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The Steering Group as Policy Advice Instrument: A Case of “Consultocracyâ€\x9D in Stadium Subsidy Deliberations


  • Michael Sam


  • Jay Scherer



This study considers the use of steering groups and private consultants as sources of policy advice to local governments. More particularly, our research addresses the combined role of a government-appointed working party and consulting firm in the deliberation process precipitating from proposals to renovate/re-build a sports stadium. Through this New Zealand-based case, we explore the political tensions arising from the Working Party's mandates to consult and its role as vehicle to market policy solutions. Data is gleaned from interviews with working party members (and their consultants), observations of public consultations and analysis of documents (e.g., background papers, reports, and press releases). Implications of this institutional arrangement are discussed in light of recurring logics, tensions and paradoxes. We first consider the Carisbrook Working Party as an instrument of policy advice and distinguish its founding logic from other forms such as task forces or commissions of inquiry. We further discuss the paradoxes of the Working Party's procedural and political imperatives including its roles as facilitators of the process, advocates of the “problem,â€\x9Dand as authoritative proclaimers of certainty. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Sam & Jay Scherer, 2006. "The Steering Group as Policy Advice Instrument: A Case of “Consultocracyâ€\x9D in Stadium Subsidy Deliberations," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 39(2), pages 169-181, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:39:y:2006:i:2:p:169-181
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-006-9014-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Stephen K. Layson, 2005. "The Estimation of Consumer Surplus Benefits from a City Owned Multipurpose Coliseum Complex," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 27(2), pages 221-236.
    2. Carlino, Gerald & Coulson, N. Edward, 2004. "Compensating differentials and the social benefits of the NFL," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 25-50, July.
    3. Carolyn Hendriks, 2005. "Participatory storylines and their influence on deliberative forums," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 38(1), pages 1-20, March.
    4. John J. Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2000. "The Economics of Sports Facilities and Their Communities," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 95-114, Summer.
    5. Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2001. "The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 2(1), pages 6-21, February.
    6. Bruce K. Johnson & Peter A. Groothuis & John C. Whitehead, 2000. "“The Value of Public Goods Generated by a Major League Sports Team: The CVM Approach,”," Working Papers 0014, East Carolina University, Department of Economics.
    7. John Siegfried & Andrew Zimbalist, 2002. "A Note on the Local Economic Impact of Sports Expenditures," Journal of Sports Economics, , vol. 3(4), pages 361-366, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Carolyn Hendriks & Lyn Carson, 2008. "Can the market help the forum? Negotiating the commercialization of deliberative democracy," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 41(4), pages 293-313, December.
    2. Bruce Gilley, 2017. "Technocracy and democracy as spheres of justice in public policy," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 50(1), pages 9-22, March.

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