Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for?

Fischer, Manuel; Leifeld, Philip (2015). Policy forums: Why do they exist and what are they used for? Policy sciences, 48(3), pp. 363-382. Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 10.1007/s11077-015-9224-y

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Policy forums are issue-based intermediary organizations where diverse types of political and societal actors repeatedly interact. Policy forums are important elements of modern governance systems as they allow actors to learn, negotiate, or build trust. They can vary in composition, size, membership logic, and other distinct features. This article lays the foundation of a theory of policy forums based on three interrelated elements: First, it discusses conditions for the formation of a forum and describes the logic of these organizations as one of an asymmetric multipartite exchange. Second, it enumerates the potential set of goals and motivations of participating actors that are fed into this exchange. Third, it proposes eight different dimensions on which policy forums differ and which affect the exchange mechanisms among actors. We claim that empirical work on policy forums should systematically take these elements into account and propose elements of a research agenda.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Political Science

UniBE Contributor:

Leifeld, Philip


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science




Springer Science + Business Media B.V.




Jeremy Simeon Trottmann

Date Deposited:

29 Jun 2016 10:37

Last Modified:

29 Jun 2016 10:37

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Economic Policy, Exchange theory, Governance, Intermediary organization, Policy forum, Political Science, general, Public Administration





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