The Social Policy Context of Single Parent Families

Laurie Maldonado and Rense Nieuwenhuis
Laurie Maldonado and Rense Nieuwenhuis

by Laurie C. Maldonado and Rense Nieuwenhuis

Our collaboration started off debating each other’s research, over a midday cup of chai tea latte at a Starbucks in New York City. NYC is the home of The Luxembourg Income Study Center at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (LIS Center), where Rense Nieuwenhuis served as a visiting scholar and Laurie C. Maldonado is currently a predoctoral scholar.

Nieuwenhuis had just published his first article, in the Journal of Marriage and Family, which showed that while work-family reconciliation policies facilitate maternal employment across 18 OECD countries from 1975 to 1999, family allowances formed a disincentive for maternal employment. This article is now part of a completed dissertation on “Family Policy Outcomes”. Maldonado co-authored Continue reading

Professor Big Brother and his radical students – who should we fear most?

by Akil N Awan, Lecturer in Political Violence & Terrorism at Royal Holloway

This post was originally published on The Conversation blog on 29th January 2015

The Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill 2014-15, having been rushed through the House of Commons with alarming speed and ease, has passed its second reading in the House of Lords. It is now in the final committee stages and on course to become law within a matter of weeks.

Although peers rejected a raft of amendments that would have effectively brought the “snooper’s charter” in through the backdoor, the addition of this major piece of terrorism legislation to our existing terror laws still has serious implications and should be of real concern to us all. Not least because it co-opts Continue reading

Policy experts and the making of the ‘Age of Austerity’

Hartwig Pautz
Hartwig Pautz

Hartwig Pautz from the University of the West of Scotland discusses his forthcoming panel at the International Conference of Interpretive Policy,July 2015 in Lille, France.

The relationship between policy expertise and policy outcomes and the role that ‘politics’ plays has inspired a rich and varied literature – with academics, journalists and pro-transparency campaigners making important and thought-provoking contributions. They tackle questions of influence and power, discuss the ‘red lines’ between legitimate exchanges and undue influence and critique the diminishing part which academic scholars play in political discourse.  In short: the role of policy experts and their activities in a complex world is considered by many worth thorough and critically-minded scrutiny.

The near-collapse of the global financial system and the ‘Great Recession’ set in motion, in many western countries, a number of policy changes Continue reading

We need to challenge the myth that the rich are specially-talented wealth creators

Andrew Sayer
Andrew Sayer

In this article Andrew Sayer revives some concepts – ‘unearned income’, ‘rentiers’, ‘functionless investors’, and ‘improperty’ – to explain why the very rich are unjust and dysfunctional. We need to challenge the myth that the rich are specially-talented wealth creators, he argues. This article is reposted from the British Politics and Policy Blog.

In light of the news that the richest 80 people in the world have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, all 3.5 billion of them, and at the time of the plutocrats’ World Economic Forum in Davos, many people are talking about the extraordinary concentration of wealth at the top.

Here in the UK, the combined wealth of the richest 1,000 people is £519 billion (up from $450 billion in 2013). That’s over 4 times the size of the annual NHS budget (£127 billion), 12 times the size of the education bill (£42 billion), and 9 times the size of the welfare bill (£58 billion). We might well ask which of these figures can’t we afford? Given the tendency of the rich to portray themselves as specially-talented wealth creators we have to ask whether these inequalities are justified. In my new book Why We Can’t Afford the Rich, I argue they are unjust and dysfunctional. Continue reading

Should our principles always guide our actions?

Hatier cartoon

Cécile Hatier from the University of Wolverhampton gives us an overview of her latest article, which discusses when it’s appropriate to resign from office…

Politicians are constantly vilified for their lack of moral principles, and rightly so, given the outrageous actions of some! We get frustrated because they turn back on their promises the minute they get into office, and are driven by political expediency, if not selfish considerations, instead of the public interest. I won’t even start listing examples, the press rages about two or three cases a day in the UK. It is no surprise then that when Continue reading

‘Did you hear the one about the immigrant barman?’ The role of legal status and legal insecurity in immigrant occupational attainment in Europe

Owen Corrigan
Owen Corrigan

Owen Corrigan, Trinity College Dublin, introduces his article ‘Conditionality of legal status and immigrant occupational attainment in western Europe‘. It is now available on Policy & Politics fast track.

Why is that immigrant barman fresh from architecture school designing only shamrocks on the head of your Guinness? Or that cleaning lady with perfect English and the degree in literature, why is she cleaning the blackboard at your kids’ school and not teaching at it? Traditional accounts of immigrant success, or otherwise, in the labour market highlight a number of important, even obvious, factors at play in outcomes such as these: grasp of the language, level of education, time in the country, and networks of contacts all matter.

Not all migrants hold low level jobs of course: 28% of third-country nationals in the UK in 2006 were employed in ‘prestige’ occupations. However Continue reading

Latest issue of Policy & Politics now available: 43.1

43-1Policy & Politics, Volume 43, issue 1, is now available in print and online. David Sweeting introduces the issue.

The latest issue of Policy & Politics showcases some of the most creative and innovative work that is going on in the field, covering a variety of topics. As ever, the contributions combine theoretical insight with empirical analysis, and offer a wide geographical spread. The issue also contains our first ‘research provocation’ piece.

The opening article, authored by co-editor Matthew Flinders and Katharine Dommett, draws on Chris Hood’s original piece in the 1980 volume of the journal to critique the coalition government’s policy on the reform of state architecture. They conclude that rather than a simple case of abolition, the approach Continue reading

Where next after the third way?

Christoph Arndt and Kees van Kersbergen
Christoph Arndt and Kees van Kersbergen

Christoph Arndt and Kees van Kersbergen reflect on their article ‘Social democracy after the Third Way: restoration or renewal?’, available now on Policy & Politics fast track.

What do social democratic parties do after they regain power after the Third Way? This was the guiding question for our study of the public policies of the current Danish social democratic government (2011-2015). The Third Way (TW), with Britain’s New Labour as its forerunner, was at first a successful strategy for many European social democratic parties to regain power after long bourgeois incumbencies in the 1980s and 1990s. However, it usually ended in electoral disaster since TW policies did not square with the preferences and values of many social democratic core voters who then abstained or shifted to Continue reading