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Unmasking evidence-based policymaking: A comparative case study of civic epistemologies concerning pandemic mask use in Austria and the Netherlands

Rennert, M.M. (2021) Unmasking evidence-based policymaking: A comparative case study of civic epistemologies concerning pandemic mask use in Austria and the Netherlands.

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Abstract:This comparative case study explores the factors explaining policy variation between Austria and the Netherlands concerning public mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The framework of civic epistemology is applied to create a deeper understanding of both explicit and implicit dynamics of the evidence-based policymaking process. The Austrian COVID-19 taskforce and the Dutch Outbreak Management Team play a central role as expert advisory committees. A systematic analysis of, inter alia, expert committee meeting reports, policy recommendations and media publicationsidentifies the most relevant elements influencing national policy contents and cross-national differences. These elements include (1) differences in form and substance of expert assessment, (2) the varying influences of formal and informal relationships in the science-policy nexus, (3) differences in relationships with society at large as reflected in expectations of public behavior as well as public pressures, and (4) variations in external circumstances like shortages in mask supply. In particular, results reveal significant differences in the position and independence of expert committees, the highly divergent characteristics of evidence use and, consequently, of expert recommendations for policy, as well as an observed effect of public pressures that equalizes national policy differences.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/87653
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