Policy expertise and use of evidence in a populist era

Subho Banerjee, Brian W. Head

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    Populism and media-enhanced polarisation are reinforcing the declining trust in public institutions. These forces also undermine the perceived legitimacy of using expertise and evidence in highly contested policy areas. Expertise has been decried as elitist, or serving vested interests, or ineffective in tackling real-life problems. We argue that applying relevant expertise to public policy problems remains essential. However, this use of expertise must be situated within improved democratic decision-making and governance arrangements. Good policy governance requires not only using best available knowledge, but also strengthening civic trust and legitimacy, through fair and open processes. We also explore the continuing critical role of senior public servants in strengthening deliberative processes and in enhancing the flows of knowledge.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)110-121
    JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    Dive into the research topics of 'Policy expertise and use of evidence in a populist era'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this