Deliberative Policy Analysis

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Abstract

Deliberative policy analysis prizes communication of a particular sort amid the disagreement that pervades public policy processes. What role, then, should deliberation play in the policy process? There are several possible answers to this question. These answers include seeing deliberation as:
1. a limited input into analysis of the relative merits of policy options;
2. a means of resolving conflicts across relevant actors and interests;
3. a form of public consultation;
4. a unique source of valuable inputs into policy processes; and
5. a comprehensive aspiration for whole systems of governance.

I will argue that the first four of these alternatives may have their
merits, but also some substantial limitations. These limitations point to the necessity of the fifth alternative, which means that, in the end, deliberative policy analysis has to involve the thorough going analysis, critique and reform of systems of governance. Deliberative inputs into intrinsically non-deliberative processes are of correspondingly limited utility. Before discussing these five possibilities more systematically, I will say a bit about what deliberation involves, and how it is rooted in the broader idea of deliberative democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEvidence-Based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods that Matter
Subtitle of host publicationMethods that Matter
EditorsGerry Stoker, Mark Evans
Place of PublicationBristol, UK
PublisherPolicy Press
Chapter12
Pages229-242
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781447329381
ISBN (Print)9781447329367
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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