Policy & Politics
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Transforming public policy with engaged scholarship: better together

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  • 1 University of Guelph, , Canada
  • | 2 University of Waterloo, , Canada
  • | 3 University of New Brunswick, , Canada
  • | 4 Wilfrid Laurier University, , Canada
  • | 5 York University, , Canada
  • | 6 University of Victoria, Canada and University of Hawai’i, , USA
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Many people remain invisible in all stages of policymaking processes and are re/harmed by policy decisions made in their absence, even where public engagement has occurred. This lack of meaningful engagement affects those experiencing homelessness, migrant workers, northern and Indigenous women, and others with whom we have collaborated. This article demonstrates the transformative potential of recognising these ‘invisible’ actors as legitimate and effective actors in the policy process. In this article, we present a series of Canadian research vignettes, emerging from our empirical research programmes, that illuminate the possibilities for the principles of engaged scholarship to advance transformative, community-driven policymaking. Along with other critical policy scholars, we are concerned about how power circulates and is distributed unequally through public policy. Our focus in on how commitments manifested through engaged scholarship can disrupt these power distributions. Through our vignettes, we demonstrate how principles of engaged scholarship can shape public engagement, the understanding of policy problems, the creation of evidence, and the development of meaningful policy solutions. This article makes an important contribution on how to improve the processes of public engagement in policy development.

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  • 1 University of Guelph, , Canada
  • | 2 University of Waterloo, , Canada
  • | 3 University of New Brunswick, , Canada
  • | 4 Wilfrid Laurier University, , Canada
  • | 5 York University, , Canada
  • | 6 University of Victoria, Canada and University of Hawai’i, , USA

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