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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Research


Knowledge and Policy: Mental Health in Scotland

This project ran from 2006-2011 and has now concluded. All our major reports are available on these pages. A brief summary document reflecting on our findings is available here

Our study has aimed to identify and understand the cognitive and intellectual roots of public policy decision making, to explore the ways of thinking which inform government. We are interested in three aspects of the relationship between knowledge and policy:

  • What do policy makers know and how do they know it?
  • How do they use what they know from different sources in making decisions?
  • How do they use different kinds of information to govern mental health?

A European project

Our work has been part of the bigger, integrated European project KNOWandPOL, which covers health and education policy in eight countries and at local, national and international levels. In Scotland, our partners have been Jenny Ozga, Martin Lawn and Sotiria Grek of the Centre for Educational Sociology, University of Edinburgh. You can find out more about their work here.

The project was funded by the European Commission and directed by the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research on Solidarity and Social Innovation at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.


Dr Richard Freeman

Dr Jennifer Smith-Merry