What is a Good Policy? Political Morality, Feasibility, and Democracy (GOODPOL)

The point of departure for the GOODPOL-project, is that disagreement over policy is the normal state of politics. How we approach such disputes and which policy decisions we make are decisive for the distribution of benefits and burdens in society.

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The tension between democratic processes and a good policy outcome is a central dilemma in the GOODPOL project. Photo: Rosemary Ketchum / Pexels (from article by CAS).

This makes the task of assessing policies crucial, yet complex. Good policies should reflect what we believe to be right. At the same time they must be feasible, and the result of democratic processes.
Cathrine Holst and Jakob Elster is leading the project at the Centre for Advanced Study (CAS).

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Moral expertise in policy decisions?

In this talk, Holst and Elster will present the research questions addressed in GOODPOL through the lens of one more specific set of questions: what role should moral expertise in policy decisions have?
Are there moral experts, and if they are, how can we know who we should listen to if they disagree? Is giving an important role to moral experts compatible with democratic ideals? In what ways does moral expertise differ from other forms of expertise with respect to these questions?

“We are not going to come up with answers to what a good policy is. We will rather try to answer: what needs to be in place in order to know what a good policy is?”

Jakob Elster


Related reading

Article on the GOODPOL project by CAS on the project: The policies that affect us all: are they well-founded?

News from the kick-off seminar for the project: Hvilken politikk er best? - Norsk senter for menneskerettigheter (uio.no)


Published Jan. 6, 2021 1:09 PM - Last modified Jan. 6, 2021 1:09 PM