Guest lectures to accompany the book https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137517807 . I wrote many posts to explore key themes: https://paulcairney.wordpress.co...
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Evidence-based policymaking and the new policy sciences
Here is a brief talk that I gave at the University of Queensland in Brisbane (25 October 2018). It accompanies a blog post Evidence-based policymaking and the new policy sciences [and powerpoint ppt]:
"In the ‘new policy sciences’, Chris Weible and I advocate:
a return to Lasswell’s vision of combining policy analysis (to recommend policy change) and policy theory (to explain policy change), but
focusing on a far larger collection of actors (beyond a small group at the centre),
recognising new developments in studies of the psychology of policymaker choice, and
building into policy analysis the recognition that any policy solution is introduced in a complex policymaking environment over which no-one has control.
However, there is a lot of policy theory out there, and we can’t put policy theory together like Lego to produce consistent insights to inform policy analysis.
Rather, each concept in my image of the policy process represents its own literature: see these short explainers on the psychology of policymaking, actors spread across multi-level governance, institutions, networks, ideas, and socioeconomic factors/ events.
What the explainers don’t really project is the sense of debate within the literature about how best to conceptualise each concept. You can pick up their meaning in a few minutes but would need a few years to appreciate the detail and often-fundamental debate.
Ideally, we would put all of the concepts together to help explain policymaker choice within a complex policymaking environment (how else could I put up the image and present is as one source of accumulated wisdom from policy studies?)."
... see the post for more, and use the powerpoint to read along if you like.
How to Communicate Policy Research beyond the Academy
This is a short talk at the University of Queensland in Brisbane (24 October 2018) called Theory and Practice: How to Communicate Policy Research beyond the Academy
The blog post - Theory and Practice: How to Communicate Policy Research beyond the Academy - should be written in a way that allows you to read along (or at least see the pictures/ powerpoint slides I mention). It begins:
'Here is the powerpoint that I tend to use to inform discussions with civil servants (CS). I first used it for discussion with CS in the Scottish and UK governments, followed by remarkably similar discussions in parts of New Zealand and Australian government. Partly, it provides a way into common explanations for gaps between the supply of, and demand for, research evidence. However, it also provides a wider context within which to compare abstract and concrete reasons for those gaps, which inform a discussion of possible responses at individual, organisational, and systemic levels. Some of the gap is caused by a lack of effective communication, but we should also discuss the wider context in which such communication takes place.
I begin by telling civil servants about the message I give to academics about why policymakers might ignore their evidence:
There are many claims to policy relevant knowledge.
Policymakers have to ignore most evidence.
There is no simple policy cycle in which we all know at what stage to provide what evidence
In such talks, I go into different images of policymaking, comparing the simple policy cycle with images of ‘messy’ policymaking, then introducing my own image which describes the need to understand the psychology of choice within a complex policymaking environment.
Under those circumstances, key responses include:
framing evidence in terms of the ways in which your audience understands policy problems
engaging in networks to identify and exploit the right time to act, and
venue shopping to find sympathetic audiences in different parts of political systems.
[see the post for more words, and to see the pictures]
Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: the intersection between evidence and policy transfer
Based on the blog post Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: the intersection between evidence and policy transfer
This post is a way into many publications that compare different models of 'evidence based policymaking', including:
Paul Cairney and Kathryn Oliver (2017) ‘Evidence-based policymaking is not like evidence-based medicine, so how far should you go to bridge the divide between evidence and policy?’ Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS), DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0192-x PDF
Paul Cairney (2017) “Evidence-based best practice is more political than it looks: a case study of the ‘Scottish Approach’”, Evidence and Policy, 13, 3, 499-515 PDF
Paul Cairney (2019) ‘The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy’, British Politics, 14, 1, 1-22 Open Access PDF
Paul Cairney (2020) “The myth of ‘evidence based policymaking’ in a decentred state”, Public Policy and Administration (Special Issue, The Decentred State) PDF
From Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: the intersection between evidence and policy transfer:
We can generate new insights on policymaking by connecting the dots between many separate concepts. However, don’t underestimate some major obstacles or how hard these dot-connecting exercises are to understand. They may seem clear in your head, but describing them (and getting people to go along with your description) is another matter. You need to set out these links clearly and in a set of logical steps. I give one example – of the links between evidence and policy transfer – which I have been struggling with for some time.
In this post, I combine three concepts – policy transfer, bounded rationality, and ‘evidence-based policymaking’ – to identify the major dilemmas faced by central government policymakers when they use evidence to identify a successful policy solution and consider how to import it and ‘scale it up’ within their jurisdiction.
Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: ‘Evidence Based Policymaking’
Recorded in front of a live studio audience (of undergraduate social policy students). This lecture ties well to the short explainer Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: ‘Evidence Based Policymaking’ but I also wrote a separate post to accompany this talk ‘Evidence-based Policymaking’ and the Study of Public Policy:
'This post accompanies a 40 minute lecture which considers ‘evidence-based policymaking’ (EBPM) through the lens of policy theory. The theory is important, to give us a language with which to understand EBPM as part of a wider discussion of the policy process, while the lens of EBPM allows us to think through the ‘real world’ application of concepts and theories.
To that end, I’ll make three key points:
Definitions and clarity are important. ‘Evidence-based policymaking’, ‘evidence-based policy’ and related phrases such as ‘policy based evidence’ are used incredibly loosely in public debates. A focus on basic questions in policy studies – what is policy, and how can we measure policy change? – helps us clarify the issues, reject superficial debates on ‘evidence-based policy versus policy-based evidence’, and in some cases identify the very different assumptions people make about how policymaking works and should work.
Realistic models are important. Discussing EBPM helps us identify the major flaws in simple models of policymaking such as the ‘policy cycle’. I’ll discuss the insights we gain by considering how policy scholars describe the implications of policymaker ‘bounded rationality’ and policymaking complexity.
Realistic strategies are important. There is a lot of academic discussion of the need to overcome ‘barriers’ between evidence and policy. It is often atheoretical, producing naïve recommendations about improving the supply of evidence and training policymakers to understand it. I identify two more useful (but potentially controversial) strategies: be manipulative and learn where the ‘action’ is.
Definitions and clarity are important, so what is ‘evidence-based policymaking’?
... see ‘Evidence-based Policymaking’ and the Study of Public Policy for the rest
Evidence-based policymaking: lecture and Q&A at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver
Evidence-based policymaking: lecture and Q&A
Here is my talk (2 parts) on EBPM at the School of Public Affairs, University of Colorado Denver 24.2.16. I was discussing The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking, and you can read more here: EBPM | Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy (wordpress.com)
Acerca de The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking (Professor Paul Cairney)
Guest lectures to accompany the book https://www.palgrave.com/gb/book/9781137517807 . I wrote many posts to explore key themes: https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/ebpm/. Please see https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/anzsog/ for videos of other guest talks, and here for an adventure game: https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/what-can-you-do-when-policymakers-ignore-your-evidence/
The Politics of Policy Analysis https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/policy-analysis-in-750-words/
Understanding Public Policy https://paulcairney.wordpress.com/1000-words/