Health inequalities in Scotland and England: The contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy

Katherine Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 35 Citations

Abstract

Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the field of health inequalities in order to: (i) review the available research evidence; (ii) assess the extent to which policies have been based on this research evidence; and (iii) evaluate the success (or failure) of policies to tackle health inequalities. Yet so far only limited attention has been given to exploring how key actors involved in research-policy dialogues understand the processes involved. In an attempt to address this gap, this article draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 58 key actors in the field of health inequalities research and policymaking in the UK to argue that it is ideas, rather than research evidence, which have travelled from research into policy. The descriptions of the varying journeys of these ideas fit three types—successful, partial and fractured—each of which is outlined with reference to one example. The paper then employs existing theories about research-policy relations and the movement of ideas in an attempt to illuminate and better understand the contrasting journeys. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that the third approach, which focuses on the entrepreneurial processes involved in the marketing of ideas, is most helpful in understanding the research findings, but that this needs to be discussed in relation to the political context within which negotiations take place.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1438-1449
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Volume64
Issue number7
DOIs
StatusPublished - Apr 2007

Fingerprint

Scotland
England
Health
health
Research
research policy
evidence
labor
political activity
Journey
Research Policy
coalition
Negotiating
marketing
Marketing
dialogue
Interviews
interview

Cite this

Health inequalities in Scotland and England: The contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy. / Smith, Katherine.

In: Social Science and Medicine, Vol. 64, No. 7, 04.2007, p. 1438-1449.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b244319bde5a4105b21e7beb9f788eae,
title = "Health inequalities in Scotland and England: The contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy",
abstract = "Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the field of health inequalities in order to: (i) review the available research evidence; (ii) assess the extent to which policies have been based on this research evidence; and (iii) evaluate the success (or failure) of policies to tackle health inequalities. Yet so far only limited attention has been given to exploring how key actors involved in research-policy dialogues understand the processes involved. In an attempt to address this gap, this article draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 58 key actors in the field of health inequalities research and policymaking in the UK to argue that it is ideas, rather than research evidence, which have travelled from research into policy. The descriptions of the varying journeys of these ideas fit three types—successful, partial and fractured—each of which is outlined with reference to one example. The paper then employs existing theories about research-policy relations and the movement of ideas in an attempt to illuminate and better understand the contrasting journeys. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that the third approach, which focuses on the entrepreneurial processes involved in the marketing of ideas, is most helpful in understanding the research findings, but that this needs to be discussed in relation to the political context within which negotiations take place.",
author = "Katherine Smith",
year = "2007",
month = "4",
doi = "10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.11.008",
language = "English",
volume = "64",
pages = "1438--1449",
journal = "Social Science and Medicine",
issn = "0277-9536",
publisher = "Elsevier",
number = "7",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Health inequalities in Scotland and England: The contrasting journeys of ideas from research into policy

AU - Smith,Katherine

PY - 2007/4

Y1 - 2007/4

N2 - Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the field of health inequalities in order to: (i) review the available research evidence; (ii) assess the extent to which policies have been based on this research evidence; and (iii) evaluate the success (or failure) of policies to tackle health inequalities. Yet so far only limited attention has been given to exploring how key actors involved in research-policy dialogues understand the processes involved. In an attempt to address this gap, this article draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 58 key actors in the field of health inequalities research and policymaking in the UK to argue that it is ideas, rather than research evidence, which have travelled from research into policy. The descriptions of the varying journeys of these ideas fit three types—successful, partial and fractured—each of which is outlined with reference to one example. The paper then employs existing theories about research-policy relations and the movement of ideas in an attempt to illuminate and better understand the contrasting journeys. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that the third approach, which focuses on the entrepreneurial processes involved in the marketing of ideas, is most helpful in understanding the research findings, but that this needs to be discussed in relation to the political context within which negotiations take place.

AB - Both the UK's Labour Government and Scotland's devolved Labour–Liberal Democrat coalition Executive have committed themselves to reducing health inequalities. Furthermore, both institutions have emphasised the importance of using evidence to inform policy responses. In light of such political commitments, a significant amount of work has been undertaken in the field of health inequalities in order to: (i) review the available research evidence; (ii) assess the extent to which policies have been based on this research evidence; and (iii) evaluate the success (or failure) of policies to tackle health inequalities. Yet so far only limited attention has been given to exploring how key actors involved in research-policy dialogues understand the processes involved. In an attempt to address this gap, this article draws on data from semi-structured interviews with 58 key actors in the field of health inequalities research and policymaking in the UK to argue that it is ideas, rather than research evidence, which have travelled from research into policy. The descriptions of the varying journeys of these ideas fit three types—successful, partial and fractured—each of which is outlined with reference to one example. The paper then employs existing theories about research-policy relations and the movement of ideas in an attempt to illuminate and better understand the contrasting journeys. In the concluding discussion, it is argued that the third approach, which focuses on the entrepreneurial processes involved in the marketing of ideas, is most helpful in understanding the research findings, but that this needs to be discussed in relation to the political context within which negotiations take place.

UR - http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.11.008

U2 - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.11.008

DO - 10.1016/j.socscimed.2006.11.008

M3 - Article

VL - 64

SP - 1438

EP - 1449

JO - Social Science and Medicine

T2 - Social Science and Medicine

JF - Social Science and Medicine

SN - 0277-9536

IS - 7

ER -