Publication
Title
Conflict reconsidered: The boomerang effect of depoliticization in the policy process
Author
Abstract
This article argues that the efforts of policy-makers to avoid conflict in the short run can be counterproductive in the long run. Not only may policy-makers fail to reap the benefits of conflicts when they try to steer clear, but conflict may actually increase rather than diminish. We study conflict through the conceptual lens of (de)politicization in the lengthy and highly contested policy-making process over the multibillion-euro Oosterweelconnection' highway in Antwerp (Belgium). An in-depth media analysis of 739 articles is combined with data from 32 narrative interviews. We conclude that efforts to end public debate through depoliticization can have a boomerang effect, in which conflict disappears only temporarily, and that these efforts can ultimately increase conflict while wasting engagement and creativity. More attention to the productive aspects of conflict is needed in public administration literature and practice.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Public administration / Royal Institute of Public Administration [London] - London
Publication
London : 2018
ISSN
0033-3298
Volume/pages
96 :2 (2018) , p. 286-301
ISI
000434363800004
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Publication type
Subject
Law 
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identification
Creation 10.07.2018
Last edited 26.09.2021
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