Evidence and the Politics of Policymaking: where next?

14th September 2016 @ 10:00 am – 15th September 2016 @ 6:00 pm
Chancellors' Building
University of Bath
Claverton Down, Bath
Mr James Harle, Institute of Policy Research

The symposium will address current issues of critical concern regarding the ways in which evidence is used in policy, both domestically and internationally.

The symposium will focus on how research and evidence are used in contemporary policymaking, both in national and multinational contexts. Our aim is to draw together academics, politicians and policymakers to address questions such as:

  • What kind of evidence gains legitimacy in policymaking?
  • What is the implicit hierarchy of forms of evidence?
  • How do different forms of evidence, such as professional knowledge and practical wisdom, find their place alongside or against empirical, quantitative study, and the burgeoning fields of data science?
  • How do policymakers use evidence, if at all, and how should they think about the relationship between evidence and policy interventions?
  • Can technocracy and democracy go together?
  • What happens to evidence when traditional policymaking structures are being reconfigured under pressure from populist political parties and other agents?
  • What is the role of policy entrepreneurs in evidence gathering and dissemination?’

It is being jointly organised by our Institute of Policy Research and the Centre for Development Studies.


Confirmed keynote speakers include:

Lord Kerslake, Former Head of the Civil Service

Douglas Alexander, former Shadow Foreign Secretary and Secretary for International Development

Nancy Cartwright, Durham University, UK

Carey Oppenheim, CEO of the Early Intervention Foundation



The event is free to attend, but please register your attendance in advance.


Target Audience

The leading academics and thinkers in this field from academia; policy think tanks; NGOs and activists; staff; doctoral, professional doctorate and PGT students; IPR donors and Research Council representatives.