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    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policy Studies on 16/08/2016 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01442872.2016.1219033

    Accepted author manuscript, 256 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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Pragmatic complexity: a new foundation for moving beyond ‘evidence-based policy making?

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>04/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Policy Studies
Issue number2
Volume38
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)149-167
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date16/08/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Despite a range of criticism, the realm of policy still remains dominated by the rational, positivist and quantitative approaches of New Public Management, ‘evidence-based’ approaches and target/accountancy oriented ‘scientific’ management. Two notable attempts to develop an alternative to this dominant framework, however, have come from the older tradition of American pragmatism and the newer approach of complexity. In this article we introduce some of the core concepts of pragmatist philosophy and complexity relating to policy making. We then explore some of the key premises for bringing these two fields together and subsequently apply this ‘pragmatic complexity’ approach and a Stacey Diagram to drug policy. We argue that a marriage of pragmatism and complexity can provide a positive alternative conception of the relationship between scientific knowledge and decision-making and offers a way to integrate a scientific approach with democratic deliberation and values.

Bibliographic note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policy Studies on 16/08/2016 available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01442872.2016.1219033