CALL FOR PAPERS
“Agility and Resilience in Policy-Making: Coping with Uncertainty and Ambiguity”
Hosted by Center for Public Policy Innovation Studies, Southwestern University of Finance and Economics and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
The concept of uncertainty has been developed and modeled in different disciplines such as the physical and mathematical sciences, engineering, economics, philosophy and psychology. But the linkage between uncertainty and policy-making has not been explored fully beyond such familiar but vague concepts as “bounded rationality” and the need to deal with “unstructured” or “wicked” problems. As a result critical questions in developing policy designs capable of dealing with different levels and types of uncertainty remained unanswered.
Most efforts towards reduction of uncertainties in policy-making to date have focused on overcoming knowledge gaps and gathering and mobilizing more information on policy problems and potential solutions. But this step by itself is often inadequate as policy-making uncertainties beyond cognitive or knowledge limits emanate from other factors such as the complexity of multiple stakeholders involved in policy processes and the presence of multiple alternative future scenarios. Significant challenges for policy design stem from the different perspectives, interpretations, interests and preferences brought to bear on policy-makers and policy-making by the many individuals and groups associated with the policy issue in question, and efforts towards seamless integration of knowledge between the academic and policymaking communities are also marred by the presence of different perspectives, timescales, vocabularies for concepts and processes, making the transmission of knowledge difficult. And policy designs themselves have generally become more challenging and difficult to formulate and implement as the interdependence and complexity of systems has increased along with the emergence new sets and possible combinations of policy [...]