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Facts, Values and the Policy World

By Phil Ryan

Published

Mar 22, 2022

Page count

176 pages

ISBN

978-1447364542

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Mar 22, 2022

Page count

176 pages

ISBN

978-1447364566

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Mar 22, 2022

Page count

176 pages

ISBN

978-1447364566

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
Facts, Values and the Policy World

Many policy analysts – and citizens interested in public issues – believe that rigorous thought should be uncontaminated by values, which are merely subjective. Policy analysis, however, is about what is worth doing and therefore inherently values based.

This accessible book reveals the damage that this contradiction inflicts on policy analysis and society. It also demonstrates the real-world failings of various influential alternatives to the ‘value-free’ ideal. By showing that values are amenable to critical analysis, this book provides a solid foundation for a comprehensive approach that reimagines the scope and role of policy analysis in contemporary society.

“Phil Ryan makes a strong case for rejecting the common view that values are beyond reason and that policy analysts should abstain from making judgements of value in their work.” Andrew Sayer, Lancaster University

“An important, persuasive and much-needed challenge to a long-standing and deeply entrenched orthodoxy in policy analysis. I enthusiastically recommend it to all who teach in this field.” Maurice L. Wade, Trinity College

”This riveting read offers a ‘dialogical way’ through the tangles of the fact/value dichotomy that often leaves policy makers and analysts powerless in the face of disagreement.” Susan T. Gardner, Capilano University

Phil Ryan is Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University. He is the author of 'After the New Atheist Debate' (2014) and 'Multicultiphobia' (2010).

Introduction

PART I The binary view: effects and durability

1. Some effects of the binary view

2. The quest for exogenous values

3. The durable fl otsam of the binary view

4. Convenient belief

PART II Non- binary analysis

5. Forms of care

6. Networks of belief

7. Networks of beliefs and practices

8. Decision contexts

9. The analyst in context

PART III Caveats

10. Experts and expertise

11. The limits of dialogue

Conclusion