The politicisation of evaluation: constructing and contesting EU policy performance

Paul Stephenson, Jonas Schoenefeld, Frans Leeuw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
33 Downloads (Pure)


Although systematic policy evaluation has been conducted for decades and has been growing strongly within the European Union (EU) institutions and in the member states, it remains largely underexplored in political science literatures. Extant work in political science and public policy typically focuses on elements such as agenda setting, policy shaping, decision making, or implementation rather than evaluation. Although individual pieces of research on evaluation in the EU have started to emerge, most often regarding policy “effectiveness” (one criterion among many in evaluation), a more structured approach is currently missing. This special issue aims to address this gap in political science by focusing on four key focal points: evaluation institutions (including rules and cultures), evaluation actors and interests (including competencies, power, roles and tasks), evaluation design (including research methods and theories, and their impact on policy design and legislation), and finally, evaluation purpose and use (including the relationships between discourse and scientific evidence, political attitudes and strategic use). The special issue considers how each of these elements contributes to an evolving governance system in the EU, where evaluation is playing an increasingly important role in decision making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663–679
Number of pages17
JournalPolitische Vierteljahresschrift
Issue number4
Early online date16 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Cite this