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The policy agora: How the epistemological and ideological preferences of policy-makers affect the development of government policy

Brown, Chris (2012) The policy agora: How the epistemological and ideological preferences of policy-makers affect the development of government policy. Human Welfare, 1 (1). pp. 57-70. ISSN 20489080. DOI UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This paper engages with the concept of evidence informed policy-making. In particular it examines how the epistemological and ideological preferences of government policy-makers affect the nature of the policy they develop and the types of policy decisions they are likely to make. The paper begins by detailing the arguments in favour of using evidence in the development of policy and the benefits to society that may accrue as a result. It then presents the findings of a literature review and of 24 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with researchers and policy-makers (from the education sector in England and Wales) undertaken in order to examine this phenomenon in detail. The paper concludes that the combined impacts of the ‘what works’ type preferences of policy-makers, the ideologies which guide them, and manifestation of power and discursive dominance will tend to lead to the development of government policy informed solely by knowledge which investigates the subject areas policy-makers are most interested in, using the methods they prefer. It is also argued that this narrowed foci of evidence moves policy-making away from the more effective, efficient, and equitable outcomes that can accrue by taking an evidence informed approach.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: IOE Departments > Departments > London Centre for Leadership in Learning
Depositing User: Atira Pure
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2013 01:56
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2015 08:56
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