- Class Number 6688
- Term Code 3050
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- AsPr Carolyn Hendriks
- AsPr Carolyn Hendriks
- Class Dates
- Class Start Date 20/07/2020
- Class End Date 18/10/2020
- Census Date 07/08/2020
- Last Date to Enrol 27/07/2020
One of the central challenges in public policy is understanding and responding to the needs and interests of diverse publics. This course explores how governments and citizens tackle this challenge. Taught in an interactive mode, students in this course consider questions, such as: How do policy makers engage citizens in the policy process? How do citizens themselves seek to voice their concerns and exert influence on the policy process? What happens when their interests are mis-represented, misunderstood or ignored? What does meaningful citizen participation look like in an era of 24/7 news cycles and social media? In focusing on 'public' aspects of public policy, this course engages students in various democratic issues that surface in the public policy process. Through applied examples and case studies, students reflect on how democratic ideals, such as inclusion, participation, representation and legitimacy may be realised in contemporary governance. Practical attempts at participatory policy making will be examined and critiqued, including deliberative forums, community meetings, petitions, online engagement and social media.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms, concepts and ideas on citizen engagement and public talk in public policy
- critically engage with relevant practical and theoretical literature on the design and politics of citizen engagement and public talk in public policy
- engage and facilitate informed discussions on the practice, politics and challenges of engaging citizens in public policy
- critically analyse participatory forms of policy making drawing connections between theory and practice
- demonstrate the ability to think independently, develop informed perspectives and persuasively communicate in the field of public policy
Each day is accompanied by a set of compulsory readings which are available on Wattle. (listed above in weekly outline)
It is an expectation that you read these before each day.
Remember the more you read and engage in the literature on public engagement, the more you will learn and get out of the course.
Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
- Written comments to individuals on Assessment items 1,3 and 4.
- Written comments to groups on Assessment item 2 (Participatory Design Pitch)
- Verbal feedback to the whole class on Assessment item 1 (Comparative Paper)
Student FeedbackANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.
|Week/Session||Summary of Activities||Assessment|
|1||Day 1: Monday 27 July 2020 Introduction and course overview We begin the course by exploring the question: who is 'the public' in public policy? We then consider whether public engagement in public policy is about conforming to state agendas and structures, or opposing them, or both. With this discussion in mind we map the various ways different publics might participate in public policy for example: engaging in formal consultations, going online, protesting on the street. Insisted publics: protests, advocacy and digital participation In the second half of Day 1, we look in detail at the form and function of 'insisted publics' in public policy, that is citizens, groups and social movements that mobilize, organize and strategize to affect public policy outcomes. We consider a range of advocacy activities such as community organising, lobbying and campaigning, as well as more disruptive activities of protesting. We also discuss how Information and Communications Technologies ICTs are changing the way citizens connect and relate to each other, and the opportunities (and risks) ICTs present to social movements, advocacy groups and associations. Required Readings Day 1 (available via e-brick) Cornwall, A. (2008). Unpacking 'participation': models, meanings and practices. Community development journal. 43(3) 269-283. This is paper explore the growth of participation in governance as a phenomenon in the global South and North. It also introduces the concepts of “invited spaces” of participation. Head, B. (2007). “Community Engagement - Participation on whose Terms?” Australian Journal of Political Science 42(3): 441-454. In this piece Head provide a use overview of the reasons why citizen engagement in governance is on the rise, and some of its potential pitfalls. Wells-Dang, A. (2010). “Political space in Vietnam: a view from the ‘rice-roots”. The Pacific Review, 23(1), 93-112.This piece explores the form and effect of citizen action and mobilisation in the more authoritarian political context of Vietnam. Skocpol, T. (1999). "Associations without members." The American Prospect 45(July-August): 66-73. Some argue that there is a participatory bias in the kinds of people that participate in organised advocacy groups. This piece looks specifically at the phenomenon that many associations lack a support base, and are disconnected from the broader public. Fung, A. and Shkabatur, J. (2015) “Viral Engagement: Fast, Cheap, and Broad, but Good for Democracy?” in Allen, D. and Light, J.S. (eds.) From Voice to Influence, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp.155-78.This chapter discusses the implications of viral social media campaigns for public policy and democracy more broadly.|
|2||Day 2: Monday 3 August 2020 Invited Publics: structured forms of participatory governance In Day 2, we look at formal attempts to invited the public into the policy process. Here we focus in on 'invited publics'; that is, citizens formally invited to engage in public policy via structured participatory processes, typically to advise decision makers. We consider the normative and instrumental reasons for inviting the public into the policy process, and start to explore some of the participatory methods for doing so (we expand on this topic further on Days 3 and 4 in the Design Workshops). We also examine the various ways in which governments are using Information and Communications Technologies ICTs to engage and connect with the public. Required Reading Day 2 (available via e-brick) Nabatchi T. and M. Leighninger(2015) Public Participation for 21st century democracy. John Wiley. (Chapter 2: “Good or Bad? Charming or Tedious? Understanding Public Participation.” pp. 13-44.)There are many typologies of invited forms of public engagement. This chapter provides a particularly useful typology by distinguishing between thin and thick varieties of (invited) forms of public participation. Stewart, J. (2009). The Dilemmas of Engagement: The role of consultation in governance. ANU E Press. (Chapter 5: “Improving consultation Practice”). This chapter discusses why public engagement is often problematic. Drawing on several Australian case studies, Stewart explores the seven ‘bureaucratic sins’ of consultation. Fung, A. (2015). "Putting the public back into governance: The challenges of citizen participation and its future." Public Administration Review, 75(4), 513-522. This piece is by one of the leading scholars in the field of public participation reflecting on the progress and future challenges of citizen engagement in public policy. Russon Gilman H. and Peixoto Carneiro. T. (2019) 'Digital Participation' in The Handbook of Democratic Innovation and governance. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. pp. 105-118. This is a good overview chapter on the opportunities and downsides of digital technologies for citizen engagement, or 'civic tech'. For an overview of e-government and social media in government see the following chapters from Perry, J. L., & Christensen, R. K. (eds) (2015) Handbook of Public Administration. Both the ebook from the ANU library. · Chap 24 by Moon A. J. and Welch Eric W. “Managing E-Government” · Chap 25 by Mergel I. “Designing Social Media Strategies and Policies”|
|3||Days 3 & 4 : Mondays 10 & 17 August 2020 Participatory Design Workshops I & II On Days 3 and 4 we will workshop the principles and practical craft of participatory design. Throughout both days we will explore and critically analyse various norms, concepts and practical processes for designing processes for public engagement. Through applied examples and case studies, we will reflect on how democratic ideals, such as inclusion, participation, representation and legitimacy are operationalised in contemporary participatory design. We will examine frameworks and resources for designing effective participatory processes. We also consider some of the common questions and challenges facing participatory designers such as: • Who is the target group and how they be engaged? • How will you avoid participatory fatigue and over-consultation? • Who is likely to be excluded by the process? • How will you ensure that public engagement is meaningful i.e. that decision makers listen? Students will also consider a series of participatory 'trouble shooting' scenarios, and collectively discuss how to design participation and engage the public under particular circumstances. On Day 3 students will be allocated a Design Group for their Participatory Design assessment task. Students will be given time on Days 3 and 4 to work in their group on their Design Pitch. Resources for Days 3 and 4 (available via e-brick) Nabatchi T. and M. Leighninger 2015 Public Participation for 21st century democracy. John Wiley. (Chapter 2: “Participation Scenarios and Tactics in Understanding Public Participation” pp. 421-285). This chapter provides good starting by asking a series of questions about the purpose of the engagement, who is going to participate and how. For a useful design guidance on working out ‘who should participate’ and how, see: · VAGO(2015) Public Participation in Government Decision: Making Best Practice Guide. Victoria Auditor General’s Office. · Twyford, V. Waters, S. Hardy, M. Dengate, J. (2006) “Who is the community?” in Beyond Public Meetings: Connecting community Engagement with Decision Making, Twyford Consulting Communication. · Colvin, R. M., Witt, G. B., & Lacey,J. (2016). “Approaches to identifying stakeholders in environmental management: insights from practitioners to go beyond the ‘usual suspects’ ”. Land Use Policy, 52, 266-276. For ideas on how to recruit participants, see Nabatchi, T., J. Gastil, G. M. Weiksner, and M. Leighninger. 2012. Democracy in Motion: Evaluating the Practice and Impact of Deliberative Civic Engagement. New York: Oxford University Press. (Chap 3: The participation and recruitment challenge.) The internet is also providing opportunities for governments to change the way they inform, consult and engage the public. For an overview of different approaches used by local governments around the world, see Nabathchi, T., Ines M.,2010. “Participation 2.0 : Using Internet and Social Media Technologies to Promote Distributed Democracy and Create Digital Neighborhoods”. In: SVARA, James H., ed., Janet DENHARDT, ed.. Connected Communities : Local Governments as a Partner in Citizen Engagement and Community Building ; A white paper prepared for the Alliance for Innovation. Phoenix, Arizona: Alliance for Innovation, pp. 80-87.|
|5||Day 5: Friday 11 September 2020 Design Pitches On Day 5 groups will ‘pitch’ their participatory design concepts to the class. Collectively we will discuss each design and explore strategies to strengthen each design. Following the pitches the class will reflect on their own personal experiences of participating and deliberating in small groups. Introduction to Doing Publics In the final session on Day 5 students will be introduced to 'Doing Publics', which are bottom up or community driven attempts to solve public policy problems. These grass-roots initiatives typically emerge when citizens are frustrated with the policy status quo, and they see pathways for addressing a public problem. In contrast to invited publics, citizens in doing publics exercise considerable agency in public policy by determining by themselves, how they want to work with state and corporate actors. Required Reading Day 5 (available via e-brick) da Silva, D. S., Horlings, L. G., & Figueiredo, E. (2018). "Citizen Initiatives in the Post-Welfare State." Social Sciences, 7(12), 1-21.The piece offers further empirical insights into the driver behind recent community-driven initiatives in Europe where traditional structures for the provision of social welfare are in flux.|
|6||Day 6: Friday 18 September 2020 Doing Publics On Day 6 we look further at 'Doing Publics', and consider the opportunities and challenges they create for citizens, civil society, governments, public policy and democracy more broadly. Students will spend time in class discussing and selecting a ‘doing public’ for their final assessment task (the Case Study). Bringing it all together In the middle session of Day 6, we consider what happens in practice when all the different publics we have examined in this course come together. Do they mutually support each other or clash? Future Trends and Themes in Public Engagement In the concluding session of Day 6 we discuss future trends in public participation in public policy, including topics such the role and rise of participatory consultants, philanthropists and corporations. Required Reading Day 6 (available via e-brick) Mitlin, D. (2008). “With and beyond the state—co-production as a route to political influence, power and transformation for grassroots organizations.” Environment and Urbanization, 20(2), 339-360. This article discusses grassroots forms of co-production as practiced in the global south, where citizens often initiate co-production in a context of limited state capacity. Wagenaar et al 2015. “The transformative potential of civic enterprise.” Planning Theory & Practice, 16(4): 557-585. This article explores a range of contemporary citizen initiatives – labelled here civic enterprises – that have emerged over the past decade, particularly in Europe. These are grassroots organisations that do far more than participate or advise governments, they actively do policy work by providing public services, for example, energy, food or care. Bherer, L., Gauthier, M., & Simard, L. (Eds.). (2017). The professionalization of public participation. Taylor & Francis. Chap 1. This is the introductory chapter of a book on the increasing role of professionals in designing and running public engagement processess. Wesselink, A., Paavola, J., Fritsch, O., & Renn, O.(2011). “Rationales for public participation in environmental policy and governance: practitioners' perspectives.” Environment and Planning A, 43(11), 2688-2704. This piece considers the views of practitioners and explore the perennial ‘Why does participation sometimes fail?’|
|Assessment task||Value||Due Date||Return of assessment||Learning Outcomes|
|Comparative Paper (35% individual)||35 %||14/08/2020||06/09/2020||1,2,4,5|
|Participatory Design Pitch (25% group mark)||25 %||11/09/2020||14/09/2020||1,2,3,5|
|Case Study (30% individual)||30 %||12/10/2020||08/11/2020||1,2,4,5|
|Course Engagement (10% individual)||10 %||20/07/2020||03/12/2020||1,2,3|
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
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Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5
Comparative Paper (35% individual)
2000 words (not including refs)
This assessment task requires you to write a short essay-style paper comparing insisted publics (Day 1) and invited publics (Day 2).
In your paper compare these two ‘publics’ in terms of:
• how the public participates in public policy
• the benefits and risks each presents to public policy
In your discussion make reference to at least two practical examples drawn from relevant course literature (see required readings plus resources on Wattle).
• Comprehension and focus on set task (Learning Outcome 5)
• Understanding of key concepts and ideas (Learning Outcome 1)
• Comparative analysis of different approaches to public engagement in policy (Learning Outcome 4)
• Critical engagement in course literature (Learning Outcome 2)
• Competent use of case studies connecting theory and practice (Learning Outcome 4)
• Clarity of organisational structure and expression (Learning Outcome 5)
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,5
Participatory Design Pitch (25% group mark)
Students will be allocated into a small group and will work together to develop a participatory design proposal for an unresolved public issue/policy problem. Each group will play the role of a community engagement consultancy firm that has been asked to submit a participatory design concept to a specified client for engaging the public on specified policy problem. Groups will be allocated in Day 3, and they will each consider a different policy problem, with different clients. There will be time set aside in Days 3 and 4 for students to work in groups to develop participatory design.
As a this task requires you to:
- Consider the allocated scenario (each group will have a different scenario to consider)
- Engage in the practical and theoretical literature on participatory design in order to develop a design concept for your allocated scenario
- Prepare and present a 12min powerpoint presentation (on Day 5) in which you ‘pitch’ your design to the class, followed by a 10min question and answer session.
The pitch needs to provide an overview of the design process and product and engage the class in discussion on the design. During your 12 min presentation, your group should outline the following aspects of your participatory design concept:
· What’s the policy problem?
· Make clear any assumptions that your group made about your scenario.
· Who are the affected publics?
· How will different affected publics be selected/recruited and how will they participate?
· What is the timeline for the design?
· What are the expected benefits and possible risks?
· Understanding and focus on the set task (Learning Outcome 5)
· Demonstration of participatory design principles informed by relevant literature (Learning Outcomes 1 and 2)
· Evidence of inclusive and effective group work (Learning outcome 3)
· Engaging the class in a discussion on the design (Learning outcome 3)
· Effective and persuasive communication of participatory ideas and design (Learning outcome 5)
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5
Case Study (30% individual)
1800 words (not including refs)
You are required to identify and discuss a case study of a contemporary ‘doing public’ – a topic we will explore on Days 5 & 6. The case study should be based on your own research, rather than one that has been written up in a scholarly article.
This assessment task is designed to increase your skills in researching, analysing and discussing how citizens engage in public policy. Students are asked to use the internet to research and find a case where citizens have taken a collective, grass-roots approach to governing a particular public problem, for example energy reform, crime, social issues, planning issues, pollution, care, immigration etc. the initiative has been instigated, and is run, by citizens.
To find a suitable 'doing public' for their case study, students should look for citizens' initiatives/community organisations with the following characteristics:
it was founded and is run by citizens
citizens participate in the 'doing public' by taking pragmatic steps to resolve a specific policy problem (ie. they are not just protesting against something, or providing recommendations to policy makers, but actually doing the governing).
the citizens leading the 'doing public' adopt a participatory approach to governing (for example, they use participatory procedures to engage other citizens)
Once you have found a suitable case study, students need to write a case study that addresses the following questions:
What ‘public problem’ are the citizens trying to solve?
How did the citizens self-organise into a collective doing public?
How are the citizens self-governing themselves internally?
What participatory methods (if any) are they using to engage other citizens (or the broader public)?
In your assessment, how inclusive is the doing public of other citizens?
How does the Doing public interact with the state (cooperatively, selectively, at arms-length, or in another manner)?
How does this case inform ideas in the scholarly literature on ‘doing publics’?
Comprehension and focus on set task (Learning Outcome 5)
Understanding of relevant concepts and ideas (Learning Outcome 1)
Evidence of extensive (desktop) research (Learning Outcomes 2 and 5)
Connection of case to relevant scholarly literature (Learning Outcome 2)
Original analysis (not just description) of the case (Learning outcome 4)
Clarity of organisational structure and expression (Learning Outcome 5)
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
Course Engagement (10% individual)
Engagement is a central theme of this course, and as such students will gain skills in active and constructive engagement. This assessment item (which relates to learning outcomes 1,2, and 3) requires that you engage actively in the course and contribute to the class and class discussion by:
- engaging in both individual and group tasks online
- offering informed and constructive inputs in web-forums and live discussions
- encouraging inclusive discussion with fellow students
Successful course engagement requires more than logging on and 'turning up'. Through the course you will be equipped with resources and skills for effective group facilitation and discussion.
Students will not be penalised if they provide legitimate medical or personal reasons why they are unable to contribute or participate in a given session. Please email the course convenor before the scheduled activity is due or before the live session.
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citizen engagement, public participation, democratic aspects of public policy including forms of collective action, political representation, inclusion and legitimacy, deliberative democracy?
AsPr Carolyn Hendriks
AsPr Carolyn Hendriks