The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking
The Dangerous Gap Between Scientific Evidence and Policymaking DecisionsVoices
Policymakers do not have the ability to consider all evidence relevant to policy problems. Instead, they employ two kinds of shortcuts: rational, by pursuing clear goals and prioritizing certain kinds and sources of information, and irrational, by drawing on emotions, gut feelings, deeply held beliefs, and habits to make decisions quickly.
In his book, The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking, Paul Cairney identifies practical consequences for actors trying to maximize the uptake of scientific evidence within government. His conclusion has profound implications for the role of science and scientific experts in policymaking. Cairney believes scientists have a stark choice: to produce information and accept it will have a limited impact—but maintain for scientists an often useful image of objectivity—or go beyond their comfort zone and expertise to increase impact at the expense of objectivity.
End the Drug War
Reframing the Blame for the War on Drugs
The war on drugs is better understood as a war on people. To stop this useless and unjust destruction, we must change how we think—and talk—about people who use drugs.
The Consequences of Rising Female Incarceration Rates in Latin America
Punitive drug laws are the driving force behind women’s imprisonment, but two organizations are working together to reverse the trend.
The Overwhelming Evidence in Favor of Harm Reduction
Harm reduction services are cost-effective, supportive of healthier communities, and safer. It's time for governments worldwide to follow the facts, not antidrug prejudice.