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The Politics of Evidence


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Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of Tables


Part I: Evidence-based policymaking - opportunities and challenges

Chapter 1. Introduction

Chapter 2. Evidence-based policymaking - an important first step, and the need to take the next

Part II: The politics of evidence

Chapter 3. Bias and the politics of evidence

Chapter 4. The overt politics of evidence - bias and the pursuit of political interests

Chapter 5. The subtle politics of evidence - the cognitive-political origins of bias

Part III: Towards the good governance of evidence

Chapter 6. What is `good evidence for policy'? From hierarchies to appropriate evidence.

Chapter 7. What is the `good use of evidence' for policy?

Chapter 8. From evidence-based policy to the good governance of evidence


About the Author

Justin Parkhurst is an Associate Professor at the London School of Economics and Political Science's Department of Social Policy. This book was written while he was previously Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine's Department of Global Health and Development.


`This book is a marvellous interdisciplinary synthesis, grounded in case examples and at once critical and constructive. As such, it is both instructive for policy practitioners as well as moving the scholarship of the field forward.' - Vivian Lin, Professor of Public Health, La Trobe University, Australia

`This is essential reading for anybody working on the smarter use of evidence by government. It catalogues the many biases twisting how research is used by policymakers. It also addresses a vital challenge in our sector - a lack of legitimacy. As well as the academic rigour of this book, there are practical tips on what we can do about these problems, and lessons from across the globe showing where we get it wrong - and how we might get it right.' - Jonathan Breckon, Head of the Alliance for Useful Evidence, U.K

`This important book goes well beyond standard analyses of evidence informed policy with detailed discussions of the politics of evidence and the political origins (and the cognitive psychology) of bias in the use of research evidence. It addresses a core and often overlooked issue of the governance of evidence use - including the need to consider the institutions and processes in place that can enable the appropriate use of evidence in decision making. This book will be a pretty essential read for anyone concerned with the policy, practice or study of using research to inform decision making.' - David Gough, Professor of Evidence Informed Policy and Practice, Director of the EPPI-

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