What Works in Evalutation Research?

British criminology has evolved its own distinctive division of labour. Theorists theorize, ethnographers empathize, statisticians soothsay, and so on. Unlike other areas of scholarship, this arrangement allows little time or gain for anyone bent on fundamental reflection on the nature of criminolog...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Pawson, Ray
Contributors: Tilley, Nick (Author)
Format: Print Article
Language:English
Published: 1994
In:The British journal of criminology
Year: 1994, Volume: 34, Issue: 3, Pages: 291-306
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Availability in Tübingen:Present in Tübingen.
IFK: In: Z 7
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Summary:British criminology has evolved its own distinctive division of labour. Theorists theorize, ethnographers empathize, statisticians soothsay, and so on. Unlike other areas of scholarship, this arrangement allows little time or gain for anyone bent on fundamental reflection on the nature of criminological research. Whilst (thankfully) this has had the effect of avoiding the unproductive epistemological brawls which characterize neighbouring disciplines, it can lead to a directionless research strategy founded on a taken-for-granted pragmatism. This paper examines the case of evaluation research' in the criminal justice area and attempts to inject some strategic thinking into this, the dourest, most matter-of-fact corner of the literature. On offer is a brief (and at this length) polemical case, arguing that the quasi-experimental paradigm has resulted in moribund evaluation, being itself a contributing factor to the nothing works' lament. Rescue is at hand in the form of a scientific realist' approach to evaluation
ISSN:0007-0955