Analytical Practices

  • Jo Maybin
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy book series (SKP)


Civil servants employed as analysts have a formal responsibility for providing economic and statistical analyses to inform and support policy formulation. Furthermore, the requirement to develop impact assessments (IAs) for significant policy developments institutionalises the role of cost-benefit analysis in evaluating and selecting between different policy options. Or at least that is the theory. This chapter describes how, in practice, analysts were often sidelined in decision-making and the process of producing IAs was treated as a bureaucratic hurdle. Once IAs were completed, however, they did play an important symbolic function: as a source of legitimacy for the department’s decision-making processes and a tool deployed to justify and defend its policy decisions.


Civil Servant Policy Option Policy Work Analytical Practice Mental Construct 
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Copyright information

© Jo Maybin 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jo Maybin
    • 1
  1. 1.The King’s FundUK

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