Policy design: Its enduring appeal in a complex world and how to think it differently

Nick Turnbull


Policy design has re-appeared on the scholarly agenda. This special issue investigates the assumptions of the policy design concept, questioning its theoretical coherence and relevance for practitioners. The conventional idea of policy design implies an instru- mental-rational theoretical model which is out of place in contemporary governance arrangements. While the concept appeals to academic sensibilities, it has less utility in practice. It can also become caught up in the political aspect of policymaking by being used to generate legitimacy for the actions of public managers via rationalising accounts. Contributors to this issue argue that the design idea should be reconsidered from the ground up. An alternative orientation is put forward, which regards policy design as something that emerges from policymaking practice.


Policy Design

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@Annual Review of Policy Design ISSN: ISSN 2291-6989