Analysing knowledge use in policy processes around contested topics requires a new research approach. Traditional research on knowledge for policy assumes a one-to-one relationship (which is often imperfect) between science and policy as two separate worlds. Science, technology and society studies teach us that knowledge for policy is a joint construct of the research and the policy community and is not produced in isolated worlds. This article argues that the main problem for knowledge use lies in the subdivision between different competing ‘knowledge coalitions’ of researchers and policy-makers. Conflicting knowledge is the result.

knowledge, policy making, research
Science and Public Policy
Department of Public Administration

van Buuren, M.W, & Edelenbos, J. (2004). Conflicting knowledge : Why is joint knowledge production such a problem?. Science and Public Policy, 31(4), 289–299. Retrieved from