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The Plausibility of Policy

Case Studies from the Social Domain

The Plausibility of Policy
  • Year of publication 2015
  • 128 pages
Author:Vasco Lub
Category: Social Sciences Public Administration
Icon_printbook 978‐94‐6236‐469‐1 | paperback | 1st edition | € 21.50 / $ 29.02 / £ 22.79
Icon_ebook 978‐94‐6274‐225‐3 | ebook | € 19.99 / $ 26.98 / £ 21.18

The social domain has seen a growing debate on the effectiveness of public measures. The realisation is taking shape that the legitimacy of social policies – such as the socialisation of vulnerable groups, anti-radicalisation programs or regeneration projects in deprived neighbourhoods – has to go beyond the intuition that they ‘should’ work. But unlike methods in spheres such as medicine and healthcare, social programs typically have no sharp demarcation in time, intensity or target group and are implemented in an rich context of unforeseen and unknown variables. This makes it difficult (if not impossible) to assess their impact with research methods that centralise a monocausal effect.

In The Plausibility of Policy, Vasco Lub presents alternative approaches for assessing the likelihood to which social policy measures achieve their intended effects. One of his main lines of argument is to confront policy assumptions with existing scientific data. In doing so, he sheds light on how such measures can be assessed and to what degree claims about those intended effects can be substantiated.

Target group

Civil servants, policy officers, sociologists

Author's information

Vasco Lub studied sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam. After working for several institutes, he founded the Bureau for Social Argumentation in 2011, of which he is director and sole senior researcher. His research focuses on social policy analysis of various kinds, quality of life issues in urban neighbourhoods and methodological innovation of evaluation research in the social domain.