This paper looks beyond the environmental and sustainability education (ESE) field for ideas on understanding the research-policy relationship. It examines two specific bodies of literature that have analysed the interplay of research and policy in different ways – critical policy studies and evidence use studies. Bringing these two literatures into conversation, we draw out insights in relation to: what counts as evidence in policy decision-making, what influences policy processes beyond evidence, and what roles research can play in relation to policy making. We then consider how these issues from beyond the field might advance research and policy in ESE. We argue that ESE policy is distinctive in its scale, breadth and contestation, and that there is a need for more diverse work in relation to the ESE research-policy interface.
Citation: Rickinson, M., & McKenzie, M. (in press). Understanding the research-policy relationship in ESE: insights from the critical policy and evidence use literatures. Environmental Education Research. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2020.1804531