Subverting Policy Premises
The chapter by Mark Moore, which is the occasion for the present commentary, enters a very old discussion in a somewhat limited fashion. On its own terms, I have no quarrel with Moore’s central point. Science does have a difficult time accomodating itself to the “policy space” within which the official normally must act. The policymaker—whether in the government, commercial, or educational sector—operates under a series of well-known constraints: existing policies, budgets, personnel limitations, tight schedules, and political pressures. It is pernicious to offer as advice a set of policy recommendations that ignore these limitations. Whether or not one agrees with Moore in all his specifics about the differing goals and standards of the social scientist and the policy analyst, his paper repeats and elaborates a now familiar theme which most observers generally share.
KeywordsPolicy Process Policy Space Policy Analyst Social Science Study Social Science Research Council
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