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Nina Holm Vohnsen

Evidensbaseret politikudvikling: Brudflader mellem forskning og bureaukrati

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A current ambition in welfare states across Europe and in the US is for political decision-making to be based on rigorous research (Bason 2010; Cartwright et al 2009; Mulgan 2009; Nilsson et al. 2008). Promoted as ‘evidence-based policy-making’, ‘good analysis, or ‘better governance’ (Nilsson et.al. 2008) the aspiration finds its roots in the governance paradigm generally referred to as ‘new public management’ (Hartley 2005) and the central concern for developing a cost-effective and agile public sector (Rod 2010). . Sound as this ambition may seem, it has nevertheless been problematized from within the civil services and from the research community (e.g. Boden & Epstein 2006; Cartwright et al. 2009; Elliott & Popay 2000; House of Commons 2006; Nilsson et al. 2008; Whitty 2006; Rod 2010, Vohnsen 2011). Some warn that the term ‘evidence-based’ is used too lightly, and often in cases where ‘evidence’ has not fed into the policy processes but rather has been invoked after the fact to support already agreed upon policy (House of Commons 2006; Nilsson et al. 2008); others warn that politics and science are – if not incompatible – then at odds with one another (e.g. Boden & Epstein 2006; Whitty 2006). The article pin-points the friction points between science and policy-making and discuss why it is that evidence rarely feeds into policy-making and how the evidence-based paradigm effectively challenges the traditional craftsmanship of the civil service.
Translated title of the contributionEvidence-based policy-making: a field of mutual misunderstandings
Original languageDanish
JournalTidsskriftet Antropologi
Volume72
Pages (from-to)39-60
Number of pages22
ISSN0906-3021
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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