Catalogue


Uncertainty in policy making [electronic resource] : values and evidence in complex decisions /
Michael Heazle.
imprint
London ; Washington, DC : Earthscan, 2010.
description
xiv, 185 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
9781849710831 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
London ; Washington, DC : Earthscan, 2010.
isbn
9781849710831 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
10793173
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Michael Heazle is Associate Professor in International Relations with the Griffith Asia Institute and the Department of International Business and Asian Studies at Griffith University.
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Insightfully and skilfully strips away the widespread misconceptions about how information and expertise do, and do not, play into the making of public policy...The messages that Heazle presents in this book are by no means comforting or reassuring, but both scholars and practitioners would be wise to heed them.'From the Foreword by Paul R. Pillar, Georgetown University and Center for Peace and Security Studies
'Insightfully and skilfully strips away the widespread misconceptions about how information and expertise do, and do not, play into the making of public policy...The messages that Heazle presents in this book are by no means comforting or reassuring, but both scholars and practitioners would be wise to heed them.'From the Foreword by Paul R. Pillar, Georgetown University and Center for Peace and Security Studies'In a world in which 'evidence-based policy' has become a buzzword, this book offers a timely note of sobriety. Governments that rely on an increasing number of advisers, studies and data will not necessarily make better policy, particularly on wicked problems such as climate change or nuclear proliferation. The politics of how expertise and uncertainty are selectively used is a strong shaper of policy, and needs to be understood by all citizens.'Dr Michael Wesley, Executive Director, Lowy Institute for International Policy 'In 'Uncertainty in Policy Making' Michael Heazle critically assesses the evolving role of science in society and particularly in policy making. He makes a strong case that in spite of the peta-bytes of data being generated and ever-increasing reductionist understanding of fundamental processes, the role of science in decision making is not making similar progress. Simply, Michael sees that the supply of science is mismatched with demand. That we need to critically link knowledge with evolving values and issues. This is not an argument to try to reduce irreducible uncertainty or for over-precision, at great cost, but rather to ask the right questions, to identify the critical gaps and to develop a respectful partnership between scientists, policy and political decision makers and the broader community. Uncertainty is here to stay, we need to learn to live and revel in it. A must read for those who are looking for better solutions in our complex world.' Dr Mark Howden, Chief Research Scientist and Theme Leader, Adaptive Primary Industries and Enterprises, Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organisation (CSIRO)
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Michael Heazle explores how uncertainty is interpreted & used by policy makers, experts & politicians, & offers a alternative framework for how they should deal with uncertainty. He argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making is an impossible aim.
Main Description
Uncertainty in Policy Makingexplores how uncertainty is interpreted and used by policy makers, experts and politicians. It also offers an alternative framework for how they should deal with uncertainty.  It argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making  - hailed by governments and organisations across the world as the only way to make good policy - is an impossible aim in highly complex and uncertain environments; the blind pursuit of such a 'rational' goal is in fact irrational in a world of competing values and interests. The book centers around two high-profile and important case studies: the Iraq war and climate change policy in the US, UK and Australia. Based on three years' research, including interviews with experts such as Hans Blix, Paul Pillar, and Brian Jones, these two case studies show that the treatment of uncertainty issues in specialist advice is largely determined by how well the advice fits with or contradicts the policy goals and orientation of the policy elite. Instead of allowing the debates to be side-tracked by arguments over whose science or expert advice is 'more right', we must accept that uncertainty in complex issues is unavoidable and recognise the values and interests that lie at the heart of the issues. The book offers a 'hedging' approach which will enable policy makers to manage rather than eliminate uncertainty. This approach is applied to the two case studies to show how it could have been employed in the case of Iraq and how it might be used in some of the policy challenges posed by climate change.
Main Description
Uncertainty in Policy Makingexplores how uncertainty is interpreted and used by policy makers, experts and politicians. It also offers an alternative framework for how they should deal with uncertainty.  It argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making  - hailed by governments and organisations across the world as the only way to make good policy - is an impossible aim in highly complex and uncertain environments; the blind pursuit of such a 'rational' goal is in fact irrational in a world of competing values and interests. The book centres around two high-profile and important case studies: the Iraq war and climate change policy in the US, UK and Australia. Based on three years' research, including interviews with experts such as Hans Blix, Paul Pillar, and Brian Jones, these two case studies show that the treatment of uncertainty issues in specialist advice is largely determined by how well the advice fits with or contradicts the policy goals and orientation of the policy elite. Instead of allowing the debates to be side-tracked by arguments over whose science or expert advice is 'more right', we must accept that uncertainty in complex issues is unavoidable and recognise the values and interests that lie at the heart of the issues. The book offers a 'hedging' approach which will enable policy makers to manage rather than eliminate uncertainty. This approach is applied to the two case studies to show how it could have been employed in the case of Iraq and how it might be used in some of the policy challenges posed by climate change.
Main Description
Uncertainty in Policy Making explores how uncertainty is interpreted and used by policy makers, experts and politicians. It also offers an alternative framework for how they should deal with uncertainty. It argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making ”hailed by governments and organizations across the world as the only way to make good policy ”Is an impossible aim in highly complex and uncertain environments; the blind pursuit of such a 'rational' goal is in fact irrational in a world of competing values and interests. The book centers around two high-profile and important case studies: the Iraq war and climate change policy in the US, UK and Australia. Based on three years' research, including interviews with experts such as Hans Blix, Paul Pillar, and Brian Jones, these two case studies show that the treatment of uncertainty issues in specialist advice is largely determined by how well the advice fits with or contradicts the policy goals and orientation of the policy elite. Instead of allowing the debates to be side-tracked by arguments over whose science or expert advice is 'more right', we must accept that uncertainty in complex issues is unavoidable and recognize the values and interests that lie at the heart of the issues. The book offers a 'hedging' approach that will enable policy makers to manage rather than eliminate uncertainty. This approach is applied to the two case studies to show how it could have been employed in the case of Iraq and how it might be used in some of the policy challenges posed by climate change.
Main Description
Uncertainty in Policy Making explores how uncertainty is interpreted and used by policy makers, experts and politicians. It also offers an alternative framework for how to deal with uncertainty.  It argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making  - hailed by governments and organisations across the world as the only way to make good policy - is an impossible aim in highly complex and uncertain environments; the blind pursuit of such a 'rational' goal is in fact irrational in a world of competing values and interests. The book centres around two high-profile and important case studies: the Iraq war and climate change policy in the US, UK and Australia. Based on three years' research, including interviews with experts such as Hans Blix, Paul Pillar, and Brian Jones, these two case studies show that the treatment of uncertainty issues in specialist advice is largely determined by how well the advice fits with or contradicts the policy goals and orientation of the policy elite. Instead of allowing the debates to be side-tracked by arguments over whose science or expert advice is 'more right', we must accept that uncertainty in complex issues is unavoidable and recognise the values and interests that lie at the heart of the issues. The book offers a 'hedging' approach which will enable policy makers to manage rather than eliminate uncertainty. This approach is applied to the two case studies to show how it could have been employed in the case of Iraq and how it might be used in some of the policy challenges posed by climate change.
Main Description
Uncertainty in Policy Making explores how uncertainty is interpreted and used by policy makers, experts and politicians. It argues that conventional notions of rational, evidence-based policy making - hailed by governments and organisations across the world as the only way to make good policy - is an impossible aim in highly complex and uncertain environments; the blind pursuit of such a 'rational' goal is in fact irrational in a world of competing values and interests. The book centres around two high-profile and important case studies: the Iraq war and climate change policy in the US, UK and Australia. Based on three years' research, including interviews with experts such as Hans Blix, Paul Pillar, and Brian Jones, these two case studies show that the treatment of uncertainty issues in specialist advice is largely determined by how well the advice fits with or contradicts the policy goals and orientation of the policy elite. Instead of allowing the debates to be side-tracked by arguments over whose science or expert advice is 'more right', we must accept that uncertainty in complex issues is unavoidable and recognise the values and interests that lie at the heart of the issues. The book offers a 'hedging' approach which will enable policy makers to manage rather than eliminate uncertainty.
Table of Contents
List of Figures and Tablesp. ix
Forewordp. xi
Acknowledgementsp. xv
List of Acronyms and Abbreviationsp. xvii
Introduction: A Story of (Irrational) Great Expectationsp. 1
Policy Making and Specialist Advice: Concepts and Approachesp. 17
Empowering Nightmares: Uncertainty and the Precautionary Principlep. 33
Legitimizing the Iraq Intervention: Threat Inflation Versus Precautionp. 49
Climate Change and the Politics of Precautionp. 65
Uncertainty, Ideology and the Politics of Denialp. 85
Revealing Values and Uncertainty in Policy Debatep. 99
Alternative Responses to Uncertainty: Bringing Politics Back inp. 115
Uncertainty as Deus ex Machina: Some Concluding Remarksp. 135
Notesp. 141
Bibliographyp. 167
Indexp. 179
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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