Opinions that Count

How Swing Voters in Congress View Global Population Issues

by Sally Patterson, David M. Adamson

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This research brief describes work documented in How Does Congress Approach Population and Family Planning Issues? Results of Qualitative Interviews with Legislative Directors (MR-1048-WFHF/RF/UNFPA).

Excerpt: Many in the population community believe that current demographic research has too little impact on national policy in such areas as foreign relations, development, and family planning issues. One common argument holds that policy-relevant findings are usually not disseminated in the ways that are most useful to senior decisionmakers. Another assumes that congressional attitudes on these issues are so polarized — and recent Congresses have been so focused on domestic issues and national defense — that research on global population issues is unlikely to influence U.S. legislation no matter how that research is delivered.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research brief series. RAND research briefs present policy-oriented summaries of individual published, peer-reviewed documents or of a body of published work.

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