McKenzie, M. (2017). Affect theory and policy mobility: Challenges and possibilities for critical policy research. Critical Studies in Education, special issue on mobility (invited paper), 58(2), 187-204.
This article contributes to a growing literature on policy mobilities by proposing that affect be considered in analyses of the movements and transformations of policy over time and space. In particular, collective affective conditions, the role of affect in terms of infrastructures and actors of policy apparatuses and the mediating influences of affective bodily encounters are discussed in relation to why and how policies move. The article suggests that policy mobilities research could be strengthened by further examining how affect is inherent in familiar considerations of policy actors and networks, and tools and infrastructures such as policy documents, meetings, and data, and their contributions to policy flows. In addition, encompassing affective atmospheres and structures of feeling, as well as affect in the specific relationships between people and with place, are indicated as important for the study of policy mobility and immobility, including in shaping policy uptake and resistance. Examples from educational research are used to elaborate these considerations of affect for policy mobilities and to suggest possible topical and methodological implications for critical policy research.