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 a 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.

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G.B.M. Engbersen (Godfried)
Erasmus University Rotterdam , Eleven International Publishing, The Hague
Dutch Ministry of Social Care and Welfare.
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Lub, V. (2014, November 20). The Plausibility of Policy: Case studies from the social domain. Eleven International Publishing, The Hague. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/77173