Month: June 2016

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the EU Referendum (sort of)

When discussing the EU referendum it’s become fashionable  to criticise David Cameron for taking a dangerous gamble with the UK’s prosperity for narrow political advantage. The argument runs that the decision on whether to stay in or exit the EU is so complex that it should be left to political elites. Here, Rikki Dean argues that this is old-fashioned thinking. The referendum is not the problem – the campaigns are.


There is more than one way to involve the public in policy decisions

Imagine you are a civil servant. You have just convinced your somewhat skeptical colleagues that your new policy initiative should incorporate extensive public participation in its design process. You now have some tough choices to make: who is going to participate in the process, for example? You know that if you keep participation open to all, then the process will be criticized within your department for just involving the usual suspects. But if you restrict participation, to a randomly selected group for instance, then you know there are some influential policy NGOs who will be vocal about their exclusion…