This discussion elaborates a particular aspect of deliberative policy analysis—the need to integrate empirical and normative analysis and how that can be done

This discussion elaborates a particular aspect of deliberative policy analysis—the need to integrate
empirical and normative analysis and how that can be done.1 From this perspective, it is the argument
that constitutes the basic unit of real-world policy analysis. As Majone (1989, 7) has explained,
most of the work of the policy analyst “in a system of government by discussion . . . has less to do
with the formal techniques of problem-solving than with the process of argument.” As he writes,
“the job of the analyst consists in large part of producing evidence and arguments to be used in the
course of public debate.” In view of this discursive nature of policy analysis, policy itself is thus
best understood as “crafted argument” (Stone 1988). In an attempt to improve policy arguments,
writes Hawkesworth (1988, 191), the goal of policy analysis is to illuminate “the contentious dimensions
of policy questions, to explain the intractability of policy debates, to identify the defects
of supporting arguments, and to elucidate the political implications of contending prescriptions.”
Such a task involves both empirical and normative analysis