The article is part of a symposium promoted by Participation and Conflict (PACO Journal) and dedicated to the discussion of the scientific and professional work of Luigi Bobbio, a prominent scholar of public policies, who left us with robust thinking and numerous empirical case studies regarding participatory and deliberative decision processes; besides, he was engaged in experimental policy design and, more specifically, in the development of policy instruments for deliberative policy-making and conflict management. My contribution critically addresses some open questions concerning deliberative policy design experiments in the formulation given by the author, referring to arguments of democratic theory and policy research. The ‘inclusive decision argument’ is, in and of itself, not new to democratic theory. Important scientific literature agrees upon the fact that it responds to a decision-making strategy, which considers open and flexible processes to be more fruitful in Western democratic public policy. This facilitates the confrontation and convergence of diverse viewpoints through the involvement of a plethora of subjects: in concrete terms, all those who, for various reasons and genres of engagement, are interested in a certain problem and are willing to participate in problem-definition and problem-solution processes. The discussion begins by highlighting some aspects of Luigi Bobbio’s distinctive contribution to deliberative policy-making (Hajer, Wagenaar, 2003), which advocates approaches, techniques and methods for inclusive decision-making (Bobbio 2004) according to the clearly value-oriented thesis that inclusive decision processes in complex contemporary societies foster democratic governmental policy-making and the effectiveness of public choices. The author’s focus on deliberative democracy lies within the sphere of policy analysis that likens the construction of public policy to the goal of public decision-making. This position is coherent with the disciplinary tradition of political analysis, largely established and related to a well-rooted political culture in Italy. This tradition emphasizes the “decision” as the basic stage for the political process, analytically disjointed from implementation taken as the effective and concrete execution of decisions. Even in common discourse, public policies are socially understood as decisions and rarely as implementing actions. One of the consequences is a kind of analytical “hyper-attention” to the problem of the decision in and of itself: its context, location, and effectiveness. This explains both why the question of how to improve the democratic quality of the political system and how to democratize public policy is translated into how to improve public decisions, as well as why such a challenge is addressed through developing theories like decision-making models and new instruments and methods for public deliberation, separating policy design from implementation.

Deliberative Design for Public Engagement in Decision-Making Processes

Gelli, Francesca
2018

Abstract

The article is part of a symposium promoted by Participation and Conflict (PACO Journal) and dedicated to the discussion of the scientific and professional work of Luigi Bobbio, a prominent scholar of public policies, who left us with robust thinking and numerous empirical case studies regarding participatory and deliberative decision processes; besides, he was engaged in experimental policy design and, more specifically, in the development of policy instruments for deliberative policy-making and conflict management. My contribution critically addresses some open questions concerning deliberative policy design experiments in the formulation given by the author, referring to arguments of democratic theory and policy research. The ‘inclusive decision argument’ is, in and of itself, not new to democratic theory. Important scientific literature agrees upon the fact that it responds to a decision-making strategy, which considers open and flexible processes to be more fruitful in Western democratic public policy. This facilitates the confrontation and convergence of diverse viewpoints through the involvement of a plethora of subjects: in concrete terms, all those who, for various reasons and genres of engagement, are interested in a certain problem and are willing to participate in problem-definition and problem-solution processes. The discussion begins by highlighting some aspects of Luigi Bobbio’s distinctive contribution to deliberative policy-making (Hajer, Wagenaar, 2003), which advocates approaches, techniques and methods for inclusive decision-making (Bobbio 2004) according to the clearly value-oriented thesis that inclusive decision processes in complex contemporary societies foster democratic governmental policy-making and the effectiveness of public choices. The author’s focus on deliberative democracy lies within the sphere of policy analysis that likens the construction of public policy to the goal of public decision-making. This position is coherent with the disciplinary tradition of political analysis, largely established and related to a well-rooted political culture in Italy. This tradition emphasizes the “decision” as the basic stage for the political process, analytically disjointed from implementation taken as the effective and concrete execution of decisions. Even in common discourse, public policies are socially understood as decisions and rarely as implementing actions. One of the consequences is a kind of analytical “hyper-attention” to the problem of the decision in and of itself: its context, location, and effectiveness. This explains both why the question of how to improve the democratic quality of the political system and how to democratize public policy is translated into how to improve public decisions, as well as why such a challenge is addressed through developing theories like decision-making models and new instruments and methods for public deliberation, separating policy design from implementation.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11578/277262
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