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

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.

The contribution of this article is to develop a theoretical framework that enables us to advance our understanding of co-creation. It explains why we must transform the public sector in order to induce co-creation, conceptualise its different forms, analyse the collaborative processes of creative problem solving in networks and partnerships, and study the role of strategic management, and digitalisation for stimulating co-creation. 

Staying with the theme of co-creation, our second popular article is entitled Co-experience, co-production and co-governance: an ecosystem approach to the analysis of value creation by Kirsty Strokosch and Stephen P. Osborne. In this article, the authors explore the interplay between the participation of service users and third sector organisations and the implications for creating public value. Their analysis illuminates complex factors that enable and constrain value creation, emphasising the interplay of participatory processes and the wider societal context. The article’s contribution to the field is to offer a deeper theoretical understanding of how different actors influence value creation processes within a policy “ecosystem.”

Finally, no collection of our most popular articles over the last couple of years would be complete without some mention of our special issue entitled Beyond nudge: advancing the state-of-the-art of behavioural public policy and administration published in January 2021. In their article entitled Advancing behavioural public policies: in pursuit of a more comprehensive concept, authors Benjamin Ewert and Kathrin Loer offer a constructive proposal to develop our current understanding of the concept of behavioural public policy (BPP) by analysing the variety of definitions and methodologies that they found in the existing literature on state-of-the-art BPP. In this way, they offer a maturing of the concept by identifying conceptual weaknesses and proposing a future research agenda to pursue a broader, multi-disciplinary and multi-methodological concept. In particular, they recommend the development of integrated policy frameworks that seek both behavioural and social change. In other words, advanced behavioural public policy should enable policymakers to change both people’s health-related lifestyles and the social determinants that lead to lifestyle behaviour in the first place.

The contribution of this article is to re-draw the conceptual boundaries of BPP with a view to advancing the field with a future research agenda that embraces multi-policy approaches informed by behavioural sciences and the translation of multidisciplinary evidence into policymaking.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about three of our most popular and well cited articles from 2021 which are all free to access until the end of January 2022. Look out for the new special issue blog series coming in January from our co-editors on pushing the frontiers of knowledge on public policy and politics! 

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