Reforming the Teaching and Conducting of Policy Studies to Deal Better with Complex Systems

Published in: Journal on Policy and Complex Systems, Volume 7, Number 1, pages 119–139 (Spring 2021). doi: 10.18278/jpcs.7.1.9

Posted on RAND.org on September 17, 2021

by Paul K. Davis, Tim McDonald, Ann Pendleton-Jullian, Angela O'Mahony, Osonde A. Osoba

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The teaching and conduct of policy analysis needs updating to account better for the special challenges of social problems occurring in complex adaptive systems. Drawing on topics central to this journal, we suggest changes relating to (1) worldview when conceiving and posing problems, (2) the basis for reasoning and inference within a worldview, (3) analytic style for conducting inquiry (e.g., addressing uncertainty and comparing options), (4) the character of the models used, and (5) the questions asked of the models.

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