|•||Much less effort is needed to respond to a questionnaire than to participate in a conference or write a paper.|
|•||It can be a highly motivating experience for respondents.|
|•||Feedback can be novel and interesting to all.|
|•||The use of a systematic procedure lends an aura of objectivity to the outcome.|
|•||The anonymity and group response allow a sharing of responsibility that is refereshing and that releases the respondents from social inhibitions.|
|•||It is good in the context of policy formulation where group acceptance is important.|
|•||The value of the method is not merely in its ability to induce consensus, but also in its ability to highlight a diversity of underlying assumptions. Uncovering the basis for divergence of opinion by experts may be more important than identifying the basis for convergence.|
|The reliability of results depends upon the care devoted to design and administration.|
|Ambiguity in the questions may weaken the value of the results.|
|It produces different results when different sets of experts are used.|
|It is sometimes difficult to assess the degree of expertise of the panelists.|
|It will rarely predict the unexpected.|
|There may be pressure toward consensus as the rounds progress.|
|Opinions will not necessarily converge toward an agreed-upon forecast or result.|
|Convergence of results does not guarantee accuracy.|
|It is not necessarily an improvement over a more straightforward committee process.|
|Participants may be selected more on the basis of their willingness to participate and their accessibility than on their real knowledge or representativeness of opinion in a field.|
|It can take a great deal of time to arrive at consensus.|
|The process may suffer because of a high dropout rate of participants.|
|Many business people are not familiar with the method and may be reluctant to participate.|
J. WALTON BLACKBURN
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DEREGULATION. The process by which the public sector divests itself of controls on a variety of areas of economic activity, thereby handing more responsibility to the private sector. Deregulation became part of the New Right agenda in the 1980s in a number of Western countries, perceived as the most direct means by which the state was rolled back and the felicitous invisible hand of Adam Smith orthodoxy was ungloved ( Hutton 1995, p. 11).
Deregulation is the opposite of everything that intervention, subsidy, and nationalization were held to stand for. In the United States, deregulation can be seen as part of the attempt to return to Jeffersonian rectitude. In many parts of the European Union, deregulation is what governments claim to want from the European Commission. In the United Kingdom, it is synonymous with Thatcherism. There, financial markets were regulated in order to ensure the continuing status of London as one of the three