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

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    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-100
    Number of pages20
    JournalPolicy and Politics
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


    • discursive Institutionalism
    • ideas
    • health inequalities
    • evidence-based policy

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