Evidence and persuasion in politics and policy

The evidence-based policy movement has apparently sought to bring objectivity to the policy process in place of ideology, values, and politics.  By relying on the authority of the ‘the evidence’, its advocates have claimed that better policy outcomes will result.  While no one wants policy makers to simply make policy up with no reference to knowledge, research, or some external reality, EBPM has tended to promote a linear, rational, and instrumental version of the role of knowledge in government.  This paper will discuss the limitations of EBPM, and how it may be exacerbating differences around politically contentious issues by ignoring the important role of persuasion in democratic public policy debate.

Linda Botterill: https://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/faculties/busgovlaw/about-us/school-of-government-and-policy/prof-linda-botterill

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