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Deliberation Councils, Government-Business-Citizen Partnerships, and Public Policy-Making: Cases from Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada

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The authors assert that one of the least appreciated but important institutional factors underlying the remarkable growth in the East Asian miracle economies is the ‘deliberation council’: a consultative arrangement linking government, business and civil society. They describe three such councils, two in Southeast Asia and one in North America, and reveal the critical features of effective councils which can be found regardless of the political, social and economic contexts in which they operate. Efforts to adapt and apply successful councils in other contexts should consider the following common features: focus on clear and specific mandates; staffing by credible individuals who represent a broad cross section of stakeholders; process and procedures for collaboration which are transparent, systematic, and straightforward; decision making via unanimity rule; and communication of council decisions through one voice, the chairperson. The authors contend that councils of this nature are helpful, if not critical, in stabilizing the policy environment, and promoting business development in the Asia-Pacific region especially in periods of fiscal crisis.

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Campos, J.E.L., Gonzalez, J.L. Deliberation Councils, Government-Business-Citizen Partnerships, and Public Policy-Making: Cases from Singapore, Malaysia, and Canada. Asia Pacific Journal of Management 16, 429–448 (1999).

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