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Systematic reviews of environmental policy

Research project This PhD Project aims to develop the systematic review method within questions relating to the evaluation of environmental policy and politics.

The overarching research aim is to contribute to the understanding of how environmental policy can be evaluated and how we can use the outcome of such evaluations by focusing on one specific method, the systematic review that has gained attention in various fields of research over the last decades. What kind of questions can be answered using the systematic review method? How do these question answer to the demand from policy makers? By testing the method in a new field of research, we also want to contribute to the understanding of what the possibilities and limitations of the method are, and to what questions it can be applied.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period

2015-05-01 2019-12-31

Research subject

Political science

Project description

Both scientists and policy-makers have recognized the need to evaluate environmental policy and the importance of evaluation is often stressed in discussions about how to meet the challenges of different environmental issues. However, environmental problems are complex. They often affect large areas, have long exposure times, and are characterized by great uncertainty and complex pattern of effects and causation. If we add to this the complexity of the human, social, and economic interactions, it is understandable that environmental policy is not easily evaluated. Different evaluation methods have been developed to deal with this complexity. The overarching research aim is to contribute to the understanding of how environmental policy can be evaluated and how we can use the outcome of such evaluations by focusing on one specific method, the systematic review that has gained attention in various fields of research over the last decades.
What kind of questions can be answered using the systematic review method? How do these question answer to the demand from policy makers? By testing the method in a new field of research, we also want to contribute to the understanding of what the possibilities and limitations of the method are, and to what questions it can be applied.
This project is financed by the Mistra programme Mistra Council for Evidence-based Environmental Management (EviEM). EviEM carries out systematic reviews of various environmental issues to improve the basis for decisions in Swedish environmental policy. To complement the more natural science perspective on environmental issues that has been the focus of the work of EviEM, a PhD position was developed together with Umeå University.