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Expert knowledge use and deliberation in local policy making

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  • Martin Lundin

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  • PerOla Öberg

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Abstract

This article analyzes the extent to which public administrators make use of expert knowledge (i.e., research or evaluation reports) when they prepare policy advice, and the extent to which politicians deliberate on the information provided to them by the administrators. The study is based on original, quantitative data from local politics in Sweden. We find that expert-informed policy advice from the administrators and critical reflection by the politicians are more pronounced when there is a lot of public attention. Furthermore, administrators use expert information more when they operate in a context in which there are large political disagreements. However, politicians deliberate less on the administrators’ policy advices in such environments. Thus, conflict seems to generate a pressure on the administrators to search for expert knowledge. But at the same time, within a context of political disputes, politicians make less effort to understand and critically reflect over the information provided to them by the administration, and are less inclined to change their opinions even if good arguments are presented to them. Thus, the empirical analysis indicates that what role expertise gets in policy making is very much a consequence of the local political environment. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Lundin & PerOla Öberg, 2014. "Expert knowledge use and deliberation in local policy making," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 47(1), pages 25-49, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:47:y:2014:i:1:p:25-49
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-013-9182-1
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11077-013-9182-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carol H. Weiss, 1989. "Congressional committees as users of analysis," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 411-431.
    2. Mansbridge, Jane, 2003. "Rethinking Representation," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 97(4), pages 515-528, November.
    3. Éric Montpetit, 2012. "Does Holding Beliefs with Conviction Prevent Policy Actors from Adopting a Compromising Attitude?," Political Studies, Political Studies Association, vol. 60(3), pages 621-642, October.
    4. Christopher Weible & Tanya Heikkila & Peter deLeon & Paul Sabatier, 2012. "Understanding and influencing the policy process," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 45(1), pages 1-21, March.
    5. Landry, Rejean & Amara, Nabil & Lamari, Moktar, 2001. "Utilization of social science research knowledge in Canada," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 333-349, February.
    6. Barabas, Jason, 2004. "How Deliberation Affects Policy Opinions," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 98(4), pages 687-701, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Broström, Anders & McKelvey, Maureen, 2016. "Knowledge transfer at the science-policy interface: How cognitive distance and the degree of expert autonomy shapes the outcome," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 441, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    2. Manuel Fischer & Philip Leifeld, 2015. "Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for?," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 48(3), pages 363-382, September.
    3. Antje Witting, 2017. "Insights from ‘policy learning’ on how to enhance the use of evidence by policymakers," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 3(1), pages 1-9, December.

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