On the relationship between academics and practitioners

Economics in action

As an academic or a researcher, I have four kinds or stages of experience in interacting with practitioners. As a young researcher in 1980s, I was very close to a social organization and had an exposure to political activists. (Or it was this closeness that had encouraged me to be a social scientist). There was a close connection between a set of researchers and politicians in that milieu. A researcher and a politician who are interacting regularly are likely to have similar ideological positions. There is nothing unusual in this regard. Given that politicians are unable to check the veracity of research, they need a signal on the dependability of the researcher. Ideological similarity may work as a signal too. Since politicians want confirmation of their positions (based on their ideological stands), they may depend on researchers who are closer to them to collect evidence or support these positions.


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