DESIGNING A POLICY RESPONSE TO POPULISM AND THE ‘WICKED’ ISSUES OF EXCLUSION, UNEMPLOYMENT , POVERTY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Keywords:anger, elitism, inequality, reframing, governance, economics, wellbeing stocks
Paper number: 001 (Assigned by Journal editor)
This paper scopes out a response to the new populism based on anger and a sense of exclusion by those left behind by a neo-liberal economy resulting in high levels of unemployment or underemployment. Unemployment has been represented as a problem associated with policy representations ranging from the most conservative to more progressive approaches, for example: lack of appropriate skills, lack of motivation, over mechanization, lack of resources, lack of will from government ,lack of capability as a result of lack of vision and imagination, inability to include diverse representations of the so-called problem and the need for transformational systemic thinking and practice to ensure integrated Blue Economy approaches within a Cascade Economy.
The issue has been problematized by the left as too little too late for specific interest groups by critical spectators who no longer demonstrate alternatives, according to Rorty (1999), in ‘Achieving our Country’.
The right has characterized unemployment as a lack of appropriate education or associated with poor management of resources by families, communities, schools or tertiary educators. This paper makes the case that the problem has been misrepresented by populists on the right and on the left for their own political agendas.
The paper discusses wicked problems comprising many, interrelated variables that are perceived differently by different stakeholders who feel strongly about the issues. Paradoxically a solution for some can be the source of problems for others. Thus a human development approach is suggested to enable stakeholders to appreciate the nature of systemic issues and to enhance the capability of global citizens to think about the individual and collective consequences of their everyday choices, in order to protect wellbeing stocks.
The approach to governance addresses the need to include the wide range of groups that are affected by policy making. The idea is that those who are affected by a policy decision should be part of the policy making process shaped by monitoring from below to protect local interests and monitoring from above in post national constellations to protect the global commons.
The approach to representation detailed in ‘Planetary Passport’ is inclusive and based on testing out ideas. The policy silences and the silenced people are placed at the centre of this approach in order to foster their capabilities. The approach enables user-centric policy design based on the perceptions of what works, why and how. In this sense the mixed methods approach is non-linear and participatory. It also honours the policy environment that stresses the need for a sense of ownership of a problem and the way in which it is framed. This needs to be developed to address the challenges faced across the different age cohorts in a range of developed and developing nations to address the convergent social, economic and environmental challenges facing people living in an increasingly divided world where the haves make policy in their own interests at the expense of the majority in this generation and the next.
Key words: anger, elitism, inequality, reframing, governance, economics, wellbeing stocks