“The people voted for Brexit, that’s the end of it”

I constantly see in news and social media feeds the claim that the UK does not need a second Brexit referendum — a People’s Vote — because the people have already voted. They made a decision, get over it, get on with it. We shouldn’t revisit decisions over and over again until we get what the losers think is the right answer. I’m tired of … Continue reading “The people voted for Brexit, that’s the end of it”

The danger of policy – and deliberation – in straight lines

Teaching a class of middle- ranking policy makers last year brought to the foreground an issue I’ve been pondering for a while now. It is this: many officials focus too much on a well-defined problem, and design solutions to fix that problem directly. Indeed, they are taught, and incentivised, to do that. The vast majority of public administration and management courses and text-books preach that … Continue reading The danger of policy – and deliberation – in straight lines

Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

I was privileged yesterday to take part in a discussion on CBC radio’s Ottawa Morning show with host Robyn Bresnahan and Jennifer Ditchburn, Editor in Chief of Policy Options. Jennifer had written an excellent piece about a huge, decade-long programme to renovate the Centre Block of the Canadian Parliament, something that is not being discussed but should be, because of its potential to significantly disrupt the … Continue reading Parliament Rebuilding – don’t let them seal themselves off

A new job in Europe!

Followers of my social media feeds will already know this, but on 1 January 2019 I take up a new position as Professor of Social and Political Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. It’s a rather exciting opportunity because the whole faculty works in a very boundary-crossing way.    The department itself has … Continue reading A new job in Europe!

Brexit, deliberative democracy, and the unforced force of the better argument

It’s more than a week after the vote in the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union, and it’s taken me this long to write something. I mourn for a Britain that can be so courageous and welcoming, but has now legitimised blaming ‘the other’ to deflect blame at home. I am concerned for my many European friends in Britain, some of whom now … Continue reading Brexit, deliberative democracy, and the unforced force of the better argument