Policy imperatives and care
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This chapter forms the introduction to Part 2 of the book and introduces the five chapters in this section. The chapters offer careful and nuanced interpretations of particular policies of care, with a particular focus on exploring these within situated and localised contexts, institutions and operations. These analyses bring into focus the complex, often ambiguous and constrained challenges and demands of care policy and its implementation. As is more than evident in the featured chapters, the ways in which policy is formulated, implemented and rolled out is not entirely a logical, linear and problem-free process. Rather, on the one hand policy might be a useful stimulus, but it operates, on the other hand, within complex systems of power and inequality that also serve to complicate and at times diminish effective care and its implementation. The patterns, textures, shapes and architecture of policy, as authors suggest, influence care arrangements in several ways. An underlying message that informs these chapters is the notion that policies are not entirely objective and neutral processes, but rather that particular values, meanings, power dynamics, political goals and pragmatic realities ultimately creep in.