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Politics of Evidence : From evidence-based policy to the good governance of evidence (Hardcover) (Justin
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There has been an enormous increase in interest in the use of evidence for social policy making, but the vast majority of work on the subject has failed to engage with the political nature of decision making and how this influences the ways in which evidence will be used (or misused). This book provides new insights into the nature of political bias with regard to evidence. It draws on both policy studies and cognitive psychology to understand how the origins of such bias derive from the fundamental nature of policy contestation, as well as the nature of human cognition and information processing.
Part one describes the great potential for evidence in social policy making and the challenges raised by the political nature of policy making which result in technical and issue bias. Part two explores the origins of these biases through multiple empirical examples to show how such biases are a common and indeed predictable part of decision making, stemming from our interests and ideologies.
The final section of the book discusses ways to move forward and presents a range of real-world examples of systems that have worked to embed aspects of these principles within national decision making structures. Taken as a whole, the approach promoted is coined the ‘good governance of evidence’ – a concept that represents the construction of systems that strive to use rigorous, transparent, and unbiased evidence to inform policy decisions made by groups that are representative of, and accountable to, the values and needs of local citizens.