Call for Papers for a Themed issue in Policy & Politics on Transformational Change through Public Policy

P&P 2021 EditorsOscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Chris Weible

Policy & Politics is a top quartile journal in public administration and political science. Its co-editors, Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Chris Weible, invite articles for a themed issue on “Transformational Change through Public Policy”. The deadline for abstract submissions is May 14 2021.

How can Public Policy as a discipline contribute to desperately needed transformational change in our societies? Climate scientists call for systemic change; our liberal democracies suffer from crises in legitimacy; economic and social inequality continues to grow; culture wars increasingly polarise societies, and so on. Scholars have excelled at describing and diagnosing these problems exploring and explaining how they have emerged, and occasionally positing few ideas for their improvements. Despite the knowledge gained in our scholarship, a need continues to persist and spread for ideas to achieve deeper and more transformative societal changes.

We pose two challenges to scholars from the diverse studies of policy and politics:

  1. What have we learned from our respective literatures about societal problems and about past successes and failures in trying to achieve transformational change?
  2. What recommendations can we draw from these literatures to achieve transformational change?

Answering these questions will require us to draw from our respective empirical studies of what is happening here and now to derive recommendations for realizing better societies. It will require us to engage seriously with old and new theories seeking change and apply them to achieving changes in public policies and societal transformations. It will require us to think outside of our academic silos towards questions of practice.   Finally, we will have to explore individual and collective changemakers beyond the institutional actors that we are used to studying.

In response to this challenge, we hope to receive papers on transformative change through public policy addressing topics including, but certainly not limited to:

  • Political equity and democracy
  • Social and economic equity
  • Climate change
  • Systemic racism
  • Criminal justice and policing
  • Culture wars
  • Trust in government
  • Societal fragility to human and natural crises and disasters
  • Borders, immigration, and migration
  • And more…

The co-editors will choose a selection of papers to contribute to a themed issue with authors participating in a workshop (possibly in person) in autumn or winter of 2021. The papers will offer comprehensive coverage and inclusivity in both research approaches and geographical focus.  We welcome diversity in ontological, epistemological, and methodological orientations.

Scholars with questions or wanting to contribute to this themed issue should submit their proposals with author names and affiliations, title, and up to a 300-word abstract by May 14, 2021 to   Notification of invitation to join the themed issue will be made by May 31, 2021.

We look forward to your ideas!

Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Chris Weible
Policy & Politics

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