Policy Sciences

, Volume 39, Issue 2, pp 135–167 | Cite as

A Paradigm for Practice

  • Ronald D. Brunner


Lack of consensus on a paradigm for practice inhibits the cumulative development of practical knowledge and skills. It also encourages devolution of these and other paradigm functions by default to the established paradigm in the policy movement, reductionism, which includes positive methodology. But reductionism is insufficient for practice. It tends to displace practical aims and expectations, and discount and delegitimize practical and other ways of knowing. This gives rise to problems in practice, illustrated here by problems in psychotherapy, global climate change, and various ‘high-modern’ schemes to improve the human condition. To help alleviate such problems eventually, this article outlines a contextual paradigm for practice based on examples of good practice, the policy sciences, and related sources. The immediate purpose is to stimulate policy scientists, other practitioners, and other contextualists to make explicit and compare their paradigms.


Policy Science Policy Mandate Positive Economic Policy Movement Established Paradigm 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald D. Brunner
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Public Policy ResearchUniversity of ColoradoBoulderU.S.A.

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