Research on the disconnected worlds of academia and policy often highlights the potential for intermediary organizations to serve as research brokers incorporating academic research in the policy-making process. Yet, we know little about how this process plays out in practice. This article examines the degree to which the extensive academic research on the effects of the Affordable Care Act was incorporated within the high-profile legislative advocacy campaign aimed at blocking its repeal in early 2017. In this campaign, advocates gathered and produced information to support their legislative and mobilization efforts, making it a good case for examining the evidentiary basis underlying applied policy analysis. We identified little direct dissemination of academic studies and only a minor role for academic studies in this advocacy effort. Even so, we identify several pathways by which academic research was incorporated into the debate, primarily through the efforts of academics to publish timely analysis in venues more accessible to advocates than traditional scholarly journals. We conclude that academic research can play a role in advocacy, but it is typically an incomplete one. Instead, advocates tend to rely on research that is either produced or packaged by an array of governmental and nongovernmental policy organizations.
Academic Research and Legislative Advocacy: Information Use in the Campaign against Repeal of the ACA
J Health Polit Policy Law 511-535.
March 09 2018
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