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Politics and Policy Knowledge in Federal Education

Confronting the Evidence-Based Proverb

Authors: Putansu, Steven

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  • Provides a contextually rich framework for assessing government decision making that includes political factors of ideology, interests, and institutions as well as technical inputs from data, information, and evidence
  • Offers practical insights both for decision makers and for producers of policy knowledge to understand whether, how, and why data, information, and evidence can influence and improve decision making
  • Develops a comprehensive typology of data, information, and evidence that offers predictive and explanatory power for understanding key factors related to the purpose, design, and ultimate use of policy knowledge
  • Introduces hypotheses related to, and finds support for, associations between program characteristics and the relative dominance of political or technical factors in decision-making.
  • Provides a comprehensive 50-year examination of decision making related to major federal education policies from their creation in 1965
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-38395-4
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About this book

Policy knowledge derived from data, information, and evidence is a powerful tool for contributing to policy discussions and debates, and for understanding and improving the effectiveness, efficiency, and equity of government action. For decades, politicians, advocates, reformers, and researchers have simultaneously espoused this value, while also paradoxically lamenting the lack of impact of policy knowledge on decision making, and the failure of related reforms. This text explores this paradox, identifying the reliance on a proverb of using policy knowledge to supplant politics as a primary culprit for these perceived failures. The evidence in this book suggests that any consideration of the role of policy knowledge in decision making must be considered alongside, rather than in place of, considerations of the ideologies, interests, and institutional factors that shape political decisions. This contextually rich approach offers practical insights to understand the role of policy knowledge, and to better leverage it to support good governance decisions.


About the authors

Steven Putansu is a Senior Design Methodologist at the US Government Accountability Office, Professorial Lecturer at American University, USA, and recipient of a 2017 Arthur S. Flemming Award for Federal Management and Leadership.

Reviews

“In this important book, Steven Putansu argues cogently that a simplistic adherence to the idea of ‘evidence-based policy’ has negatively impacted how we understand policy and politics. His careful analysis of US federal education policy over 50 years, provides a clear case for embracing ‘evidence-based governance’—a broader and more realistic understanding of the interplay of policy knowledge, decision purposes and politics.”

Jenny M Lewis, Professor of Public Policy, The University of Melbourne, Australia

“Politicians demand that governments produce policy knowledge but then struggle to put that information to good use. With a rare combination of a practical experience, in-depth knowledge of the history of federal programs, and on-point use of scholarly theory and cutting-edge research, Putansu offers a compelling assessment of this struggle, while signposting the factors that make a more realistic marriage of policy knowledge and policymaking possible.”   

Donald Moynihan, Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University, USA

“It is rare that scholarship in public administration or political science inform one another. It is rarer still that students of each are informed by the practical acumen of those in government. In Politics and Policy Knowledge in Federal Education, Putansu provides a refreshing exception to these norms, as he skillfully unpacks the complexities and politics of information production and consumption in the US federal government.”

William Resh, Associate Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California, USA

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $64.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-38395-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $84.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-38394-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Immediate ebook access, if available*, with your print order
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Politics and Policy Knowledge in Federal Education
Book Subtitle
Confronting the Evidence-Based Proverb
Authors
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-38395-4
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-38395-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-38394-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXIII, 215
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations, 13 illustrations in colour
Topics

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