Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/26335
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy (Forthcoming/Available Online)
Authors: Cairney, Paul
Contact Email: p.a.cairney@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: evidence-based policy
policy-based evidence
troubled families policy
early intervention
Westminster politics
Issue Date: 5-Jan-2018
Citation: Cairney P (2018) The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy (Forthcoming/Available Online), British Politics.
Abstract: It is easy to show that the UK Government rarely conducts ‘evidence-based policymaking’, but not to describe a politically feasible use of evidence in Westminster politics. Rather, we need to understand developments from a policymaker’s perspective before we can offer advice to which they will pay attention. ‘Policy based evidence’ (PBE) is a dramatic political slogan, not a way to promote pragmatic discussion. We need to do more than declare PBE if we seek to influence the relationship between evidence and policymaking. To produce more meaningful categories we need clearer criteria which take into account the need to combine evidence, values, and political judgement. To that end, I synthesize policy theories to identify the limits to the use of evidence in policy, and case studies of ‘families policies’ to show how governments use evidence politically.
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41293-017-0068-2
Rights: © The Author(s) 2018 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

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