K15 - Workshop: Innovations in Policy Design: Nudges and Beyond (1)
Date: Jun 1 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: Classroom - CL 317 Room ID:15768
Chair/Président/Présidente : Ken Rasmussen (University of Regina)
Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Daniel Béland (University of Saskatchewan)
New Methods for Policy Design: Peter Phillips (University of Saskatchewan), Sarah McPhee-Knowles (Yukon Territory Government)
Abstract: The policy literature is rife with efforts attempting to explain how policy is developed and, more importantly, to define Simon’s (1947) ‘ends-means’ relationship as it contributes to successful policy design. The emergence of ‘glocal’ communities and networks, explosive entrepreneurial activity and disruptive changes in technologies, products, services and organizational structures all exhibit aspects of complexity, which complicates policy design. Knowing what bits connect and how is not obvious. Feasible pathways to effective design cannot be determined by simply reducing the space to its component parts. Nested, location-specific systems exhibit emergent properties and deliver power-log distributions of outputs and outcomes, all which have significant import for where and how specific policy measures may work. For all these reasons, the methodological toolkit for policy design requires some greater consideration of new approaches. Policy design for the most part is based on traditional, reductionist analysis of policy spaces. While reformulation of policy theory is underway to accommodate the complex nature of more complex problem spaces, efforts to adapt and adopt new empirical methods are still in the early stages (Jones 2003). This paper surveys a range of new methods that attempt to bridge the gap between the complex realities of the processes, institutions and systems underlying policy networks and communities. A range of theoretical and methodological approaches have reached proof of concept stage, having been at least beta tested in one application related to policy analysis, but few if any of these tools have been applied in any discernable way for policy design and management (Howlett and Newman 2010). This paper will examine the ventures of a number of policy scholars into the non-parametric world of systems theory, complexity, social networks and agent-based modeling. The paper will offer an assessment of where and how these methods might be adapted and adopted into the policy design toolkit and, ultimately, assess the feasible pathways for uptake and use by practitioners.
What is New About 'New Policy Design Studies'? An Overview of the Field: Jeremy Rayner (University of Saskatchewan)
Abstract: The revival of interest in policy design – a focus on public policy formulation as a goal-directed activity, with policy instruments consciously chosen to achieve those goals – continues to gather steam. The launch of a new journal, Policy Design and Practice, can only add to the burgeoning literature on the “new policy design”. This paper reviews that literature and assesses the claim that there is now a comprehensive research program for policy design studies, one which answers the need for conceptual clarification and methodological sophistication identified in earlier review of the field. It considers the influence of the main intellectual currents in policy design studies on the current content and direction of that research program and identifies some emerging themes in the early critiques of the “new policy design” orientation.
Policy Design in Intergenerational Non-renewable Resource Wealth Governance: Alberta From Lougheed to Klein: Geoff Salomons (University of Alberta)
Abstract: Intergenerational issues are an increasingly salient component of many policy problems facing governments today. From climate change to housing to pensions, the intergenerational trade-offs are no longer able to be ignored. The challenge in dealing with such temporal complexity is threefold. First, policy design choices rarely make explicit the intergenerational trade-offs or intergenerational consequences before them (pension policy is one notable exception, see Jacobs 2012). Second, the intergenerational framing of policy design choices is unlikely to remain the overarching objective given the numerous other competing objectives in the relevant policy areas and the relative lack of power of future generations in the policy making process vis-à-vis present generational concerns or interests. Finally, intergenerational trade-offs often emerge in complex and contradictory ways as they cover a host of policy areas. The resulting mix of policy instruments must be evaluated both individually as well as collectively to understand how each individual instrument contributes (or not) to intergenerational equity, while also gaining an understanding of the collective intergenerational equity of the policy mix itself. This paper explores these three temporal policy design challenges through a case study of Alberta’s non-renewable resource wealth governance from 1971-2006 – a case which combines the challenges of long-term temporal policy design with the challenges of governing a mix of policy instruments related to the collection, saving, and distribution of non-renewable resource wealth – to better identify the barriers and suggest solutions to long-term, intergenerational policy design.