A Social Learning Framework for a Wicked Problem: The Case of Energy
Wicked problems in policy research have two characteristics: (1) the goals are unknown or very ambiguous and (2) the means-ends relationships are highly uncertain and poorly understood. This paper suggests that energy policy poses a wicked problem and that traditional methods of policy research are therefore inadequate when they are applied in this domain. An alternative approach based on social learning is proposed. Some discussion of the four components of such an approach is presented and an evaluation of a recent exercise in policy research in Canada The Energy Options Process - is presented in the light of what a social learning approach would require. It is shown that the Energy Options Process has failed to live up to the expectations it has created.
Rights for Authors
As further described in our submission agreement (the Submission Agreement), in consideration for publication of the article, the authors assign to Energy Studies Review all copyright in the article, subject to the expansive personal--use exceptions described below.
Attribution and Usage Policies
Reproduction, posting, transmission or other distribution or use of the article or any material therein, in any medium as permitted by a personal-use exemption or by written agreement of Energy Studies Review, requires credit to Energy Studies Review as copyright holder (e.g., Energy Studies Review © 2014).
The following uses are always permitted to the author(s) and do not require further permission from DigitalCommons@McMaster provided the author does not alter the format or content of the articles, including the copyright notification:
- Storage and back-up of the article on the author's computer(s) and digital media (e.g., diskettes, back-up servers, Zip disks, etc.), provided that the article stored on these computers and media is not readily accessible by persons other than the author(s);
- Posting of the article on the author(s) personal website, provided that the website is non-commercial;
- Posting of the article on the internet as part of a non-commercial open access institutional repository or other non-commercial open access publication site affiliated with the author(s)'s place of employment (e.g., a Phrenology professor at the University of Southern North Dakota can have her article appear in the University of Southern North Dakota's Department of Phrenology online publication series); and
- Posting of the article on a non-commercial course website for a course being taught by the author at the university or college employing the author.
People seeking an exception, or who have questions about use, should contact the editors.