Bridging the Relevance Gap in Political Science



This article argues that scholars overestimate the ability of a methodologically ‘pluralistic’ political science to gain impact in policymaking, which in Britain is increasingly ‘positivist’, privileging quantitative evidence. This ‘relevance gap’ between pluralistic political science and positivistic policymaking means that political scientists are disadvantaged in achieving ‘impact’ compared to disciplines like behavioural economics. The article proposes two solutions to bridge this ‘gap’: improving the ‘accessibility’ of research and stimulating ‘interaction’ between researchers and policymakers through methodological workshops.