Gianfranco Pomatto Augusto Vino

Policy Evaluation and the Democratic Public Sphere

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As stated by Carol Weiss (1987, 47) «evaluation is a rational enterprise that takes place in a political context». However, this composite identity of policy evaluation, both technical and political at the same time, is scarcely debated. Drawing from two cases, an active labor market policy and a social-innovation policy both implemented in the Region of Piedmont, the article presents and discusses two possible ways in which the contribution of policy evaluation to public sphere debate can be strengthened. First, by the combination of impact evaluation and mechanisms analysis at the micro level. Second, by the adoption of a constructionist perspective which moves beyond impact evaluation, focusing on actors’ values, perceptions and learning processes, in order to reach a more comprehensive judgement of a policy’s practical reason


  • Policy evaluation
  • Mixed methods
  • Deliberation
  • Democratic experimentalism
  • Practical reason


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