The transformation of policy ideas : a challenge for development research

Goetschel, Laurent. (2011) The transformation of policy ideas : a challenge for development research. In: Research for sustainable development : foundations, experiences, and perspectives. Bern, pp. 103-117.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A5849113

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Similar policy shocks have different effects on different groups or societies: while the same experiences lead to change in some societies or states, this is not the case in others. This is because individuals turn to collective ideas when confronted with new information that might affect their thinking and their actions; they do not simply react to the objective external world. As a consequence, knowledge which impacts on collective ideas can provide an important contribution to sustainable development. Under this perspective, the article looks at the connection between development policy and research. It describes challenges linked to this interface, explaining the concept of collective policy ideas used by Legro (2000) and exploring the conditions for their transformation. Feeling pressure to improve and justify their policies, development actors tend to focus their expectations on transformation knowledge, from which they expect the greatest added value. While this is understandable from the point of view described, such expectations are not equally applicable to all types of research. A neglect of other types of knowledge, such as system or target knowledge might prevent appropriate valorisation on the transformation of policy ideas. The argument is illustrated with examples from research on governance and conflict carried out within the NCCR North-South programme.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Gesellschaftswissenschaften > Fachbereich Politikwissenschaft > Politikwissenschaft (Goetschel)
09 Associated Institutions > swisspeace foundation > Peace Research (Goetschel)
UniBasel Contributors:Goetschel, Laurent
Item Type:Book Section, refereed
Book Section Subtype:Further Contribution in a Book
Publisher:NCCR North-South
Series Name:Perspectives / NCCR North-South
Issue Number:6
Note:Additional series information: Perspectives of the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research (NCCR) North-South ; 6 -- Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Book item
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Last Modified:15 Jun 2018 14:23
Deposited On:08 Jun 2012 06:50

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