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Narrative Analysis for the Policy Analyst: A Case Study of the 1980-1982 Medfly Controversy in California

Emery M. Roe
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management
Vol. 8, No. 2 (Spring, 1989), pp. 251-273
DOI: 10.2307/3323382
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3323382
Page Count: 23
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Narrative Analysis for the Policy Analyst: A Case Study of the 1980-1982 Medfly Controversy in California
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Abstract

Narrative policy analysis provides a way of analyzing those highly uncertain and complex policy issues whose truth-value cannot be ascertained and about which the only thing practicing policy analysts know are the stories policy-makers use in articulating these issues. One extremely well-documented controversy, the 1980-82 California Medfly Crisis, illustrates how a comparison and analysis of the structure of the dominant stories in that controversy reduces some of its underlying uncertainty. By focusing on the differential risk perceptions reflected in the stories, narrative policy analysis identifies an important area in which conventional policy analysis could have contributed to the controversy's resolution.

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