Is it really about the evidence? Argument, persuasion, and the power of ideas in cultural policy
journal contributionposted on 19.10.2021, 08:35 by Ele BelfioreEle Belfiore
In the move towards a supposedly “evidence-based” cultural policy, “evidence” is rarely the main driver of decision-making. If “evidence” is not the actual basis of policymaking, then what is its real role? Why is there so much “bad” or unverifiable evidence of impact in cultural policy documents? The article suggests focusing on recent developments in policy theory for more accurate and sophisticated approaches on the connection between evidence and policymaking, and the role that ideas and values have in shaping policy. A closer engagement with theories of policy formation demonstrates policymaking has a fundamentally discursive character: it is based on ideas, processes of argumentation and persuasion, so can never be an ideologically neutral exercise. The article concludes that cultural policy studies can benefit from a more systematic engagement with policy theory.
- Social Sciences and Humanities
- Communication and Media