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Mediating science-intensive policy disputes


  • Connie P. Ozawa
  • Lawrence Susskind


Public policy disputes involving complex scientific issues usually entail conflicts not only over those scientific issues, but also over the distribution of gains and losses. The presence of scientific or technical dimensions to a dispute should not be allowed to mask underlying distributional considerations. On the other hand, science-intensive disputes require special attention. Merely resolving distributional conflicts without incorporating the best scientific judgment will produce unwise and potentially dangerous results. The usual adversarial approach that characterizes the handling of such disputes by agencies and courts is less than ideal for creating an understanding of scientific evidence or the resolution of scientific differences. A process of mediation, already applied in a number of significant cases, offers strong promise as a superior approach.

Suggested Citation

  • Connie P. Ozawa & Lawrence Susskind, 1985. "Mediating science-intensive policy disputes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(1), pages 23-39.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:5:y:1985:i:1:p:23-39 DOI: 10.1002/pam.4050050102

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Boyd, James & Kunreuther, Howard, 1995. "Retroactive Liability and Future Risk: The Optimal Regulation of Underground Storage Tanks," Discussion Papers dp-96-02, Resources For the Future.
    2. James T. Hamilton, 1995. "Testing for environmental racism: Prejudice, profits, political power?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 107-132.
    3. Andrew Metrick & Martin L. Weitzman, 1996. "Patterns of Behavior in Endangered Species Preservation," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 72(1), pages 1-16.
    4. Benjamin M. Simon & Craig S. Leff & Harvey Doerksen, 1995. "Allocating scarce resources for endangered species recovery," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(3), pages 415-432.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Mkandawire & Isaac Luginaah & Rachel Bezner-Kerr, 2011. "Deadly divide: Malawi’s policy debate on HIV/AIDS and condoms," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 44(1), pages 81-102, March.

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