Following the evidence practice: an analysis of evaluation studies on EU railway policy

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Since the end of the 1990s, scholars have been paying particular attention to the link between evidence and policy because of the rise of evidence-based policy making and better regulation in the European Union political agenda. Documents such as evaluation studies are material traces of professional practice and the knowledge production process. Through the analytical perspective of evaluation practice, this contribution has two purposes. First, it differentiates three modes of evaluation theory and practice. Second, through a systematic content analysis of 52 evaluation studies of EU railway policy, it presents an overview of general patterns in the use of evaluative theories and practice. Besides contributing to the literature of evidence and policy practice, the article provides recommendations for EU evaluation and better regulation guidelines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-803
Number of pages19
JournalDie Politische Vierteljahresschrift
Issue number4
Early online date22 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • content analysis of evaluation
  • evaluation practice
  • European commission
  • EU railway system
  • knowledge production


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