Governments which design policies to empower marginalized groups contribute to reducing the democratic deficit in public policy and improve their efficacy, efficiency, and democratic credentials. This article uses fuzzy set ideal type analysis to propose three ideal types of policy design for political empowerment, according to whether the government views the target group as capable only of being Informed by experts, or of being Involved in policy, or even Empowered to co-govern. An analysis of Western European autism policy illustrates and confirms the usefulness of the ideal types. England, Wales, and Denmark emerge as countries where governments have the highest expectations for political empowerment. Surprisingly, traditional disability policy groupings seem not to apply, with the UK split across Empowered and Involved, while Spain leaves its Informed Southern European counterparts to join the Involved cohort. This paper is a timely reminder of the importance of lived experience as a policy resource lived experience as a policy resource.
- autism policy
- citizen participation
- marginalized groups
- policy design
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Administration
- Health Policy
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
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