Developing tools for exploring ‘evidence’ in politicised policy areas

Mark Monaghan

in Evidence versus politics

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426970
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447302247 | DOI:
Developing tools for exploring ‘evidence’ in politicised policy areas

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This chapter turns to how the evidence and policy relationship in politicised areas can be explained. It considers some theoretical and methodological tools that can be used to explore the nature of evidence use in politicised policy areas. A central premise of the evidence-based movement is that it is consistent with pluralist models of the policy process and that many of these have been, or can be, employed in drugs research. The first part of the chapter provides an overview of some of the main pluralist accounts of the policy process. A modified version of the Advocacy Coalition Framework (ACF) provides the most potential for exploring the evidence and policy connection in heavily politicised areas because of its focus on conflict in the policy arena, conflict being a defining feature of politicised policies. The next part connects the history of UK drug policy with the modified version of the ACF.

Keywords: evidence-based movement; drugs research; Advocacy Coalition Framework; UK drug policy; politicised policies

Chapter.  12606 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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