The role and contribution of consultants and consultancy in public services has grown rapidly and the power of consultants suggests the emergence of a ‘consultocracy’. We draw on research evidence from the social sciences and critical education policy (CEP) studies to present an examination of the state of the field. We deploy a framework that examines functional, critical and socially critical research and theorising, and we identify the emerging interest in CEP studies. In particular, we identify the potential for consultocracy but acknowledge that there is a need for more detailed research where we argue for more attention to be given to the political sciences in theorising knowledge exchange processes.
- consultant; consultancy; consultocracy; critical education policy studies; networks; state; hierarchy