Purposive Interaction in Multi-Actor Decision Making; Operationalizing Coleman’s Linear System of Action for Policy Decision Support, started out with a ball and a web, a policy domain moved by a network of actors. How can the ball maintain its pace? Who are the actors that make the difference? How can policy annalists support them in moving the decision-making process forward? These are the challenges to policy analyses laid out by the pluricentric perspective on decision making.
This book takes up the challenge by developing analytical methods based on Coleman’s Linear System of Action (Coleman, 1990). The Linear System of Action models policy decision making as a negotiating process in which agreements are reached on the exchange of control over issues. The book describes how to operationalize the Linear System of Action for real-world policy arenas, it introduces mathematical tools for analyzing decision processes and shows how the Linear System of Action can be used to discuss dependency relations. Observed relations between the model and real-world experiences of actors and changes in the way they perceive their position, demonstrate the strength of the methods developed.
Purposive Interaction in Multi-Actor Decision Making is the result of five years of scientific work at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. It covers both theory and practical applications and is therefore of equal interest to policy annalists and practitioners in the field.
Jos Timmermans (1962) has many years of experience in policy development in the water sector. Currently, he is project manager with the province of North Holland and director of Wpoint Interactive, a consultancy using the methods of this book to advise policy makers (www.wpoint.nl or www.actoranalyse.nl).