Today citizens are feeling more and more isolated and disconnected from each other and from their society’s power structures. Several questions clearly need answers: To what extent has the traditional rational approach to policy development contributed to these feelings and to a growing loss of confidence in policy makers? Would a behavioural model of analysis and engagement result in a more connected, committed, and understanding citizenry? Would a coordinated, multidisciplinary approach result in better decision-making, better policies, and a greater sense of involvement from citizens? This dissertation explores the impact of modernity, behavioural processes, and models of decision making on policy and program development, taking a multidisciplinary approach, within a specific political context. The examples used to test this impact against practices, policies, and programs are taken from experiences in the province of British Columbia. The author has been involved as a participant-observer in decision making and in policy and program development for over three decades and has watched this complexity grow exponentially from a number of vantage points: as a board member of non-profit service providers, a director of British Columbia's largest youth custody centre, a mayor, a cabinet minister, and a presenter at international conferences. The author uses personal experiences as well as relevant research from the fields of psychology and economics to explore their impact on how policy is made. He then uses an understanding of the current knowledge of context, process and decision making to propose a general model for the development and implementation of policy.
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Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Corrado, Ray