David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Politics and Ethics Review 3 (2):163-80 (2007)
Despite the relative ease and regularity with which it is used by policymakers and the functional role that it often plays in the policy development process, the concept of reasonableness has essentially been overlooked by public policy scholars in their analysis of the factors influencing the development of public policy. However, the maintenance of the analytical status quo is likely to prove increasingly difficult. As the issues that governments must address become increasingly complicated and controversial and it becomes correspondingly more difficult to identify easily or clearly the most appropriate response to associated problems, policymakers will inevitably be forced to place greater reliance on the concept of reasonableness as the final court of appeal when seeking to determine the attractiveness and acceptability of policy decisions. Accordingly, it seems ‘reasonable’ to suggest that greater, explicit consideration be given to the concept of reasonableness and the role it does and should play in the development of public policy. This article simultaneously offers both a brief overview of the current situation with respect to the meaningful consideration of the concept of reasonableness by public policy scholars and practitioners and a preliminary argument for a reconsideration of the analytical status quo
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