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What future for the policy sciences?

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  • Roger Pielke

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Abstract

The term “policy sciencesâ€\x9D refers both to a distinctive tradition within the policy movement and to the broader policy movement itself. While the generic use of this term is sure to persist, the community of policy scientists trained in the tradition founded by Harold Lasswell and Myres S. McDougal faces challenges to its sustainability as a distinctive tradition of the policy movement. To motivate open discussion and debate, this essay follows the logic of a problem-oriented analysis, and also includes personal reflections and anecdote, with the following objectives: It suggests that the policy sciences tradition faces challenges to its sustainability because of the simple arithmetic of generational turnover in university faculty. It explores six factors internal and external to the policy sciences community militating against sustainability. The essay then critiques three different roles the policy scientist might play in contemporary academia, and concludes with a discussion of alternatives that might enhance the sustainability of the policy sciences tradition, should sustainability indeed be a desired outcome. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2004

Suggested Citation

  • Roger Pielke, 2004. "What future for the policy sciences?," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 37(3), pages 209-225, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:37:y:2004:i:3:p:209-225
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-005-6181-x
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11077-005-6181-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. William Ascher & Barbara Hirschfelder-Ascher, 2004. "Linking Lasswell's political psychology and the policy sciences," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 37(1), pages 23-36, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kristan Cockerill & Lacy Daniel & Leonard Malczynski & Vincent Tidwell, 2009. "A fresh look at a policy sciences methodology: collaborative modeling for more effective policy," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 42(3), pages 211-225, August.
    2. Greg Hampton, 2009. "Narrative policy analysis and the integration of public involvement in decision making," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 42(3), pages 227-242, August.
    3. Dave Huitema & Andrew Jordan & Eric Massey & Tim Rayner & Harro Asselt & Constanze Haug & Roger Hildingsson & Suvi Monni & Johannes Stripple, 2011. "The evaluation of climate policy: theory and emerging practice in Europe," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(2), pages 179-198, June.
    4. Kevin Currey & Susan Clark, 2010. "Roger A. Pielke, Jr., The honest broker: making sense of science in policy and politics," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 43(1), pages 95-98, March.
    5. Paul Jackson & Jochen Runde & Philip Dobson & Nancy Richter, 2016. "Identifying mechanisms influencing the emergence and success of innovation within national economies: a realist approach," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 49(3), pages 233-256, September.
    6. James Farr & Jacob Hacker & Nicole Kazee, 2008. "Revisiting Lasswell," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(1), pages 21-32, March.

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