Social Science Research and Policymaking

ProtoSociology 25:186-205 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to explore some of the non-obvious characteristics of the social science research-social policy (SSRSP) paradigm. We examine some of the underlying assumptions of the readily accepted claim that social science research can lead to the creation of rational social policy. We begin by using the framework of meta-analysis as one of the most powerful means of informing policy by way of empirical research findings. This approach is critiqued and found wanting in several ways. Several conceptual and definitional issues connected to the term “policy” are explored as well. A central argument is that even the best social science research is no guarantee of enlightened policymaking because the very (inductive) basis of empirical research militates against the possibility of going from research findings to policy. This claim is explored within the context of a central paradox. This paradox is explored in some depth. Finally, within the SSRSP claim, we analyze related issues such as the possibility of utilizing Mixed Methods and the politics of policymaking. We conclude that the SSRSP framework is, at best, a subjective one which ironically is needed, but one which is constrained by the very methods that is uses to formulate policy.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Action research and policy.Lorraine Foreman-Peck & Jane Murray - 2008 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (s1):145-163.
Qualitative Research in Education: The Origins, Debates, and Politics of Creating Knowledge.Aaron Cooley - 2013 - Educational Studies: A Jrnl of the American Educ. Studies Assoc 49 (3):247-262.
Science, democracy, and the right to research.Mark B. Brown & David H. Guston - 2009 - Science and Engineering Ethics 15 (3):351-366.

Analytics

Added to PP
2015-01-31

Downloads
14 (#991,500)

6 months
2 (#1,200,830)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references