Wicked Problems: Revisiting the Idea and its Role in the Making of Public Policy (A Discussion)
Terrace Lounge Seminar Room, Ground Floor
In the field of public policy there is long-standing acknowledgement that some ‘problems’ are resistant to ‘solutions’. They may be highly complex, involve many moving parts and players, be constantly changing, and highly contested. They may even be ‘conditions’ which we muddle through rather than ‘problems’ which we solve. The revival and reworking of concepts such as ‘messy’ problems, ‘wicked problems’, and even ‘super-wicked problems’ have been developed to help engage with such realities. In this seminar, structured as a conversation, we will reflect critically on the concept of ‘wicked problems’, ask how it is used in academic teaching and research, and whether it still illuminates and has value for public policy practitioners.
This seminar is part of the Troubling Policy seminar series run by the Melbourne School of Government. Avery and John will be in conversation with each other and with seminar participants.
Professor John Alford, University of Melbourne
Professor John Alford
University of Melbourne
John Alford is an honorary Professorial Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government, after a long career as a Professor of Public Management. Two of his books and several of his articles have won international awards. He is one of the earliest scholars writing on this topic.
Dr Avery Poole, The University of Melbourne
Dr Avery Poole
The University of Melbourne
Avery Poole is a Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Social and Political Sciences at The University of Melbourne. She was educated at The University of Melbourne and The University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. Her research explores institutional change in regional organisations, focusing on the case study of ASEAN. She also explores the nexus between domestic political change and foreign policymaking in Southeast Asian countries, particularly in Indonesia, and Australian foreign policy towards Southeast Asia. Avery occasionally writes for The Conversation and speaks about Asia Pacific affairs on ABC News 24.