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Evidence-based policymaking and the public interest: Lessons in legitimacy

McKay, Stephen; Murray, Michael; MacIntyre, Sean; Kashyap, Anil


Stephen McKay

Michael Murray

Sean MacIntyre

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Dr Anil Kashyap
Head of Department of Geography & Environment


This paper draws upon an analysis of operational planning to highlight the centrality of ethics in praxis. In this context, political liberalism is particularly helpful in developing a deeper understanding of the activities of those engaged in planning decision making. At the most basic level, it demonstrates the importance of not only using shared liberal values as the foundation for public discourses, but also achieving consensus through the development of an inclusive evidence base, derived from both lay and professional knowledge. Though it has limitations, political liberalism provides a practical critique, enabling judgements to be made on problems which pervade operational planning practice and an evaluation to be conducted of the dynamic between, and actions of, participants.


McKay, S., Murray, M., MacIntyre, S., & Kashyap, A. (2015). Evidence-based policymaking and the public interest: Lessons in legitimacy. Town Planning Review, 86(2), 133-154.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 9, 2015
Publication Date Jan 1, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 8, 2017
Journal Town Planning Review
Print ISSN 0041-0020
Electronic ISSN 1478-341X
Publisher Liverpool University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 86
Issue 2
Pages 133-154
Keywords evidence, policy, legitimacy, public, professionalism
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