Magazine
Latest Issue

The incoherence of “evidence-based policy-making”

The Independent Group promises a break with ideology-led politics but that is simply not possible to achieve

By Julian Baggini  

Ex-Labour MPs announcing the launch of the Independent Group. Photo: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire/PA Images

“Our aim is to pursue policies that are evidence-based,” proclaimed the Independent Group in its founding statement. It’s not exactly the part of the declaration that got the most attention, for two good reasons. First, isn’t everyone in favour of evidence-based policy? What’s the alternative? Government by gut feeling? Administration by intuition?

Second, we’ve heard all this before. In the early days of New Labour’s government, for example, the 1999 Modernising government white paper declared that “policy decisions should…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect