Deliberative Engagement and Wicked Problems: From Good Intentions to Practical Action

Paul Willis, Ralph Tench, David Devins

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter provides a detailed theoretical overview of deliberative engagement (DE) and sets out the normative arguments that highlight how it can be used to address wicked problems (WPs). It highlights how the SME Leaders and Sustainability: Deliberative Engagement (SME-DE) project's findings suggest that an important antecedent to the DE process is the prior existence of social capital given the presence of disruptive contextual factors. The chapter explains the essential characteristics of a WP before moving to a discussion of the implications of this concept for DE. It also highlights how the generation of social capital can be supported by practical confidence building measures, which help to build trust and establish particular norms of behavior among those taking part. The chapter sets out these preliminary insights to develop understanding of how people can be engaged to adopt deliberative practices and is designed to hasten the transition to more networked-based approaches to WP solving.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Communication Engagement
EditorsKim Amanda Johnston, Maureen Taylor
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781119167600, 9781119167518
ISBN (Print)9781119167495
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jun 2018


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