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Modernisation, Marketisation and Housing Reform: The Use of Evidence Based Policy as a Rationality Discourse Keith Jacobs University of Tasmania Tony Manzi.

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Presentation on theme: "Modernisation, Marketisation and Housing Reform: The Use of Evidence Based Policy as a Rationality Discourse Keith Jacobs University of Tasmania Tony Manzi."— Presentation transcript:

1 Modernisation, Marketisation and Housing Reform: The Use of Evidence Based Policy as a Rationality Discourse Keith Jacobs University of Tasmania Tony Manzi University of Westminster

2 ‘In everyday life ideology is at work, especially in the apparently innocent reference to pure utility’ (Zizek, 2011: 248)

3 What is Evidence-Based Policy (EBP)? Comprehensive Analysis Systematic Review Framework for Evaluation Justification for Reform

4 What Claims are Made for EBP? ‘Robust’ framework Effective use of Research Rationale for Intervention Objective and scientific basis for change

5 EBP Distinction between: ‘high ground wherein practitioners make effective use of research-based theory and technique’ ‘swampy lowland where situations are confusing messes incapable of technical solution’ (Schon (1983, pp.43-43)

6 The Research Context The Utilitarian Turn (Solesbury, 2001) Instrumentalism – Academic rent-seeking? Contract research and commodification

7 EBP as Rationality Discourse Pragmatic, anti-ideological politics ‘Concrete factual realism’ and ‘unvarnished verisimilitude’ (Hood and Jackson, 1991) ‘Retreat from priesthood’ (Pawson, 2006) Technology as ‘vital currency’ for public policy Role of deliberative policy making (Sullivan, 2011) Post hoc rationalities

8 Modernisation – the Stock Transfer Programme Evidence to win bids – e.g. deprivation etc Extensive evaluation – ex post, ex ante Depoliticisation - combination of managerial common sense and community governance (Pawson and Mullins, 2010) Long-term migration towards the private sector

9 Marketisation: Housing Market Renewal ‘Pathfinder’ programme – Primacy of markets – Demolition Research and consistent lobbying Importance of timing Comprehensive evidence base but neglected community impact

10 Housing Reform: Localism Act, 2011 Pragmatic politics of power – reducing risk of failure Stigmatisation of social housing and shaping behaviour Discourse of financial crisis Importance of argument rather than evidence

11 Instead of reaching solutions that can be judged by standards of rationality, policy making reaches settlements, reconciliations, adjustments and agreements that one can evaluate only inconclusively by such standards as fairness, acceptability, openness to reconsideration and responsiveness to a variety of interests. And analysis in large part is transformed from an evaluative technique into a method of exerting influence, control and power which we call partisan analysis (Lindblom, 1980: 122)

12 Conclusions The interdependence of power and knowledge Combination of managerialism, modernisation and ideology Implications for academia – Redefining relationship between academics and policy makers – Reluctance to criticise policy

13 References Communities and Local Government (2010) Local Decisions: a Fairer Future for Social Housing – Consultation. London: CLG. Hood, C. and Jackson, M. (1991) Administrative Argument. Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Company. Lindblom, C. (1980) (2 nd ed) The Policy Making Process Englewood Cliifs: Prentice Hall Pawson, H. and Mullins, D. (2010) After Council Housing: Britain’s New Social Landlords. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Schon, D. (1983) The Reflective Practitioner. New York: Basic Books. Solesbury, W. (2001) Evidence Based Policy: Whence it Came and Where its Going, Working Paper 1. London: ESRC UK Centre for Evidence-Based Policy and Practice. Sullivan, H. (2011) Truth junkies: using evaluation in UK public policy. Policy and Politics, 39, 4, Zizek, S. (2011) Living in the End Times. London: Verso.


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