Stephen Bates, Laura Jenkins and Fran Amery, from the University of Birmingham, use work on in vitro fertilisation to think through depoliticisation. The full article on the subject – (De)politicisation and the Father’s Clause parliamentary debates – along with the rest of the special issue of Policy & Politics on depoliticisation, is available free throughout May.
Depoliticisation, in simple terms, involves disavowing political responsibility, or persuading the public that one is no longer responsible for particular decisions, with the result that deliberation and choice are restricted. Crucially, as the literature has identified, choices are still being made – e.g. politicians may retain mechanisms for indirect control – but they are concealed.
Studies of (de)politicisation often conceptualise it as a function of government and tend to focus on economic and monetary policy (a classic example is the devolution of monetary policy to the Bank…
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