Cognitive dissonance & evidence based policy-making (2012)

Louis Meuleman (2012), paper presented at the 2012 Berlin Conference on Evidence for Sustainable Development, 5-6 October 2012

Evidence‐based policy making has become popular in political circles, as it promises an indisputable, ‘true’ knowledge base for policies. The call for more ‘evidence’ is especially loud in environmental and sustainability politics. This is in sharp contrast with the much lower level of certainty that social sciences consider realistic with regards to the politics of complex, disputed, so‐called ‘wicked’ problems of the sustainability agenda. At the same time, sustainability scientists have understood the reality of political marketing and strive/pretend to produce more certainty than is scientifically sound, in order to get policy makers to act. Download the final version of the Conference paper.