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Institutional filters: the translation and re-circulation of ideas about health inequalities within policy

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Taking health inequalities in the United Kingdom as a case study, this article adopts a 'discursive institutionalist' approach to explore how the organisation of policy-making bodies shapes the relationship between research and policy. It demonstrates how policy 'silos' and hierarchies work as filters to research-based ideas, encouraging those ideas that support existing institutionalised ideas (or 'policy paradigms'), while blocking or significantly transforming more challenging ideas. This limits the extent to which research can inform policy. Yet, a lack of institutional memory within policy making enables recycled ideas to appear innovative, creating an impression of meaningful, ongoing dialogue between research and policy.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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