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The politics of experimental policymaking

Speaker: Kai Wegrich, Professor of Public Administration and Public Policy, Dean of Research and Faculty, Hertie School, Berlin

20th October 2022, 1-2pm MAR 3.20

We are living during a second boom of policy experiments. Similar to the first wave of the 1970s, the expectation is that testing policies and regulations in a limited setting will provide the evidence base for choosing policy designs and scaling-up policies that have demonstrated their efficacy in an experimental setting. However, and again mirroring developments during the first wave of experimentation, the decision of scaling or scrapping policy designs seems to be only loosely connected to the evidence that an experiment generated. This talk focusses on the politics of policy experimentation and asks how political and bureaucratic actors shape the nexus of experimentation and policymaking. Mainly of conceptual nature, the talk will introduce three different types of policy experiments. Political experiments are driven by actors of the political superstructure, and dynamics of coalition building shape engagement with the policy experiment. Radical incrementalism is about policy experiments below the radar of political attention and seeks to change the way bureaucratic policymaking is done. Tactical experimentalism uses policy experiments (often softer form of experimentation) to increase support for policy change. We will discuss the logic of each type of experimentation and the value of this classification.

AOI and CARR Seminar

Speaker: David Pinzur (LSE Department of Sociology)

March 8th 2023, 3-4.30pm

More details to follow