Academic knowledge in the policy process: Strategic currency or political obstacle?

Veronica Junjan, Caspar van den Berg, René Torenvlied

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


This paper presents the results of the Dutch version of the GAP (Government, Academics and Policy Making) survey, a large international-comparative survey initiated, developed and tested in the UK at the University of Manchester, which investigates the use of academic knowledge in policy making processes. The use of academic research by policy makers is one of the recurrent themes in public administration and policy sciences. A large part of the current literature focuses on availability of knowledge, channels of communication and incentives for cooperation between academics and policy makers. In this context, central questions have been: “which sources of scientific research and expertise do senior civil servants use” and “what are the conditions the research needs to fulfill in order to be used by practitioners?”. These questions have becomes particularly relevant in recent years given (a) the increasingly turbulent and volatile environment in which public organizations find themselves, (b) the increasing contestation of knowledge in many policy areas. In this paper, the classical questions of the academia-policy nexus will be addressed by taking into account increasing politicization, mediatization and Europeanization of the policy making process. The originally British survey translated, tested, and applied in the Dutch context. Following the Classification of the Functions of Government, roughly 900 positions at the level of Senior Civil Service were identified, across all policy areas. Three measurements are to be carried out in the Fall of 2014. We expect to find differences between the policy areas, and seek to test hypotheses on the influence of the factors mentioned in the literature for the public organizations within Dutch institutional and administrative context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2015
EventXIXth Annual IRSPM Conference 2015: Shaping the Future: Re-invention or Revolution? - University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 29 Mar 20151 Apr 2015
Conference number: 19


ConferenceXIXth Annual IRSPM Conference 2015
Abbreviated titleIRSPM
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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