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Crippling Epistemologies and Governance Failures: A Plea for Experimentalism [Paperback]

Gilles Paquet

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Book Description

April 18 2009 Governance Series

In Crippling Epistemologies and Governance Failures, Gilles Paquet criticizes the prevailing practices of the social sciences on the basis of their inadequate concepts of knowledge, evidence and inquiry, concepts he claims have become methodological “mental prisons”. Paquet describes the prevailing policy development process in Canada in terms of its weak information infrastructure, poor accountability, and inflexible organization design. In contrast, he suggests that social science and public policy should promote forms of “serious play” that would allow organizations to experiment with new structures.

Paquet engages with numerous foundationalist programs in the social sciences in order to show their inadequacy and suggests important and unexplored directions in policy areas as diverse as education, science, health, intergovernmental and foreign policy. He closes the work with a plea for experimentalism in academic research, policy development, and organization design.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 298 pages
  • Publisher: University of Ottawa Press (April 18 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0776607030
  • ISBN-13: 978-0776607030
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #843,881 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


“Paquet’s vigorous plea that mediocrity need not be accepted must be read and acted upon.”
- Patrice Dutil, Literary Review of Canada

About the Author

Gilles Paquet is professor emeritus at the Telfer School of Management and is associated with the Centre on Governance and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. He has authored or edited over forty books and published a large number of papers on economics, public management, and governance.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Occasionally iconoclastic and always erudite Aug. 8 2009
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Gilles Paquet is Professor Emeritus at the Telfer School of Management, as well as being professionally associated with the Centre on Governance and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs of the University of Ottawa. The author and/or editor of more than forty books (and having published an impressive number of papers) on economics, public management, and governance, Professor Paquet is uniquely positions to speak with informed authority concerning prevailing practices and inadequate methodological concepts of knowledge, evidence and inquiry with respect to the social sciences. Offering impeccable scholarship, Professor Paquet's critiques with respect to current Canadian policy development with respect to a weak information infrastructure, inadequate accountability, and flawed organizational design is documented by example and rational judgment. Professor Paquet goes on to offer public policy reforms that would permit governmental and other social institutions to productively experiment with the development and implementation of new governance and academic decision making structures. Occasionally iconoclastic and always erudite, "Crippling Epistemologies and Governance Failures" is highly recommended reading and a seminal contribution to academic library collections.

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