these trends, some have lead to the current debate in which there are opposed two approaches that can be denoted ‘cognitive’ and ‘discursive’. Such a debate is potentially very enriching, but its grounds need to be clarified.