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Expert knowledge use and deliberation in local policy making
Uppsala University, Units outside the University, Office of Labour Market Policy Evaluation.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2014 (English)In: Policy sciences, ISSN 0032-2687, E-ISSN 1573-0891, Vol. 47, no 1, 25-49 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 47, no 1, 25-49 p.
Keyword [en]
Expert knowledge, Policy making, Political disputes, Public attention, Deliberation, Local government, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-222405DOI: 10.1007/s11077-013-9182-1ISI: 000331643000002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-222405DiVA: diva2:711593
Available from: 2014-04-10 Created: 2014-04-10 Last updated: 2014-04-10Bibliographically approved

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Lundin, MartinÖberg, PerOla
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Office of Labour Market Policy EvaluationDepartment of Government
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