In this issue
- Editorial Statement
by David Robinson and Peter Wells
- What Future for Social Housing in England?
by Ian Cole
- Continuing dilemmas for area based urban regeneration: evidence from the New Deal for Communities Programme in England
by Paul Lawless
- New Labour and Evidence Based Policy Making: 1997-2007
by Peter Wells
- Understanding the idea of ‘grant dependency’ in the voluntary and community sector
by Rob Macmillan
- The Margins of Public Space – Muslims and Social Housing in England
by David Cheesman
New Labour and evidence based policy making: 1997-2007
This paper reviews and interprets the use of evidence based policy making (EBPM) by the New Labour government since 1997. New Labour has used EBPM as a key part of its strategy of modernisation. However, the paper reveals that this development needs to be interpreted with some caution. Firstly, because EBPM does not represent a return to a technocratic form of government: issues such as power, politics and people remain critical. Secondly, EBPM has different meanings across policy domains and within social science: it is a contested concept. The paper concludes with an assessment of EBPM, arguing that evaluative research undertaken with an understanding of political ideas, institutions and contexts provides a richer basis to inform policy and practice. What counts may be what works; but understanding and identifying what works is not a simple technocratic task, but a tellingly reflexive one.