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  1. Alex, ininteresting that this piece has been influenced by a europe wide meeting. as the problem between academia and politics is partly one of language. Also the academic world rightly spends its time focussed on understanding the question wheras politics wants to rush to an answer, sometimes any answer without thinking too hard about the question. However politics is increasingly working backgrounds from the impact it is seeking to acheive – these impacts are often quite tightly defined.
    However coming back to language there is a real problem that academics use terminology framed around methodologies which are not helpful in communicating ideas. This is probably why it is increasingly think tanks, sometimes supported by academics, which are being commissioned to undertake policy related research and not universities. It was striking that at the last HSA conference there was little or no evidence of people working on Government funded policy projects.