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Policy analysis in the Netherlands$
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Frans van Nispen and Peter Scholten

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447313335

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447313335.001.0001

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Policy analysis in the Netherlands:

Policy analysis in the Netherlands:

an introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) One Policy analysis in the Netherlands
Source:
Policy analysis in the Netherlands
Author(s):

Frans van Nispen

Peter Scholten

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447313335.003.0001

Like in most countries, policy analysis and evaluation originated from a rationalist or positivist tradition. Focusing on the institutional embedding of policy analysis, this chapter first analyses the birth of policy analysis and evaluation in government institutions in the 1970s. Subsequently, it analyses how policy analysis and evaluation are institutionalized in a number of government associated but increasingly also independent research institutes. Perhaps more than in many other countries, a strongly institutionalized research-policy nexus emerged in the 1970s. In the context of the Dutch fragmented political system, carrying the legacy of societal fragmentation from the period of pillarization, this made policy analysis into a key source of consensus-building, depoliticization and policy legitimization. Since the 1980s, the institutional embedding of policy analysis has become even more diversified, with policy analysis and evaluation also obtaining a central position in academia. Though a critical tradition never gained ground in Dutch policy analysis (as it did in the UK), the Netherlands become important source of the development of a postpositivist and interpretivist tradition of policy analysis in the 1990s.

Keywords:   policy analysis, policy evaluation, the Netherlands, research-policy nexus, postpositivist, interpretivist

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