Integration strategy must focus on tackling poverty for BME families

debbie-weekes-bernard-square_0Debbie Weekes-Bernard, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

This blog post was originally published on the Joseph Rowntree Foundation blog on 8 June 2018.

Someone from a black and minority ethnic background is twice as likely to experience poverty as someone from a white background in the UK. The Government’s developing Integration Strategy is an opportunity to right this wrong, but it currently neglects vital aspects of how to tackle poverty for people from different ethnic backgrounds – specifically how low pay and a lack of progression opportunities trap people in poverty.  Continue reading

Framing unpopular policies and creating policy winners – the role of heresthetics

Drew_FaheyJoseph Drew and
Glenn Fahey

This blog post was originally published on the Discover Society – Policy and Politics blog on 5 June 2018.

Policy-makers sometimes find themselves in desperate predicaments when attempting to become policy winners – especially when they have previously sustained resounding losses on a given issue. In such situations, rhetorical efforts may have failed to persuade audiences and, yet, the status quo position may also be untenable. In our recent Policy & Politics article on ‘Framing unpopular policies and creating winners – the role of heresthetics’ (free to access until 30 June), we show how policy-makers in these kinds of desperate predicaments can still win, somewhat against the odds, by employing the art of political manipulation (the term for this is ‘heresthetic’, coined by the late William H. Riker). Specifically, we draw attention to the ‘dimension’ heresthetic – arguing that by changing the way an unpopular policy is framed, one can tap into latent attitudes conducive to one’s cause and thus structure the world so that one can win. We call practitioners of this art of heresthetic ‘herestheticians’Continue reading

How majoritarianism endures in the structures of the UK’s devolved institutions

FelicityProfileFelicity Matthews, Co-Editor of Policy & Politics

This blog post was originally published on the Democratic Audit UK website on 11 May 2018.

This year, the Scotland Act 1998 and the Government of Wales Act 1998 celebrate their twentieth anniversary. Few would disagree that the passage of these acts, which established the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, was an important watershed in the United Kingdom’s majoritarian tradition. This milestone anniversary provides a timely opportunity to reflect on the extent to which devolution has delivered the ‘new politics’ that was widely anticipated; and in my recently published article in The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, I examine the extent to which devolution has ‘made a difference’ by systematically comparing the institutional architecture of the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales with that of Westminster.  Continue reading

Are we to blame? Academics and the rise of populism

Matt FlindersMatthew Flinders

This blog post was originally published on the Oxford University Press Blog on 6 May 2018.

One of the great things about being on sabbatical is that you actually get a little time to hide away and do something that professors generally have very little opportunity to do – read books. As a result I have spent the last couple of months gorging myself on the scholarly fruits that have been piling-up on my desk for some time, in some cases years. I’ve read books on ‘slow scholarship’ (Berg and Seeber, 2016) and ‘How to be an academic super-hero’ (Hay, 2017); books on ‘radical approaches to political science’ (Eisfeld, 2012); brilliant books on The festival of insignificance (Kundera, 2015) and In Defence of Wonder (Tallis, 2012); and even novels on university life, such as Stoner (Williams, 2012). What fun it is to soak yourself in the literature! To swim from genre to genre, from topic to topic with a little more freedom to explore beyond your micro-specialism than is ever usually possible and, through this, to garner new insights.  Continue reading