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Embedding Expertise for Policy Responses to COVID-19: Comparing Decision-Making Structures in Two Federal Democracies

Marleen Easton (), Jasper Paepe (), Phoebe Evans (), Brian W.Head () and Jennifer Yarnold ()
Additional contact information
Marleen Easton: Ghent University
Jasper Paepe: Ghent University
Phoebe Evans: University of Queensland
Brian W.Head: University of Queensland
Jennifer Yarnold: University of Queensland

Public Organization Review, 2022, vol. 22, issue 2, No 6, 309-326

Abstract: Abstract The COVID-19 crisis focused attention on how experts from different scientific fields provided advice to governments through expert committees and task forces. We compared experiences in two federal democracies, Belgium and Australia, by applying a mixed methods approach (literature review, media review, policy documents analysis). This comparative study found that expertise was institutionalized in different ways and its processes and priorities shifted over time. The policy coordination challenges inherent in federalism were largely overcome in Australia through strongly embedded health advisory processes. In Belgium, the advisory process was less stable, with advisory councils being abandoned, replaced, expanded, or downgraded during the course of the crisis.

Keywords: Expertise; Advisory bodies; Decision-making; Policy-responses; Crisis; Covid-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s11115-022-00629-6

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