top of page
< Back

Policy making and democratic responsiveness: The explanatory potential of values

Linda Botterill, University of Canberra

Tue 14 July 2020

11:00am - 12:00pm

Building 24, University of Canberra / Virtual Seminar

Seminar recording is available on our YouTube channel.


This presentation will consider policy as the output of the democratic process, the endpoint of Powell’s “chain of democratic responsiveness”.  Understanding fully how citizens’ preferences are reflected in policy outcomes requires the effective integration of politics into models of the policy process.  One way to do this is to consider policy and politics through a values lens.  I will argue that values constitute the common thread that connects all the stages of the chain of responsiveness, with each choice from citizens’ voting to policy decisions involving the prioritisation of one value or set of values over others.  Drawing on the work of Shalom Schwartz, I will consider what is meant by the term ‘values’ and then discuss how they are evident in every stage of the democratic process.  I will conclude with a few observations about what this approach means for policy studies.

About the speaker

Linda Botterill is Professor in Australian Politics and Head of the Canberra School of Politics, Economics & Society.  She is a political scientist working in the areas of Australian politics, and public policy theory.  The focus of her current work is the role of values in politics and policy, and she has also published extensively on Australian rural policy and politics.  Prior to commencing her academic career, Professor Botterill worked as a policy practitioner – including over a decade in the APS, as an adviser to two Ministers for Primary Industries and Energy in the Keating government, and as senior policy adviser in two industry associations. She was elected as a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 2015.

bottom of page