Resolving Messy Policy Problems: Handling Conflict in by Steven Ney

By Steven Ney

Our lives more and more ensue in ever extra advanced and interconnected networks that blur the limits we now have regularly used to outline our social and political areas. as a result, the coverage difficulties that governments are known as upon to accommodate became much less straight forward and much messier. this can be fairly the case with weather switch, environmental coverage, delivery, well-being and growing old - all parts during which the tried-and-tested linear coverage strategies are more and more insufficient or failing. What makes messy coverage difficulties fairly uncomfortable for coverage makers is that technology and clinical wisdom have themselves turn into assets of uncertainty and ambiguity. certainly what's to count number as a 'rational answer' is itself now the topic of substantial debate and controversy. This booklet makes a speciality of the intractable clash that characterises coverage debate approximately messy matters. the writer first develops a framework for analysing those conflicts after which applies the conceptual framework to 4 very various coverage concerns: the surroundings - focussing on weather switch - in addition to shipping, growing older and well-being. utilizing proof from Europe, North the USA and the Asia-Pacific, the ebook compares how coverage actors build contending narratives so one can make feel of, and care for, messy demanding situations. within the ultimate part the writer discusses the consequences of the research for collective studying and edition strategies. the purpose is to give a contribution to a extra subtle knowing of policy-making within the face of uncertainty and, most significantly, to supply sensible equipment for serious mirrored image on coverage and to indicate to sustainable model pathways and studying mechanisms for coverage formula.

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Extra info for Resolving Messy Policy Problems: Handling Conflict in Environmental, Transport, Health and Ageing Policy

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Dryzek, 1993, p223) This, then, is what causes conflict about messy policy problems to be intractable. Contending frames generate incompatible arguments about ‘what we should do next’. Any particular framing of a messy policy issue is likely to be contested by people who use another frame. Thus, debate about messy issues is likely to develop into a controversy played out in terms of these policy arguments. In such an argumentative policy process, controversies … … cannot be understood in terms of the familiar separation of questions of value from questions of fact, for the participants construct the 32 Resolving Messy Policy Problems problems of their problematic policy situations through frames in which facts, values, theories and interests are integrated.

Most importantly, these three policy discourses are not reducible to one another. No one of the policy arguments is a close substitute for either of the others, nor are the stories’ proponents likely to agree on the fundamental causes and solutions of global climate change. These policy stories simply cannot be collapsed into one another; rather, thanks to their mutual incompatibility, they frame and define the global climate change issue. Since they implicitly transport a normative argument, namely that of the good life (either in markets, in egalitarian bound-groups, or in hierarchies), they are curiously immune to ‘enlightenment’ by ‘scientific’ facts – we 20 Resolving Messy Policy Problems cannot, in any scientific sense, ‘prove’ or ‘falsify’ policy stories.

In an attempt to strengthen the legitimacy of their policy position, parties to a controversy will pit these policy arguments against one another in the policy subsystem. This, leads to a renewed round of controversy. So, paradoxically, far from resolving policy conflict, objective evidence actually fans the flame of policy contention. Who takes part in conflict about messy issues? Policy actors, coalitions and their stories Of course, arguments and accounts of social reality, no matter how conflicting they may be, do not really vie for legitimacy in the partial public sphere of policy subsystems.

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