Edited by H. K. Colebatch and Robert Hoppe
Chapter 22: Problematization
This chapter seeks to bring to the fore the power of the politics of problem definition which seems to have lost its importance as the process through which different groups of people learn to live together and together pursue evolving visions of the good life. We argue that the problem definition perspective offers much more than a possible explanation for the rise of issues onto the public agenda. To clarify the place of problem definition in public policymaking, we first take note of problem definition in the context of policy analysis. Next, the notion of problematization serves us well as shorthand for the ongoing processes – “issue selection” as well as “problem definition” – through which people with different values, visions, and preferences learn to live together. Finally, both processes provide a useful and rich conceptual framework for understanding the preservation as well as the renewal of the values society lives by.
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