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Expert advisory councils in the policy system

Crowley, K ORCID: 0000-0001-6190-2233 and Head, B 2017 , 'Expert advisory councils in the policy system', in M Brans and I Geva-May and M Howlett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Comparative Policy Analysis , Routledge, United Kingdom, pp. 181-198.

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This chapter examines transformation, diffusion and variability issues in terms of expert advisory councils in advanced democracies over recent decades. A review of the international literature shows that, whilst there is still a role for traditional, independent, advisory councils within the government sector, expert advisory councils today are under great pressure to adapt to changing contexts and expectations. Most importantly, they are not only expected to provide the best available expert advice to government, but to do so in ways that engage with broader policy contexts and inter-related issue domains. There is growing evidence that some expert councils are taking on some of the features of ‘boundary organisations’, by engaging with a range of perspectives across broad policy domains, and by harnessing not only scientific knowledge but also lay knowledge and explicitly value-laden perspectives. Those expert advisory councils that engage with sectoral interests and value-based groups are, furthermore, likely to be better placed to leverage support and policy traction on difficult issues. However, the translation and diffusion of expert advice is always difficult and problematic whatever the socio-political context. In general, the transition from expert advice into evidence-informed policy action is enhanced when attention is paid to both design and engagement processes within specific institutional settings.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Crowley, K and Head, B
Keywords: expert advisory bodies, comparative policy analysis, knowledge utilisation
Publisher: Routledge
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Copyright 2017 Taylor & Francis

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