It verges on a platitude to say that the connections between research and politics, including the domain of policy-making, are numerous and manifold. These domains are entangled to such an extent that usually it is hard to conceive of one without the other in some way manifesting itself as well. Yet one can hardly avoid starting off from a preliminary observation of this kind if one wants to zero in on the connections and reciprocal orientations of the broad spheres concerned: that of policy and politics, and that of social research. Their interrelations and the ways these are handled are highly varied, ranging from instances where the respective fields are complementary and geared towards common objectives — via experiences with significantly contrasted premises and understandings breeding abundant confusion — to yet other contexts marked by profound suspicions, hostility and conflict between vastly different worlds and outlooks. Indeed, it is not far-fetched to assert that contradictions of interests and perspectives, and tensions arising from them, frequently characterize encounters between the fields of research and of policy and politics.
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK