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Strategy and its discontents: The place of strategy in national policymaking

By Peter Jennings, Rod Lyon, Anthony Bergin, Robert Ayson, Brendan Taylor, Nic Stuart, Lance Beath and Neil James

One of the liveliest debates to have taken place on ASPI’s blog, The Strategist, concerned the place of strategy in Canberra’s policymaking community. It seems that there’s little consensus around what strategy’s core business should be, let alone who should practice it and whether indeed enough strategy is being done by DFAT, Defence or other parts of government.

The 11 short pieces printed here by eight authors with quite diverse perspectives span a broad range of views about the definition, role, purpose and health of strategic policymaking. There’s no more important debate in public policy than on the place of strategy in meeting complex national challenges. This paper hopefully will encourage a more structured debate about strategy’s place at the heart of national policymaking.