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Unformatted text preview: 1 Policy Imagination
the art of developing and implementing inclusive public policies.
A syllabus Revised provisional edition
By Brede Kristensen
Curaçao 2015 Table of Contents:
Part, Questions and issues page Part I Basics: policies and governance 8 A General Introduction 8 Syllabus in a nutshell 11 A1 Structure of the syllabus and how to read and use this syllabus 14 Q.A.1.1 Issues addressed in syllabus 14 chapter,paragraph Structure of course
Q.A.1.2 Objectives of course (general) 19 Q.A.1.3 How to read the syllabus: 2 perspectives 20 Q.A.1.4 Main objective: the idea of a policy and the practice of policy 21 craftsmanship A2 On to some basics: patterns and policy imagination 25 Q. A.2.1 How to understand society, how to know? 26 Q. A.2.2 Why policy imagination is the essence of policy development 29 Q. A.2.3 Is policy development a technique or an art? 31 Q. A.2.4 Why good policies need to be inclusive policies 31 Q. A.2.5 In which ways can policies be approached? And what does the 32 2
pattern approach mean?
Q. A.2.6 What do we mean by patterns? And why are they so important 34 for policies?
Q. A.2.7 Can patterns be changed? 41 Q. A.2.8 Why do patterns resist change and how can policies break 48 through resistance?
Q. A.2.9 Differences and similarities with Talcott Parsons‟approach. 54 Q. A.2.10 Difference with the idea of memes 56 Q. A.2.11 May different patterns manifest themselves simultaneously? 58 Intermezzo Reflection and time 59 Q. A.2.12 Do patterns create a moral order? Or does a moral order set 60 limits on patterns?
Q.A.2.13 Policy and patterns again 63 Q.A.2.14 Does behavioral change as aimed by policies need pattern 68 change?
Q.A.2.15 What do we mean by policy discourse? 69 Q.A.2.16 Why and how should the policy discourse be taken into account 71 by policy experts?
Q.A.2.17 Why s theoretical knowledge of the policy development process 72 useful? B What is a policy? 74 B.1 The term policy 74 Q. B.1.1 Meaning of the word „policy‟ again 75 Q. B.1.2 What does „logic of finality‟ mean? 76 Q. B.1.3 What are the implications of logic of finality for policies and 78 what is „objective directed diagnosis‟?
Q. B.1.4 What do we mean by the principle of indeterminacy of human 82 behavior?
Q. B.1.5 Importance of evidence and novelty for policies 85 Q. B.1.6 Policy discourse and public morality 87 Q. B.1.7 Link between indeterminacy of behavior, objective directed 88 diagnosis and public morality B2 Types of understanding policies 90 Q. B.2.1 What do we mean by policy approaches? 90 Intermezzo Against interpretation and against consistency 95 Q. B.2.2 Interpretive method of policy analysis. 99 Q. B.2.3 Making it more concrete 101 Q. B.2.4 Usefulness of other methods of analysis 103 Q. B.2.5 Interpretation and facilitation 105 B3 Basic policy models 108 3
Q. B.3.1 Different types of policies 108 Q. B.3.2 About the nature of policy instruments as facilitating 113 instruments. The need for catalysts
Q. B.3.3 Types of instrumentation or facilitation 115 Q. B.3.4 How do policies and laws relate? 117 Q. B.3.5 Phases in policy development 128 Q. B.3.6 Again the importance of response patterns and the need for 130 policy imagination B4 Different spheres, different policies 135 Q. B.4.1 Four main spheres in society 135 Q. B.4.2 About spheres and framework patterns 138 Q. B.4.3 Patterns and sphere characteristics 141 Q. B.4.4 How to take sphere boundaries into account? 144 Q. B.4.5 What do we mean by roomification? 147 C Policies and Governance 151 C1 Public policy and good governance 151 Q. C.1.1 Is there any agreement on basic elements of good governance? 152 Q. C.1.2 Good governance and policy development capacity 154 Q. C.1.3 Why do we use the term governance? 155 Q. C.1.4 Why is governance linked with stakeholder involvement? 156 Q. C.1.5 Why do stakeholder involvement and democracy need each 157 other?
Q. C.1.6 Why does good governance need strong institutions? What is a 158 strong institution?
Q. C.1.7 What is a strong policy? 160 Q. C.1.8 Policies and the limitation of freedom 161 Q. C.1.9 Centralized states and representative democracy 163 Q. C.1.10 The need for policy support institutions 167 Q. C.1.11 The risk of focusing on the present 168 Q. C.1.12 The problem of maximization of policies. 169 Q. C.1.13 Policy mediation 170 Q. C.1.14 The practice of policy mediation 172 Q. C.1.15 Policy mediation by means of negotiation and of dialogue 176 C2 Policies in societies in transition: the need for public policy 178 partnerships
Q. C.2.1 Transition and the need for good practice of policy 179 development
Q. C.2.2 Do static societies exist? 180 Q. C.2.3 Liquid modernity, transition and pattern theory 183 Q. C.2.4 Public policy partnerships and the institutionalization of 184 4
practice of policy development
Q. C.2.5 Role of business world and link with corporate social 187 responsibility C3 Note on deliberation process and 5 types of rationality 190 Q. C.3.1 Policy deliberation with partners adhering to different types if 190 rationality
Q. C.3.2 Practice of rationality of inclusiveness 193 Q. C.3.3 Policy deliberation and the quest for justice 197 C4 Practice of governance by policy implementation 199 Q. C.4.1 Link between good governance and proper policy development 199 Q. C.4.2 How did other and ancient civilizations consider this link? 202 Q. C.4.3 What is political responsibility? and responsible policies? 206 Q. C.4.4 Why are good policies in need people with an open mind, 208 willing to reflect, learn and evaluate? C5 The need for Policy coordination 212 Q. C.5.1 Why is policy coordination important and who should 213 coordinate?
Q. C.5.2 Why are complementary policies often essential for good policy 214 practice?
Q. C.5.3 Policy coordination and the need to make crucial choices 218 C6 Working with scenario‟s and pattern analysis 222 Q. C.6.1 Why policies are about breaking through barriers of resistance. 222 Q. C.6.2 Why scenario‟s are useful to imagine a process of change 225 Q. C.6.3 Characteristics of complexity levels of scenario‟s 226 C7 The idea of ordered reality, pattern analysis and social science 232 methodology
Q. C.7.1 Atomistic or holistic order 232 Q. C.7.2 How do we know we can or cannot develop any functional 236 knowledge of human behavior?
General conclusion Part I 241 Support Methods 243 General summary Part II 243 A Policy Design Analysis 244 A1 A useful figure and a useful matrix 245 Q. A.1.1. Tree of objectives 245 Q. A.12 Logical framework 247 A2 Dimensions of policy analysis 248 Q. A.2.1. What is the purpose of policy analysis? 248 Q. A.2.2 Which are the different approaches to policy analysis? 249 Part II 5
Q. A.2.3 How does professional policy design look like? 250 Q. A.2.4 Policy environment and stakeholder analysis 252 Q. A.2.5 Analysis of existing public policies 256 Q. A.2.6 Analysis of public policy design 260 Q. A.2.7 Importance of assumptions 263 Q. A.2.8 Assumptions, risks and success factors 264 Q. A.2.9 Types of assumptions 265 Q. A.2.10 Usefulness of comparative policy analysis 267 Q. A.2.11 How to predict response patterns? 267 A3 How to assess the workability or feasibility of policies? 272 Q. A.3.1. Why so many public policies fail 272 Q. A.3.2 What does it mean that a policy is effective? 273 Q. A.3.3 How to be sure a policy works? 274 Q. A.3.4 Quality criteria for public policies 275 B Policy deliberation 279 B1 Two faces of Democracy 279 Q. B.1.1. Origins of democracy 279 Q. B.1.2 2 faces of democracy or dual democracy 282 Q. B.1.3 Assumptions of deliberative democracy 286 B2 Deliberation and Communication: neurotransmitters of society 290 Q. B.2.1. The need of 2-way communication 290 Q. B.2.2 Methods: agogical, maieutical and elenctic 291 Q. B.2.3 Conditions for open communication 292 Q. B.2.4 Main characteristics of an effective facilitator 293 B3 Means of Consultation 296 Q. B.3.1. Tools to organize the deliberation process 296 Q. B.3.2 Negotiation and the transition to dialogue 305 Q. B.3.3 How to take patterns en frames into account during 306 deliberation process
Q. B.3.4 How to facilitate dialogue 307 Q.B.3.5. Methodological comments on deliberation 316 B4 Advocacy, lobbying, protesting and policy development 320 Q. B.4. What is the difference between advocacy, lobbying, protesting 320 and how do they relate to the practice of policy development? B5 The Policy House: the institutionalization of policy deliberation 323 Q. B.5.1. Why a policy house is useful for deliberation process 323 Q. B.5.2 Policy house as the political agora 328 Q. B.5.3 Policy house and federalism 331 Q. B.5.4 Policy house and centralized democracy 331 Q. B.5.5 Organizational set-up of policy house 333 6
B6 Symbiotic model of governance 338 Q. B.6 Symbiosis as a model for public governance 338 C Roles of Policy Experts 343 C1 Professional roles of policy experts 343 Q. C.1.1. How policy makers view their role 343 Q. C.1.2 Types of policy papers 346 C2 Working in a policy department 348 Q. C.2.1. Which are the 7 functions of a policy department? 348 Q. C.2.1. Practical implications 350 Q. C.2.1. How should an assignment look like? 352 D Organising and Managing Public Administration 355 with policies in view
D Separation of policy development and implementation 355 Q. D.1. Why a separation between policy development and 355 implementation?
Q. D.2 How should the organization of separation look like? 357 Q. D.3 HR-requirements and the policy expert as an architect 359 Q. D.4 A good policy development team 360 Q. D.5 A good policy implementation team 361 Q. D.6 Conditions for hiring an external partner 363 General conclusion Part I 366 Part III: Policy cycle: 9 critical phases 367 A. Agenda setting 370 Q.A.1 what is at stake? 372 Q. A.2 how to deal with different world views and situation definitions 375 Q. A.3 Actuality and agenda 377 The assignment 378 B Problem definition 382 Q.B.1 Defining a problem 383 Q.B.2 Power to define 391 Q.B.3 Typology of problems 393 Q.B.4 How to identify, interpret and formulate problems 394 Q.B.5 About the causes of a problem 396 C. Finding main policy goals, or strategy 402 Q.C.1 Policy approaches 404 Q.C.2 How to arrange policy goals? 411 Q.C.3 Use of scenario‟s 411 D. Facilitation 417 7
Q.D.1 The choice of instruments 420 Q.D.2 Methodology, argumentation and policy dialogue 425 Q.D.3 Alternatives 427 Q.D.4 Thinking to and fro 428 E. Implementation plan 430 Q.E.1 Operational policies and operational styles 433 Q.E.2 A concrete example 435 Q.E.3. Drawing an implementation plan 437 Q.E.4. Internal or external partners 438 Q.E.5. Calculating costs and benefits: drawing a budget 440 Q.E.6. Calculating miscellaneous costs, benefits and musts 442 Q.E.7 Final bits and pieces 444 F. Critical Review 447 Q.F.1 What is a critical review? 448 Q.F.2 Suitable review questions 448 G. Decision making 452 Q.G.1 Rational procedure 454 Q.G.2 Styles of decision making 455 Q.G.3 Political acceptability 458 Q.G.4 Presentation and writing format 460 H. Implementation and monitoring 462 Q. H.1. An advice 465 Q.H.2 Is the actor capable of implementation? 468 Q.H.3. Monitoring 468 I. Evaluation, appreciation, adaptation 472 Q.I.1 Five remarks at the start 473 Q.I.2 Five methods of evaluation 476 Q.I.3 Appropriateness of method 480 Q.I.4 Indicators of sustainability 482 Q.I.5 Termination of policies 488 Q.I.6 Concluding remarks 490 By way of conclusion: the policy architect 492 Addenda
Scheme: policy development process 494 Personal questionnaire 497 Glossary 499 Literature 511 8 Part I: Basics: policies and governance A. General Introduction
Spring 2000. With the young director of the Pro Democratia movement in Romania, Florin Lupu, I
discuss which type of projects are most urgently needed to improve the functioning of democracy in
the „new Eastern Europe‟. The art of policy development is on the list. When we come to this issue he
quickly concludes that public policy development in connection with participatory democracy is the
crucial issue. „No shadow of doubt!‟ he says. Why? To develop a country you need effective public
policies. To develop good policies you need to consult with the people who are supposed to be the
beneficiaries. To have the right to vote for Members of Parliament is one thing, to have a say in policies
that will affect your life is another thing. Isn‟t that what democracy, policy development and good
governance is all about? We agree and we go ahead. To have a say in policy development is a more
concrete democracy experience, than casting a vote during the Election Day. Democratic rights are not
sufficient. Without concrete democracy-experiences democracy will not work, so Florin put forward.
Sadly Florin Lupu is killed in a car accident a couple of years later. But with other people the DutchRomanian foundation transFORMA works closely together to introduce new ways of policy
development in Romania and other Eastern European countries as well as the Caribbean. Henk van de
Graaf, from the University of Amsterdam, delivers lots of courses to civil servants and CSO‟s. I focus on
seminars for university students and I also work in the Caribbean. This year I decided to put the handouts and syllabi regarding policy development that I wrote over a very long period of time, starting 35
years ago in the Netherlands, together into one big syllabus.
The syllabus offered here is a course, not an academic study, nor a research report. However, the
course material is based on a variety of academic studies and 35 years of personal experience with
courses on policy development to students, civil servants and CSO‟s, as well on policy development
projects and evaluation research in both the European and Caribbean region. This means that
feedback, given by many hundreds if not thousands of participants over the years, has contributed to
the text of the course. Most of the examples of case studies (put in boxes which are inserted in the text)
are based on real and personal experience. Naturally not all aspects of the policy process are covered
by the course. Many are. I felt that it might be useful and interesting for the reader or user of the
syllabus to reflect on the experience that I personally developed over the years regarding these aspects.
The idea of this course originates from 4 main sources:
1. Peter Berger‟s and Thomas Luckmann‟s theory of (social) reality construction and
credibility of ideas and common sense has been very important to me. Its
philosophical background, as provided by Alfred Schutz, has to be taken into account 9
as well. In combination with Roland Barthes‟ reflections on myth and language, which
Berger‟s theory appears convincing to me. My own orientation in sociology is based on
2. David Bohm‟s pattern theory for quantum mechanics, with enfolding and unfolding
movements, worked as an eye opener to me and helped me to formulate pattern
dynamics. Especially his cooperation with David Peat produced a model for creative
action, which in my eyes seem to be of the utmost importance to for sociology. Rupert
Sheldrake applied these ideas in biology and developed an interesting pattern theory
in which habit formation and creative change interplay. Combined with Talcott
Parsons‟ pattern theory, it provides useful insight in the dynamics of change and
resistence to change.
3. The policy analysis method, based on the logic of finality, as developed by Gijs
Kuypers from the Free University of Amsterdam in the late 60‟ies. As a young student
I studied political science with him and was impressed by the logic of his classical
approach. Many models and methods of policy development spring from it or seem
closely akin. But it is a one-sided almost technological approach to policies as
instruments. How would reality respond to instrumental activity? Shouldn‟t we take
responses into account? That is where Robert Pirsig comes in with his thorough
analysis of „quality‟ in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
4. The theory and method of societal and political mobilization as developed by Amitai
Etzioni. His „Active Society‟ (1968) is a basic text for „participatory democracy‟ and
democratic society development. The text still seems very convincing to me. And, at
least as important, the long letter written to the people of the Netherlands by Joan van
der Capellen tot den Pol, who in 1781 had the guts and wisdom to advocate real
democracy and active citizenship in a period that few people understood that concept.
Reading the text long ago opened my eyes for basic principles of democracy and
participation on policy development. The letter was distributed widely, causing
uproar, nationwide discussions and a beginning of democratic awareness in The
These 4 sources lead to a number of statements regarding ways people respond to public policies and
decide to cooperate, negate or obstruct, fair and effective ways of policy development, governance by
means of policy development, getting citizens involved in policy development and analyzing policies
and policy design. There are surely more sources of inspiration, some of which I am aware of (like
Rosenstock‟s language theory) and others I might not be sufficiently aware of. But as far as I can judge
myself, the mentioned 4 sources were crucial for my viewpoints regarding policy development.
I have made ample use of literature, recent, less recent and old, to develop my viewpoint. I have done
so deliberately, in order to show that a large number of ideas on policy development were already
suggested before in a somewhat similar way, or were, so to speak, „hanging in the air‟. The art of policy
development is in the process of being slowly developed. In fact like a slowly unfolding pattern. I 10
believe it is useful to make excursions to other, related disciplines as well as the arts. Without
interplay each discipline gets caught in its own „bounded rationality‟, developing professional
blindness. We need to open the windows, get fresh air and start rethinking.
I hope this syllabus may contribute to a better understanding of the policy process as part of societal
It is a syllabus, an outline of some chapters on public policy development. So this is not a textbook.
This means you will find many statements, „notes‟ and „points of attention‟ without adequate
explanation or argumentation. Apart from a few exceptions, there is little discussion with authors who
hold different points of view. That would add too many pages to the many pages and paragraphs that I
already had in mind. For this syllabus I have decided to use a theoretical foundation (the four sources
just mentioned), which I consider myself to be firm, and have used my own experience as well as
ample literature that fits, to build on that foundation. This foundation is somewhat elaborated in
several paragraphs, notably the one on sociological theory, on pattern theory and on how to develop
„true‟ knowledge of society. (Which by the way is bound to be awkwardly inconsistent and incomplete)
Often I will repeat myself. But repetitions are not necessarily bad. A different context may throw a
different light on the same issue and contribute to clarification. You may compare it to a fugue in
music, which uses counterpoint as a way of melodic interaction as a subtle way to ask attention for
different dimensions of music as a way of expressing the human mind. Some themes turn up several
times in interaction with other themes in such a way that a new dimension of meaning appears.
A more serious deficiency of this syllabus is that it summarizes viewpoints more than it elaborates. I
hope the reader will not just take for granted what I am suggesting, but much rather respond critically
and creatively, using my statements as a little fuel for the mind. Indeed, some themes deserve more
attention and elaboration and of course more discussion. To put that right you will find a number of
references to relevant literature. It is up to the user to make ample an...
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- Fall '19