All are invited to the CEDAR/MRC Epidemiology Seminar by:
The Politics of Evidence-Based Policy Making challenges scientists to understand the policy process before they describe it as pathological and politicians as biased or ineffective. Policy studies are at the heart of such endeavours, identifying the mechanisms of individual choice in a complex policymaking environment, to explain the ‘evidence-policy gap’. Yet, we cannot expect scientists trained in one discipline to retrain in policy studies. Instead, we need to find a way to explain key insights in a way that captures their imagination, identifies the payoffs to studying policymaking from a political science perspective, and encourages them to learn more. I identify a three step plan. First, show how policy theories explain the policy process and the role of evidence in it. Second, identify the conditions under which evidence ‘wins the day’ in policymaking, Third, identify the profound dilemmas that arise when we seek to maximise the use of scientific evidence in policy.
Paul Cairney is Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling. His research interests are in comparative public policy, including: policy theories (Understanding Public Policy, 2012), methods to study complexity (Handbook of Complexity and Public Policy, 2015, co-edited with Robert Geyer); the use of evidence (The Politics of Evidence Based Policymaking, 2016); and public health policy outcomes in different countries (Global Tobacco Control, 2012, with Donley Studlar and Hadii Mamudu). He has been funded by the ESRC and Horizon2020 to research devolved policymaking processes, focusing on areas such as preventive spending.