Who gets what: Politics, evidence, and health promotion

  • De Leeuw E
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In the last issue of Health Promotion International , Bambra, Fox & Scott-Samuel (2005) have again demonstrated that health is a quintessentially political issue. As a consequence health promotion research and practice should engage more consciously and conscientiously in political action and inquiry. One of the fathers of modern political science, Harold Lasswell, as early as the 1930s, described politics and policy development as fundamentally asking the questions who gets what, where and how (1930, 1936). The next stage in the evidence debate will have to address far more explicitly and astutely the political nature of health promotion and of science itself. In this issue, Lahtinen and colleagues (2005) start that debate with making the Finnish political parameters for health promotion research explicit. This is in line with propositions formulated by Rychetnik & Wise (2004) and Raphael (2000). In an earlier editorial, Nutbeam (2004) presented a UK case-study and started to ask the 'right' political questions: How to improve the quality of evidence that overtly is directed towards influencing policy? How to redirect research funding towards that goal? How to include implementation research form the very start of intervention development into research designs? What are the parameters of successful networking between politicians, academia, and health promotion practitioners? The utility-driven evidence (UDE) framework has been suggested as one way forward to respond to such questions (De Leeuw & Skovgaard, 2005). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

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  • Evelyne De Leeuw

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