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ERIC Number: EJ1076859
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0144-7394
How Can Policy Theory Have an Impact on Policymaking? The Role of Theory-Led Academic-Practitioner Discussions
Cairney, Paul
Teaching Public Administration, v33 n1 p22-39 Mar 2015
Policymakers and academics often hold different assumptions about the policymaking world based on their different experiences. Academics may enjoy enough distance from the policy process to develop a breadth of knowledge and produce generalisable conclusions across governments, while policymakers/practitioners such as civil servants may develop in-depth expertise when developing policy for a number of years. In turn, both may learn from each other about how to understand the policymaking world. Academic-practitioner seminars and short training courses can help further that aim. Yet, there is a major barrier to such conversations: academics and practitioners may have their own language to understand policymaking, and a meaningful conversation may require considerable translation. The article explores this topic in four main ways. First, it considers the extent to which academic-practitioner discussions still use simple concepts, such as the policy cycle, rejected by policy scholars in favour of concepts explaining policymaking complexity. Second, it identifies a series of relatively simple key tenets, from policy theories designed to explain complexity, to explore the extent to which modern theories can provide straightforward insights to policy practitioners. Third, it considers how those insights, based largely on what governments do, can be used to recommend what they should do. Fourth, it considers how to engage directly with policymakers to encourage intelligent and reflexive policymaking.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A