Quotation Ansell, Christopher, Bartenberger, Martin. 2014. Expanding the Toolkit of Experimentation.




Experimentalism has emerged as a prominent approach to addressing complex social, economic, political and environmental problems. We survey the diversity of experimentalism, identifying three distinct forms of experimentation - controlled, Darwinian, and generative. We argue that these distinct forms of experimentation have different strengths and weaknesses and are relevant in different contexts. While acknowledging the value of randomized control trials (RCTs) for isolating causation, we argue against the tendency to erect RCTs as the 'gold standard' of experimentation. Building on Pragmatist ideas, we distinguish between epistemic and political learning and argue that experimental approaches to environmental problem-solving must be more sensitive to this distinction. Drawing on the literature on adaptive management, democratic experimentalism, and environmental policy, we illustrate how this wider appreciation of experimentalism enriches the tool kit for addressing environmental problems.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title Expanding the Toolkit of Experimentation
Year 2014
URL http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2475844


Bartenberger, Martin (Former researcher)
Ansell, Christopher
Institute for Public Management and Governance IN (Details)
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