Epstein et al.: The Value of Words: Narrative as Evidence in Policy Making

Dmitri Epstein, Cynthia R. Farina, and Josiah Heidt have published The Value of Words: Narrative as Evidence in Policy Making, Evidence and Policy, 10, 243-258 (2014).

Here is the abstract:

Policy makers today rely primarily on technical data as their basis for decision making. Yet, there is a potentially underestimated value in substantive reflections of the members of the public who will be affected by a particular regulation. Viewing professional policy makers and professional commenters as a community of practice, we describe their limited shared repertoire with the lay members of the public as a significant barrier to participation. Based on our work with Regulation Room, we offer an initial typology of narratives — complexity, contributory context, unintended consequences, and reframing — as a first step towards overcoming conceptual barriers to effective civic engagement in policy making.

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