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Schön, Donald A. and Martin Rein. Frame Reflection: Toward the Resolution of Intractable Public Controversies. New York: Basic Books, 1994 (247 pp.). While this text is intended primarily for public policy analysts and those who teach public policy, there are implications here for broader public approaches to policy issues (although even the authors say that is not the arena they are most concerned with). The focus on "framing" and "reframing" refers to beliefs, values, and perspectives of societal culture that underpin policy questions. As such, while the authors confess that "reflection in policy practice has very little currency," they argue that a reliance on "experts" and "facts" is less significant than most approaches suggest; and they invoke Kant, Habermas, and others as places to begin inquiry (although they ultimately deem them too idealistic). They write, "We want, first of all, to articulate a frame-critical approach that challenges the prevailing, objectivist view of policy analysis." The majority of the book, which isnít very accessible for most general audiences, examines three case studies in order to demonstrate how a "reframing" of the design, rather than an introduction of new facts or information, helped resolve the issues. For anyone who wants to undertake it, there is information here and in the authorsí references that might help draw more parallels between this contemporary, pluralist approach to public policy and more public versions.


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