Scripting Deliberative Policy-Making: Dramaturgic Policy Analysis and Engagement Know-How


Work data:

ISSN: 1572-5448

Type of work: Article (academic)


Participation | Politics and Political Science


Public engagers are officials tasked with facilitating collaborative performances in the theatres of deliberation that increasingly populate local governance. In Scotland, they work to involve citizens, communities and organizations in deliberative policy-making. Drawing on two years of ethnographic fieldwork, this paper shows how these policy workers deploy their own field of specialist knowledge during the scripting of participatory processes. The analysis eschews conventional notions of “scripted participation” as tokenistic or manipulative, thus seeking a more sophisticated understanding of the know-how that animates engagement practice. The findings reveal the micro-politics of official participation processes through the “behind-the-scenes” work of engagement practitioners.