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CPSA/CAPPA section on Public Administration

K08 - Workshop: Looking at All Sides of Things and Speaking Truth to People in Public Administration

Date: Jun 5 | Time: 08:45am to 10:15am | Location: SWING 410

Chair/Président/Présidente : Isabelle Caron (Dalhousie University)

Discussant/Commentateur/Commentatrice : Brendan Boyd (MacEwan University)

Lock-in Effects in Policy Advice Externalization: Understanding Configurations of Policy Advisory Systems (PAS) Through Changes in Policy Capacity: Reut Marciano (University of Toronto)
Abstract: A major feature and trend of PAS (policy advisory systems) in recent decades has been the ‘externalization’ of policy advice from public service to non-public suppliers. How is this dynamic linked to policy capacity? This paper offers a theoretical analysis of these links, grounded in conceptualizing policy advice externalization as a policy instrument choice, and in tracing the ensuing policy feedback and lock-in effects. The main argument is that early choices of externalizing policy advice can shape the distribution of policy capacity, policy expertise and perceived authority among PAS actors in a specific policy area. Policy feedback processes can lead to a “lock-in” of the use of external sources of advice, and work to institutionalize externalization as a set feature of PAS in a policy area. First, as the government outsources advice on a policy issue, the subsequent development of knowledge, expertise and area-related analytical skills within the government may be restrained. As theorized in policy-feedback literature, this diminishes the option of utilizing the public service for future policy analysis on these issues. Second, as external and private providers of policy advice expand their knowledge, area-specific skills and links with policy actors in the field, they are more likely to be repeatedly used by government when requiring policy analysis for these policy issues. Over time, these processes lock-in the use of external advice sources. The paper contributes to the expanding literature on PAS and policy feedback mechanisms, and specifically, to theorizing origins and dynamics of PAS configurations within policy subsystems.

The Transparency of Secrecy: A Comparative Study of Non-Disclosure Justifications in Germany, Canada and the UK: Jean-Patrick Villeneuve (Università della Svizzera Itliana), Marlen Heide (Università della Svizzera Italiana)
Abstract: Transparency provisions are rarely all-encompassing. Information of national security are a prevalent case of exception in many legislations. The secrecy accruing from these exceptions creates an accountability gap, which can only be addressed if niches of opacity themselves are justified by a transparent process (see Thompson, 1999). This paper examines the ways in which states justify secrecy on a day-to-day basis, through the implementation of exemption clauses in freedom of information (FOI) laws. This study analyzes rejection letters sent in response to freedom of information requests in the UK, Canada and Germany. More specifically, the analysis considers exchanges between a requestor and the Ministry of Defense (MoD). Further, we will only consider rejections with reference to security exemptions. Collected data will be examined through argumentative analysis, aiming for a detailed understanding of argumentative patterns, strategies and heuristics applied by MoDs. The categorizations used will be taken from the argumentation schemes of Walton, Reed and Macagno (2008). These will allow us to identify the ‘principle of support’ underlying the argumentations used for non-disclosure. (Garssen, 2001). In the case of institutional communication regarding a public policy, four schemes appear most relevant: a) Means-End Argumentation; b) Cause-Effect; c) Analogy and; d) Expert Opinion. Besides its empirical insights, this study will provide a novel perspective on state secrecy by approaching the problem of legitimizing secrecy from an argumentative perspective.

Une analyse des enjeux liés à la cohérence et le transfert des politiques de développement (2005-2015) : le cas de l’Afrique Subsaharienne: Emmanuel Sael (École nationale d'administration publique)
Abstract: Nous proposons à travers cette plateforme le sujet intitulé : une analyse des enjeux liés à la cohérence et le transfert des politiques de développement (2005-2015) : le cas de l’Afrique Subsaharienne. Bien que la cohérence des politiques pour le développement soit l’objet de débat depuis les années 90, son application est encore à un stade expérimental (Christiansen, 2001). L’Afrique subsaharienne est considérée comme la plus grande région bénéficiaire de l’afflux de l’aide extérieure au niveau mondial (Mallaye et Yogo, 2015). Cependant, comme le souligne Azoulay (2005), cette région peine encore à mettre en œuvre des politiques publiques cohérentes. D’un autre côté, nous avons constaté une pénurie de recherche scientifique décrivant le processus des transferts de politiques pour l’Afrique Subsaharienne. Notre recherche compte aborder ce sujet peu exploré dans le cas identifié en regardant en quoi le niveau de cohérence et le type de transfert utilisés peuvent faciliter l’atteinte des objectifs fixés dans les politiques de développement. La contribution majeure de notre travail sera de proposer un cadre d’analyse de la cohérence et du processus de transfert des politiques de développement. Pour y arriver, nous mobiliserons le cadre de transfert des politiques de Dolowitz et Marsh (2000) et la matrice des attributs de la cohérence de Savard (2010). Cette recherche s’appuie sur une étude de cas. Les données qui seront analysées seront collectées principalement à partir de recherche documentaire (documents et matériels audiovisuels). Les sites officiels de gouvernements régionaux et des structures multinationales, entre autres, seront utilisés à cet effet.