Institutional filters : the translation and re-circulation of ideas about health inequalities within policy

Smith, Katherine E (2013) Institutional filters : the translation and re-circulation of ideas about health inequalities within policy. Policy and Politics, 41 (1). pp. 81-100. ISSN 0305-5736

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    Abstract

    Taking health inequalities in the UK as a case study, the paper draws on historical institutionalism and ideational theories to explore how the organisation of policymaking bodies shapes the relationship between research and policy. It demonstrates that policy ‘silos’ and hierarchies operate as filters to research-based ideas, encouraging ideas which support existing policy paradigms and perceived political preferences, whilst blocking or significantly transforming more challenging ideas. This limits the extent to which research can inform policy. Yet, a lack of institutional memory within policymaking enables re-cycled ideas to appear innovative, creating an impression of continual dialogue between research and policy.