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POLICY KNOWLEDGE

Dr Riswanda
BP2D 2017
Context: Puzzle

Source: Hallsworth, M and Rutter, J 2011, Making Policy Better:


Improving Whitehall’s Core Business, Institute for Government
Critique of Modernism and the
Policy Failures
• Anthony Giddens, 1990: The
Consequences of Modernity:
– We can never be sure that any
given element of that (privileged)
knowledge will not be revised

• James Scott, 1998: Seeing Like a


State:
– The Troubling feature of high
modernism derive, for the most
part, from its claim to speak
about the improvement of the
human condition with the
authority of scientific knowledge
and its tendency to disallow other
competing sources of judgement
Social Construction of Policy
Knowledge
Habermas’ Social Theory
Communicative Rationality
Lifeworld
System

Instrumental Rationality

Modernism in Habermas’ Social


Theory
Instrumental Rationality
System
Lifeworld

Communicative Rationality
How Policy Becomes Relevant

What We Know How We Live

What We Know How We Live


Discourse regarding ‘knowledge for
policy’ needs to:
Improve in Quality (reflect
rationality not rhetoric)

Reflect greater public


participation by legitimating
a wider array of
perspectives

Resonate to a greater extent


with ‘how we live’
Co-production
• Sheila Jasanoff,2004 – States of
Knowledge (The Idiom of Co-production)
– Knowledge is not simply a reflection
of reality, but is constructed along
with social order (including, but not
limited to relationships of power and
dominance, also legitimate
interpretations of how the world
works

– Showing how knowledge is co-


produced with social order allows for
expansion of terrain for the creation
of new knowledge and thus, new
social order
Critical Theory
• Douglas Torgerson,
2003 - Democracy
Through Policy
Discourse
– With the advent of policy
discourse, it becomes
increasingly possible to
contest the meaning of
policy and draw it into
closer association with
politics – particularly with
a democratic politics at
odds with technocratic
policy discourse
How these Approaches will
Improve the Public Sphere:
• Question assumptions that may or
may not reflect reality, dispelling
myths, challenging established
‘truths’, and expanding the potential
for greater truth

• Highlighting voices that up till now


have been marginalized and
excluded from debate

• Reduce the alienation of lived reality


from the creation of policy relevant
knowledge
Theory of Rationality
Technical
System
Validity lifeworld
Lifewor
l
rationality
claims Economic
asserted and rationality
contested
Instrumental
Communicati
Rationality
ve Rationality

Public Sphere Technical and


Scientific
(Increased) Expertise for
(Improved)
participatio Land-use planning
quality of
n Solutions
discourse

Analysis based
on Critical
theory and co-
•Question assumptions that may or
production
may not reflect reality, dispelling
myths, challenging established
‘truths’, and expanding the potential
for greater truth

•Highlighting voices that hitherto have


been marginalized and excluded from
debate

•Reduce the alienation of lived reality


from the creation of policy relevant