Policy & Politics favourites of 2021

Thea Cook, Journals Marketing ExecutiveThea-Cook

We wanted to share some of our readers’ favourite content that you might have missed. Please enjoy free access to some of our most read and highly cited articles, along with some of our editors’ highlights from recent issues. Continue reading Policy & Politics favourites of 2021

How Can Governments Tax Multinational Enterprises More Fairly?

Morrell et alKevin Morrell, Orlando Fernandes and Loizos Heracleous

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimate USD$240 billion is lost annually to national governments as a result of corporate tax avoidance by Multinational Enterprises (MNEs). This happens because MNEs can shift profits across their national subsidiaries to exploit differences in tax regimes. In our recent article in Policy & Politics, we explain how in 2013, the British subsidiary of Amazon was able to do this lawfully so it only paid £4.2 million in tax despite UK sales being worth more than £4.3 billion. Similarly, in a 14-year period, Starbucks generated more than £3 billion in sales to the UK but paid just £8.6 million in tax to the British government. Continue reading How Can Governments Tax Multinational Enterprises More Fairly?

Fear and Loathing in Today’s Politics

PierceJonathan J Pierce

In the past year, rioters have stormed the US Capitol building trying to overthrow a presidential election, protestors have marched against police brutality in support of Black Lives Matter, governments have spent trillions of dollars on bailing out the economy, people are protesting mask mandates and lockdowns, and white supremacy and anti-fascist movements are growing daily and seeking a revolution. This is all occurring while the world faces the largest public health crisis in over a century. People are angry and anxious about today’s politics. Can theories and frameworks of public policy explain the influence of emotions? My conclusion based on my recent research published in Policy & Politics is no. Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Today’s Politics

Policy & Politics Highlights collection November 2021 – January 2022 – all articles included are free to access

Sarah_Brown_credit_Evelyn_Sturdy
Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This quarter’s collection highlights three of our most popular and highly cited articles in 2021 which, based on their readership and citation levels, have clearly made an important contribution to their fields.

The first article, A theoretical framework for studying the co-creation of innovative solutions and public value, forms an introduction to the special issue on co-creation in public policy and governance, guest edited by Jacob Torfing, Ewan Ferlie, Tina Jukić and Edoardo Ongaro, published in April 2021. The central proposition is that the concept of public value carries unexploited potential as a ‘game changer’ for advancing the co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector. They argue that it allows us to appreciate the many different public and private actors, including service users, citizens and civil society organisations, which can contribute to the production of public value. The authors quip that co-creation is the “new black” because it mobilises societal resources, enhances innovation and builds joint ownership over new public value outcomes. Continue reading Policy & Politics Highlights collection November 2021 – January 2022 – all articles included are free to access

The dynamic role of governments in adopting policy innovations in China

Huang & WiebrechtBiao Huang and Felix Wiebrecht

Policy innovations and experiments have been considered a cornerstone of China’s economic rise in the past decades. However, the adoption of innovations by local governments is not always mandated by the central government, as one may expect in the case of a strong, centralised, and authoritarian state like China. Instead, higher-level governments often take a laissez-faire approach and merely sponsor some innovations without actively getting involved in the process of adoption. In our recent article in Policy & Politics, we aim to answer the question of why higher-level governments intervene proactively in local innovations in some cases but only offer their backing in others. Continue reading The dynamic role of governments in adopting policy innovations in China

Can community involvement policies mitigate NIMBYism and local opposition to asylum seeker centres?

Dekker et alRianne Dekker, Caroline Oliver & Karin Geuijen

When numbers of refugees seeking asylum increase, local governments are prompted to open new asylum seeker centres (ASCs). This happened for example during the European ‘refugee crisis’ of 2015-16, and more recently, with increasing numbers of people fleeing Afghanistan. Decisions to open facilities such as ASCs often inspire opposition which local governments must navigate. This is the issue we explore in our recent article in Policy & Politics where we ask: Can community involvement policies mitigate NIMBYism and local opposition to asylum seeker centres?

Usually, governments assume that opposition to a facility is fueled by NIMBYism, where residents object to a facility’s local siting but would not object if it was opened elsewhere. They adopt strategies to isolate the facility from its locality, to prevent possible negative impacts. However, in many cases, local opposition has deeper roots than NIMBYism and requires a different policy approach. Continue reading Can community involvement policies mitigate NIMBYism and local opposition to asylum seeker centres?

How do Street-Level Bureaucrats categorise citizens to decide who should receive services?

Lotta and KirschbaumGabriela Lotta and Charles Kirschbaum 

Street-level bureaucrats (SLB) are those workers who have direct contact with citizens while delivering services to them, for example teachers, police, counsellors, and health workers. They are very important both for the state and for citizens for several reasons. for example, they are the “face” of the state for many citizens, they are the “last mile” individuals in the policy implementation process and in the hierarchy of the organisation, and they also have significant power to allocate resources. Consequently many research studies, including ours, analyse street-level bureaucrats’ behaviour and how they interact with citizens. In our recent research article in Policy & Politics on How street-level bureaucrats use Conceptual Systems to categorise clients, we observe one specific aspect of SLBs’ work: how they classify types of citizens to decide who should receive each kind of service. We analyse this phenomenon by observing teachers. Continue reading How do Street-Level Bureaucrats categorise citizens to decide who should receive services?

Blog from the winner of our Policy & Politics 2021 postgraduate student prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the ‘Power, Politics and the Policy Process’ unit of the Masters in Public Policy at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Doug CooleyDoug Cooley

I’m Doug Cooley, and have just finished a one-year Masters in Public Policy at the University of Bristol, home to the Policy & Politics journal. I hope to use this MPP as a basis to conduct future academic or practical policy work. During the year, I have focussed my research on various theoretical concepts, including policy transfer, and power structures in the policy process, applying these concepts to neoliberal mechanisms in the Global Financial System, and to the UK’s local governance structures. I am delighted to have won the Policy & Politics prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the unit ‘Power, Politics and the Policy Process’ as part of the MPP programme.

In this post, I highlight a piece of my work which explores the link between policy transfer, which I define as replication of policy instruments between polities, and institutional isomorphism, or the convergence of organisational structures and governance mechanisms. The relative lack of literature on the link is surprising, given how intuitively similar these ideas are, and the different normative connotations of the two concepts. Policy transfer emphasises the benefits of learning between polities, whereas institutional isomorphism is seen as a constraining influence on innovation. Continue reading Blog from the winner of our Policy & Politics 2021 postgraduate student prize for achieving the highest overall mark on the ‘Power, Politics and the Policy Process’ unit of the Masters in Public Policy at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Blog from the winner of our Policy & Politics 2021 undergraduate prize to the student achieving the highest overall mark on the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Lara Gordge

My name is Lara and I’m currently about to enter my final year of the BSc Social Policy with Criminology undergraduate degree at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (home of the Policy & Politics journal). Winning the student prize for the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit came as quite a surprise, but I’m thrilled and honoured to have been chosen. All of my peers are brilliant thinkers and so very talented, so to win has given me a lot of confidence in my academic ability.

One of the main things I loved about the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit was the ability to write about such a broad variety of topics. One of the essays I enjoyed the most focused on two key questions around power within policymaking in the realm of behavioural economics – who is given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the greater good, and why are those decisions considered the right ones to make? Continue reading Blog from the winner of our Policy & Politics 2021 undergraduate prize to the student achieving the highest overall mark on the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol