Jonathan Boston

Jonathan Boston is a Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Institute of Policy studies at the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. He has published widely in the fields of public management, tertiary education, social policy, and climate change policy, including 24 books and over 170 journal articles and book chapters.

Future-Proofing the State »

Managing Risks, Responding to Crises and Building Resilience

This book focuses on the challenges facing governments and communities in preparing for and responding to major crises — especially the hard to predict yet unavoidable natural disasters ranging from earthquakes and tsunamis to floods and bushfires, as well as pandemics and global economic crises. Future-proofing the state and our societies involves decision-makers developing capacities to learn from recent ‘disaster’ experiences in order to be better placed to anticipate and prepare for foreseeable challenges. To undertake such futureproofing means taking long-term (and often recurring) problems seriously, managing risks appropriately, investing in preparedness, prevention and mitigation, reducing future vulnerability, building resilience in communities and institutions, and cultivating astute leadership. In the past we have often heard calls for ‘better future-proofing’ in the aftermath of disasters, but then neglected the imperatives of the message. Future-Proofing the State is organised around four key themes: how can we better predict and manage the future; how can we transform the short-term thinking shaped by our political cycles into more effective long-term planning; how can we build learning into our preparations for future policies and management; and how can we successfully build trust and community resilience to meet future challenges more adequately?

Public Policy »

Why ethics matters

Ethics is a vigorously contested field. There are many competing moral frameworks, and different views about how normative considerations should inform the art and craft of governmental policy making. What is not in dispute, however, is that ethics matters. The ethical framework adopted by policy analysts and decision makers not only shapes how policy problems are defined, framed and analysed, but also influences which ethical principles and values are taken into account and their weighting. As a result, ethics can have a profound impact, both on the character of the policy process and the choices made by decision makers. Public Policy – Why Ethics Matters brings together original contributions from leading scholars and practitioners with expertise in various academic disciplines, including economics, philosophy, physics, political science, public policy and theology. The volume addresses three main issues: fist, the ethical considerations that should inform the conduct of public officials and the task of policy analysis; second, the ethics of climate change; and third, ethics and economic policy. While the contributors have varying views on these important issues, they share a common conviction that the ethical dimensions of public policy need to be better understood and given proper attention in the policy-making process.