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Paradoxes of ModernizationUnintended Consequences of Public Policy Reform$
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Helen Margetts, Perri 6, and Christopher Hood

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199573547

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199573547.001.0001

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When Forethought and Outturn Part

When Forethought and Outturn Part

Types of Unanticipated and Unintended Consequences

(p.44) 3 When Forethought and Outturn Part
Paradoxes of Modernization

Perri 6

Oxford University Press

To expect to find a theory to explain the causes of all and only unintended or unanticipated consequences is no more reasonable than hoping for a general theory of misfortunes. Yet something useful of a general character can be achieved by developing clear conceptual frameworks of definition, classification, and typology. Such frameworks can enable structured comparison, better measurement, and clearer questions with which to distinguish the different kinds of puzzles for which theories and explanations are required. This chapter offers part of such a general framework. First, it considers some key strands of research of unintended and unanticipated consequences in the social sciences, and identifies some limitations in these bodies of work. Then the key terms of ‘surprise’, ‘anticipation’, ‘intention’, and ‘welcome’ are examined, that go to make up an initial, coarse-grained typology. This tool is used to consider similarities and differences between the cases examined in other chapters in this volume. The chapter concludes by identifying a key conceptual and theoretical issue for further work in the next generation of research in this field.

Keywords:   unintended consequences, surprise, anticipation, intention, welcome

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