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Reframing evidence synthesis as rhetorical action in the policy making drama.

Greenhalgh, T; Russell, J; (2006) Reframing evidence synthesis as rhetorical action in the policy making drama. Healthc Policy , 1 (2) pp. 34-42. Gold open access

Abstract

This paper presents a novel conceptualization of policy making as social drama. The selection and presentation of evidence for policy making, including the choice of which questions to ask, which evidence to compile in a synthesis and which syntheses to bring to the policy making table, should be considered as moves in a rhetorical argumentation game and not as the harvesting of objective facts to be fed into a logical decision-making sequence. Viewing policy making as argument does not mean it is beyond rationality--merely that we must redefine rationality to include not only logical inference and probabilistic reasoning, but also the consideration of plausibility by a reasonable audience. We need better evidence, but we also urgently need better awareness by policy makers of the language games on which their work depends.

Type: Article
Title: Reframing evidence synthesis as rhetorical action in the policy making drama.
Location: Canada
Open access status: An open access publication
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > UCL Medical School > Academic Centre of Medical Education
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/176028
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