Examining the development and implementation of public policy

This program focuses on the complex framework of politics, actors and processes comprising public policy.

Policies are embodiments of different approaches to problems reflecting different political agendas, assumptions about the nature of politics and the public sector, as well as disputes over and between the sources of political power.

We examine the role of politicians, public servants, community participants and others involved in developing and implementing public policies and their capacity to do so. This research provides important insights about the practical strategies and the design and delivery of programs and services.

Program leader: Dr Liz van Acker


Dr Tracey Arklay, Dr Liz van Acker and Associate Professor Robyn Hollander are working on a project examining a case study of sugar cane growing and the idea of 'open-minded sceptics'. States act as policy laboratories in order to  trial new ideas that might challenge old ways of doing things, inspire other political actors to consider different policy strategies, and provide lessons (on what to do and what not to do) that can be utilised in other jurisdictions. The Burdekin nitrogen trial (RP20) provides an example of an innovative strategy with the potential for application and modification in other jurisdictions. The challenge was to reduce nutrient runoff into the Great Barrier Reef.  For the project, we are interviewing stakeholders such as public servants and farmers to understand how the trial was implemented, despite the scepticism of some participants.

Seminar series

Dealing with topical and current issues, the Centre’s seminar series is a great opportunity to learn and network.

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