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Promoters of evidence-based policy making assume that such practices contribute to an improvement in public policies and therefore to social betterment and state legitimacy. However, scholars in democracy research rarely include practices of evidence-based policy making in their analyses
of the legitimacy of the state. This article outlines the linkages between evidence-based policy making and the output-oriented legitimacy of the state, and assesses the potential of these linkages. The analysis shows that only a selection of these linkages have the potential to contribute
to state legitimacy whereas others are very restricted in this respect.
Evidence & Policy is the first peer-reviewed journal dedicated to comprehensive and critical assessment of the relationship between research evidence and the concerns of policy makers and practitioners, as well as researchers.