The Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model (DILC) is a very cool heuristic for thinking about how some societal problems become issues, what industry does when the problems climb the political agenda and how the issues are (or aren’t) ‘resolved’. Here’s a video starring its progenitors. The DILC has five phases, and looks at three categories of actors in detail – those trying to get the issue onto the agenda, those trying to keep it off/to shape the problem into a soluble issue, and the state functionaries (elected and non-elected).
Last year I came up with the idea of each of these ideal types writing letters to an agony aunt during each of the phases, seeking her strategic advice. I am posting these 15 (well, 16) letters and responses, one per day, over the next two weeks or so.
Question: Dear ProblemLady,
democracy really is tiresome. The Junior Minister hoped that the panel would soak up the energies of the activists and the media would see it all as a dead story. It was not to be. What to do?
Tediously Excitated Citizens Harming (Now!!) Our Carefully Routinised Apolitical Tactics
Answer: Hello TECHNOCRAT,
these things happen. Every-so-often an issue – and there’s not necessarily a logic to which one- breaks through into the big time. Handled with finesse, the State can emerge with a reputation of giving a damn about the lives and needs of everyone, while also helping new products – that add to the country’s competitiveness – into existence. Have you even read that Porter chap from Harvard?? If not, now would be a good time to start.