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Nina Holm Vohnsen

Evidence-based policy: some pitfalls in the meeting between scientific research and politics

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A current ambition in welfare states as diverse as Denmark, the UK, and in the USA is
to base political decision making on rigorous research (Cartwright et al 2009; Mulgan
2009; Bason 2010). Sound as this might seem the ambition has nevertheless been
problematized by both policy-makers and the research community (e.g. Boden &
Epstein 2006; House of Commons 2006; Cartwright et al 2009; Rod 2010; Vohnsen
2011). This article intends to draw out some general pitfalls in the curious meeting of
science and politics by focusing on a particular attempt to make evidence-based
legislation in Denmark (for a full account, see Vohnsen 2011). These insights will be
relevant for the anthropological researcher of legislative processes who wishes to
move beyond a merely discursive approach to the study of policy and politics.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAnthropology Today
Pages (from-to)3-5
Number of pages3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

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