Policy Modelling

Session Chairs:
Petra Ahrweiler (EA European Academy)
Nigel Gilbert (University of Surrey)

A session organised by the ESSA Special Interest Group (SIG) “Policy Modelling“

Policy Modelling refers to a process rather than to an object, and covers modelling activities that have the ambition to be used by governance actors as part of the policy cycle (policy formation, policy making, policy evaluation). This session invites papers on models addressing any phase of the policy cycle and any area of policy, such as Technology and Strategy Planning, Technology Policy, Water Management Policy, Regional Economic and Sectoral Policy, Health Policy, Development Policy, Land-Use Policy, Energy Policy, and Research and Innovation Policy.

There are still heavy barriers to the uptake of models by policymakers. It is difficult to validate models to the degree required to derive reliable policy recommendations. Furthermore, there are communication problems between modellers and policymakers; their interaction is difficult due to different action logics, requirements, agendas, time horizons etc. It is difficult to explain how powerful models are, and where are their limitations. We look for contributions demonstrating how these issues have been dealt with in the models presented.

There might be room for a Roundtable during the conference to discuss the hands-on aspects of the difficult interaction between modellers and policy practitioners (for example, represented by regional/local policymakers) to exchange experiences and views, to suggest approaches, to introduce project ideas to support the interaction between policy and modelling etc. Proposals to organise such a Roundtable are welcome.

If the session attracts a reasonable number and quality of papers in each of the categories of policy formation, policy making, and policy evaluation, this will enable a comprehensive debate about Policy Modelling as a field, which in turn might lead to a follow up with a Special Issue in a relevant journal.

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