This paper gives a short overview of feminist perspectives on the use of evidence in policy making, covering both empirical and conceptual work. It presents the case of the Conflict Tactics Scale, a measure of interpersonal violence that is both widely used and heavily criticised in work on violence between intimate partners. It examines this case to illustrate the way that feminist advocacy and research organisations use gender informed theory to counter positivist narratives about intimate partner violence. In doing so, it shows that the evidence-based policy approach, even when considered as principle or ideal, frames the policy-making process as “objective”, and in doing so ignores the gendered contexts in which knowledge is produced, used and translated into policy and implementation. By examining feminist approaches to this case study, we can learn from feminist advocate researchers the importance of context, normative arguments and the politicisation of evidence in policymaking and implementation.
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