More Than Just an Academic Exercise

Conjoining Critical Policy Analysis and Community-Engaged Research as Embodiment of Political Action


  • Anajale Welton IUPUI
  • Katherine Cumings Mansfield



Critical policy analysis (CPA) is a means by which to critique policy and promote agency, equity, and justice. However, most CPA scholars examine political discourse from a distance rather than actively participate in political processes. Meanwhile, there's a growing interest in community-engaged research whereby academics partner with community members in their research endeavors. In this article, we consider the value of conjoining the philosophies and processes behind both CPA and community-engaged research to create more powerful and meaningful research endeavors that potentially can lead to political action and policy change. For this article, we present a subset of data from a larger study that asked education policy scholars how critical policy analysis informs their work and what they consider to be key objectives of this approach. We focus on a subsection of participants who demonstrated how and what ways they consider community-engaged scholarship to be an essential component of CPA.