some pitfalls in the meeting between scientific research and politics
A current ambition in welfare states as diverse as Denmark, the UK, and in the USA is to base political decision making on rigorous research (Cartwright et al 2009; Mulgan 2009; Bason 2010). Sound as this might seem the ambition has nevertheless been problematized by both policy-makers and the research community (e.g. Boden & Epstein 2006; House of Commons 2006; Cartwright et al 2009; Rod 2010; Vohnsen 2011). This article intends to draw out some general pitfalls in the curious meeting of science and politics by focusing on a particular attempt to make evidence-based legislation in Denmark (for a full account, see Vohnsen 2011). These insights will be relevant for the anthropological researcher of legislative processes who wishes to move beyond a merely discursive approach to the study of policy and politics.