edited by Peter Wagner ... [et al.]
Modern social sciences have been committed to the improvement of public policy. However, doubts have arisen about the possibility and desirability of a policy-oriented social science. In this book, leading specialists in the field analyse both the development and failings of policy-oriented social science. In contrast to other writings on the subject, this volume presents a distinctively historical and comparative approach. By looking at earlier periods, the contributors demonstrate how policy orientation has been central to the emergence and evolution of the social sciences as a form of professional activity. Case studies of rarely examined societies such as Poland, Brazil and Japan further demonstrate the various ways in which intellectual developments have been shaped by the societal contexts in which they have emerged and how they have taken part in the shaping of these societies.