Cultural Political Economy (CPE) is a recent analytical approach that tries to synthesize contributions from the critical political economy and the critical analysis of discourse to the field of policy studies (Jessop, 2004; Sum and Jessop, 2013). It highlights the relevance of the cultural dimension (understood as semiosis or meaning making) in the interpretation and explanation of the complexity of social formations such as policies. It points to the fact that policies always reflect selective interpretations of problems, explanations of their cause, and preferred solutions. Policy makers, and policy actors in general, need to selectively attribute meaning to some aspects of the world rather than others and engage with pre-existing interpretations of the problems and solutions available to them in the decision-making process.
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