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A Paradigm for Practice


  • Ronald Brunner


Lack of consensus on a paradigm for practice inhibits the cumulative development of practical knowledge and skills. It also encourages devolution of these and other paradigm functions by default to the established paradigm in the policy movement, reductionism, which includes positive methodology. But reductionism is insufficient for practice. It tends to displace practical aims and expectations, and discount and delegitimize practical and other ways of knowing. This gives rise to problems in practice, illustrated here by problems in psychotherapy, global climate change, and various ‘high-modern’ schemes to improve the human condition. To help alleviate such problems eventually, this article outlines a contextual paradigm for practice based on examples of good practice, the policy sciences, and related sources. The immediate purpose is to stimulate policy scientists, other practitioners, and other contextualists to make explicit and compare their paradigms. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Ronald Brunner, 2006. "A Paradigm for Practice," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 39(2), pages 135-167, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:39:y:2006:i:2:p:135-167
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9012-9

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joanna Sale & Lynne Lohfeld & Kevin Brazil, 2002. "Revisiting the Quantitative-Qualitative Debate: Implications for Mixed-Methods Research," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 43-53, February.
    2. Herbert A. Simon, 1996. "The Sciences of the Artificial, 3rd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262691914, January.
    3. repec:cup:apsrev:v:79:y:1985:i:02:p:293-304_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. repec:cup:apsrev:v:98:y:2004:i:02:p:341-354_00 is not listed on IDEAS
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    1. repec:kap:policy:v:50:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11077-017-9300-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:kap:policy:v:50:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11077-016-9268-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Susan Clark & Toddi Steelman, 2013. "Interviewing for an interdisciplinary job: principled goals, pragmatic outcomes, and finding the right fit in academia," Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Springer;Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences, vol. 3(1), pages 21-29, March.
    4. Susan Clark & Richard Wallace, 2015. "Integration and interdisciplinarity: concepts, frameworks, and education," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(2), pages 233-255, June.
    5. Peter Wilshusen, 2009. "Social process as everyday practice: the micro politics of community-based conservation and development in southeastern Mexico," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 42(2), pages 137-162, May.
    6. Ronald Brunner, 2008. "The policy scientist of democracy revisited," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(1), pages 3-19, March.
    7. Ronald Brunner, 2010. "Adaptive governance as a reform strategy," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 43(4), pages 301-341, December.
    8. A. Russell & Frank Vanclay & Janet Salisbury & Heather Aslin, 2011. "Technology assessment in Australia: the case for a formal agency to improve advice to policy makers," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(2), pages 157-177, June.
    9. Anna Wesselink & Andy Gouldson, 2014. "Pathways to impact in local government: the mini-Stern review as evidence in policy making in the Leeds City Region," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 47(4), pages 403-424, December.

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