Location: Columbia University, Morningside Campus, Low Memorial Library, The Faculty Room 207
Contact: For further information regarding this event, please contact Hayley Martinez by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Introduction: Steve Cohen, Executive Director, The Earth Institute; Professor of Practice, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University; Speaker: Tanya Heikkila, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver
The Earth Institute presents Tanya Heikkila, Associate Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver.
Many approaches currently exist for evaluating public policies, but there are relatively few approaches for evaluating policy processes. In this talk, Tanya Heikkila will introduce an approach for diagnosing contentious policy processes, by measuring the intensity, sources, and impacts of policy debates. This approach is illustrated through questionnaire data collected in the spring of 2015 of policy actors politically involved in hydraulic fracturing debates in Colorado. The data show moderately intense political debate marked by polarization of positions, perceived threats, unwillingness to compromise, and demonization of opponents. The sources of the conflict include an entrenchment of positions, distinct network relations, and divergent sources of knowledge. At the same time, the existence of brokers, shared priorities, and the high network centrality of some government organizations suggest opportunities for mitigating the conflict. The outcomes of the conflict appear to be getting worse over time and are often divided, based on normative positions about expanding or contracting hydraulic fracturing. Heikkila will conclude with a research agenda for diagnosing contentious policy processes and helping inform policy processes toward sustainable politics.
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Sponsors: Earth Institute