by Dr Kathryn Oliver, Provost Fellow in Knowledge and Policy Networks at University College London.
With a general election just around the corner, everyone is on high alert for scandals. No one (well, ok – everyone except the politicians) wants to see another Bullingdon Club revelation, or a phone-hacking story. While there are a myriad ways for a politician to damage their credibility, it seems that old-boy’s networks are pretty widely understood to be Bad News. Getting a job or any other benefit through a friend, a school-mate, a wife, or a man you met down the pub is – however usual – frowned on.
But human beings, like all primates, are social beings. This does not stop being the case just because people have got decision-making tasks. Interpersonal connections are known to influence everything from where policymakers find evidence, create agendas, develop policies – in fact, as our systematic review showed, every part of the policy process. Continue reading Policy networks – an idea whose time has come?