Ethics, The Social Sciences, and Policy Analysis

  • Daniel Callahan
  • Bruce Jennings

Part of the The Hastings Center Series in Ethics book series (HCSE)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Policy Analysis in a New Key

  3. Social Science and Political Advocacy

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Jeanne Guillemin, Irving Louis Horowitz
      Pages 187-211
    3. Carol H. Weiss
      Pages 213-245
  4. Disciplinary Standards and Policy Analysis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 247-247
    2. Mark H. Moore
      Pages 271-291
    3. Kenneth Prewitt
      Pages 293-304
    4. Thomas H. Murray
      Pages 305-331
  5. Toward Ethical Guidelines

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 333-333
    2. Donald P. Warwick, Thomas F. Pettigrew
      Pages 335-368
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 369-381

About this book


The social sciences playa variety of multifaceted roles in the policymaking process. So varied are these roles, indeed, that it is futile to talk in the singular about the use of social science in policymaking, as if there were one constant relationship between two fixed and stable entities. Instead, to address this issue sensibly one must talk in the plural about uses of dif­ ferent modes of social scientific inquiry for different kinds of policies under various circumstances. In some cases, the influence of social scientific research is direct and tangible, and the connection between the find­ ings and the policy is easy to see. In other cases, perhaps most, its influence is indirect-one small piece in a larger mosaic of politics, bargaining, and compromise. Occasionally the findings of social scientific studies are explicitly drawn upon by policymakers in the formation, implementation, or evaluation of particular policies. More often, the categories and theoretical models of social science provide a general background orientation within which policymakers concep­ tualize problems and frame policy options. At times, the in­ fluence of social scientific work is cognitive and informational in nature; in other instances, policymakers use social science primarily for symbolic and political purposes in order to le­ gitimate preestablished goals and strategies. Nonetheless, amid this diversity and variety, troubling general questions persistently arise.


Moral Orient democracy ethics evaluation issue model morality mosaic plural policy politics science singular

Editors and affiliations

  • Daniel Callahan
    • 1
  • Bruce Jennings
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Society, Ethics and the Life SciencesThe Hastings CenterHastings-on-HudsonUSA

Bibliographic information