23 SES 10 B, Researching the Powerful: Seeking Knowledge about Policy
This paper considers the significance of context from a slightly different perspective, by comparing and contrasting what the experience of interviewing policy elites in these two systems tells us about the knowledge and policy relationship. In one system (France) the relationship to knowledge is very explicit and hierarchical, and linked to status in a quite direct way, so that only members of the elites communicate with and recognise one another (Pincon et al 1997). The rules of communication between elites and the other are conformist and strongly marked by power relations. In Scotland, access to the ‘policy community’ is extremely easy and relations are very relaxed, but this may be interpreted as a different means of managing and co-opting researchers (Humes 2007, Ozga 2008).
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