Investigating policy processes: The Governance Analytical Frame-work (GAF)

Hufty, Marc (2011). Investigating policy processes: The Governance Analytical Frame-work (GAF). In: Wiesmann, Urs Martin; Hurni, Hans (eds.) Research for sustainable development 6 (pp. 403-424). Bern, Schweiz: Geographica Bernensia; NCCR North-South

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Societies develop ways of making decisions regarding collective problems, thereby creating norms, rules, and institutions; this is what governance is about. In policy research, governance has become an important focus of attention; but debates show a lack of clarity at the conceptual level and a confusion between the use of the concept for prescriptive and analytical purposes. The present article is based on the hypothesis that using a clarified, non-normative governance perspective in policy research can contribute to an improved understanding of political processes, including formal and unrecognised ones, those embedded in larger and smaller social systems, as well as both vertical and horizontal political arrangements. The paper is the result of a collaborative engagement with the concept of governance within several networks, leading to the development of the Governance Analytical Framework (GAF). The GAF is a practical methodology for investigating governance processes, based on five analytical tools: problems, actors, social norms, processes, and nodal points. Besides describing the conceptual sources and analytical purpose of these five tools, the paper presents examples of how the GAF can be operationalised.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > NCCR North-South Management Centre [discontinued]
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics




Geographica Bernensia; NCCR North-South




Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

18 May 2015 12:13

Last Modified:

03 Jun 2015 16:42

Additional Information:

CDE Publikation




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