Boundary troubles: working the academic–policy interface

Newman, Janet (2011). Boundary troubles: working the academic–policy interface. Policy and Politics, 39(4) pp. 473–484.



The boundary between academic research and policy making is characterised by at least two different sets of ‘troubles’. This article draws on the author’s experience as scientific adviser to a UK government department to highlight the often-problematic relationship between researchers and policy actors, and to tease out conflicting understandings of the value and robustness of different kinds of ‘evidence’. The article assesses the contributions of both governance theory and theories of governmentality to understanding the case material, and challenges the idea that there might be a new settlement between social science and policy that represents a ‘post-ideological’ turn in policy making.

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