New Labour, participation and the policy process

Bochel, Catherine (2006) New Labour, participation and the policy process. Public policy and administration, 21 (4). pp. 10-22. ISSN 0952-0767

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New Labour, participation and the policy process
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Abstract

This article explores a key element of New Labour's modernisation programme
- that of participation in the public policy and decision making processes. Whilst
this may appear to be a relatively straightforward concept, its translation into
practice can be complex and confusing, which may in turn impact on the policy
making process and potentially on policy outcomes. The involvement of groups
such as 'users' might be seen as a rational approach to the policy process,
however little consideration has been given to the process once people are
involved, on the efects this may have on participants, or on the relevance and
usefulness of policy outcomes. This article argues that one dimension that has
been largely neglected is the capacities in which people participate in the
decision making processes and argues for the need to develop a more focussed
approach. This would require much greater consideration than at present of the
distinction between participation undertaken by individuals and that carried out
through groups. This would make a significant contribution to policy making as
it would help to clarify the focus and intention of participation for different
initiatives; for those who seek to encourage participation; and for those who
participate, so that they are clear in what capacity they are participating.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:This article explores a key element of New Labour's modernisation programme - that of participation in the public policy and decision making processes. Whilst this may appear to be a relatively straightforward concept, its translation into practice can be complex and confusing, which may in turn impact on the policy making process and potentially on policy outcomes. The involvement of groups such as 'users' might be seen as a rational approach to the policy process, however little consideration has been given to the process once people are involved, on the efects this may have on participants, or on the relevance and usefulness of policy outcomes. This article argues that one dimension that has been largely neglected is the capacities in which people participate in the decision making processes and argues for the need to develop a more focussed approach. This would require much greater consideration than at present of the distinction between participation undertaken by individuals and that carried out through groups. This would make a significant contribution to policy making as it would help to clarify the focus and intention of participation for different initiatives; for those who seek to encourage participation; and for those who participate, so that they are clear in what capacity they are participating.
Keywords:New Labour, Public participation, Policy making, Social policy
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L400 Social Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:1137
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:10 Sep 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:25

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