From Knowledge Utilization to Building Knowledge Networks

Michal Sedlačko, Katarína Staroňová


This special section is devoted to the topic of knowledge in policy making. Knowledge – data, arguments, scientific findings, ideas about policy instruments and their effects, even values and ideologies – guides judgements of decision makers about what to do or not to do. Expert or scientific knowledge and policy advice still dominate in policy analysis debates (particularly in the evidence-based policy making movement), although in recent years the role of other types of “usable” knowledge such as lay knowledge or tacit knowledge is acquiring increased recognition. In addition, processes of social learning and the building of advocacy coalitions around specific forms of knowledge are capturing scholars’ attention. As can be seen, the (often conflicted and contested) role of knowledge in public policy can be understood from a range of theoretical and empirical perspectives – and this richness of perspectives, as well as conflicts around specific forms of knowledge, became the starting point for our call for papers, published in February 2014. From the number of contributions that we received, three are being published in this special section, accompanied by a literature review written by us, the Guest Editors.

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ISSN 1802-4866 | Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences | Creative Commons Attribution 3.0.