Shooting (or Ignoring) the Messenger



Political science produces highly policy-relevant research, but politicians ignore it in favor of their own (or their supporters') biases. I give examples from such fields as anti-immigrant politics, political business cycles and the politics of redistribution. The sole area in which politicians do attend closely to scholarly research is where it assists their own efforts at electoral success (e.g. effect and duration of political advertising). But politicians equally ignore the expertise of climatologists, physicists, biologists, economists and even spies, where that expertise contradicts their own preferred policies. All of this points more to a problem of democratic politics than of political (or any other) science.