Democracy and Expertise: Reorienting Policy Inquiry

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Overview

This book explores the role of policy expertise in a democratic society. From the perspectives of political science and policy theory, the chapters examine the implications of deliberative democratic governance for professional expertise and extends them to specific policy practices. Following the earlier lead of John Dewey, the discussion focuses in particular on the ways professional practices might be reoriented to assist citizens in understanding and discussing the complex policy issues of an advanced technological society. In doing so, it also explores how public deliberation can be improved through more cooperative forms of policy inquiry.

Adopting a deliberative-analytic approach to policy inquiry, grounded in a postempiricist, constructivist understanding of inquiry and knowledge and the participatory practices that support such an approach, the chapters draw on thriving theoretical and practical work dedicated to revitalizing the citizen's role in both civil society and newer practices of democratic governance-in particular deliberative democracy, practical work with deliberative experiments, the theory and practices of democratic governance, and participatory research. Deliberative practices are promoted here as a new component part of policy-related disciplines required for participatory governance. Calling for a specialization of "policy epistemics" to advance such practices, the second half of the book takes up issues related to deliberative empowerment, including the relation of technical and social knowledge, the interpretive dimensions of social meaning and multiple realities, the role of narrative knowledge and storylines, policy inquiry, social learning, tacit knowledge, the design of discursive spaces, and the place of emotional expression in public deliberation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199282838
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 5/15/2009
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Professor Fischer teaches Political Science at Rutgers University and is a member of the University's E. J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. He also teaches environmental policy and policy analysis at the Center for Global Change and Governance at Rutgers and is a senior faculty research fellow in the program in global political economy University of Kassel in Germany.

His research interests center around American politics and public policy (domestic and foreign policy), environmental politics and policy (US and global), policy analysis, public administration and planning, theory, and methods of the social sciences, comparative public policy, science and technology policy, democratic political theory, and the theory of the state.

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Table of Contents

Part I Policy Expertise and Citizen Participation in the Public Realm
1. Between Technical Knowledge and Public Responsibility: Professional Expertise in Critical Perspective
2. Citizen Deliberation and Participatory Governance: Problems of Knowledge and Policy Complexity
3. Citizens and Experts in Deliberative Democracy: From Theory to Experimentation
Part II Situating the Technical in the Social: Implications for Policy Deliberation
4. The Deliberative-Analytic Policy Inquiry: Postempiricist Practice
5. Technical Knowledge in Public Deliberation: Toward a Constructivist Theory of Contributory Expertise
6. Public Policy as Social Construct: Multiple Meanings in Sustainable Development
Part III Policy Epistemics for Deliberative Empowerment: Storylines, Learning, and Passionate Reason
7. Policy Advise as Storyline: Narrative Knowledge and Expert Practices
8. Transformative Learning Through Deliberation: Social Assumptions and the Tacit Dimension
9. Deliberative Empowerment: The Cultural Politics of Discursive Space
10. Passionate Participants: Rethinking Emotion in Public Deliberation
Afterword

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