Markus Holdo, Per Ola Oberg & Simon Magnusson
Political debates often become dominated by the same kind of people: pundits, lobbyists, politicians, and experts, who know how to grab people’s attention and articulate their viewpoints convincingly. These people persuade viewers and listeners, shape public opinion, and influence political decision-makers more than other people do. But debating skills are not necessarily matched by knowledge, nor by a concern about the interests and views of ordinary citizens. In that sense, it could be viewed as a democratic problem that the public conversation is usually shaped by the narrow perspectives of a privileged few.
But how, then, could our public discussions become more inclusive and responsive to ordinary citizens? To this question, political theorists have given two very different answers. Continue reading Do People Use Stories or Reasons to Support their Views?
Stephanie DeMora, Loren Collingwood, Adriana Ninci
As recently as last week, Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws were used to States justify killing as self-defense. In Georgia, three young men were shot and killed in what is being called an attempted murder. In the most well-known SYG case, George Zimmerman claimed self-defense in the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012.
Florida was one of the first states to pass Stand Your Ground or No Duty to Retreat legislation in 2005. SYG legislation then spread rapidly to many states throughout the country. Research shows a significant increase in murder rates in states with Stand Your Ground laws. Our research showed that SYG laws passed after Florida’s were not only similar in content, but almost textually identical from state to state. We investigated this phenomenon further in our recent Policy & Politics article entitled “The Role of Super Interest Groups in Public Policy Diffusion” Continue reading Super Interest Groups and the Diffusion of Stand Your Ground Laws in the U.S. States
Thank you to all our reviewers in 2019
On behalf of the authors and readers of Policy & Politics, the Co-Editors wish to wholeheartedly thank those who reviewed manuscripts for us in 2019.
With a high 2 year impact factor of 2.028, and a 50 year tradition of publishing high quality research that connects macro level politics with micro level policy issues, the journal could not exist without your investment of time and effort, lending your expertise to ensure that the papers published in this journal meet the standards that the research community expects for it. We sincerely appreciate the time spent reading and commenting on manuscripts, and we are very grateful for your willingness and readiness to serve in this role.
We look forward to a 2020 of exciting advances in the field and to our part in communicating those advances to our community and to the broader public.
Policy & Politics Co-Editors: Sarah Ayres, Steve Martin & Felicity Matthews
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also be interested to read:
Narratives as tools for influencing policy change [Open Access]
Three habits of successful policy entrepreneurs [Open Access]
Can experience be evidence? Craft knowledge and evidence-based policing [Free]
E-petitions have become extremely popular over the last decade. They circulate freely and quickly, with most people at some point having signed one. But there is a perennial question associated with them: what’s the point of e-petitions, do they achieve anything? In my recent Policy & Politics article, I approach this issue by exploring the different roles petitions can play, focusing on petitions to parliament. I show that petitions systems perform roles beyond enabling participation and policy change, depending on the types of processes in place to evaluate them. I demonstrate that the processes through which petitions are considered are crucial in shaping the role(s) they perform. Continue reading Can you make a difference when you sign an e-petition?
Margot Hermus, Arwin van Buuren & Victor Bekkers
The idea that public policies and services are in need of improvement or even innovation is widespread: they need to be more efficient and effective, because of financial pressures, but we also want them to be more responsive and tailor-made to citizens’ needs. One proposed solution is the introduction of design in public administration practice. This means that policies and services are seen as objects that are designed consciously to meet certain goals and/or requirements, rather than changed incrementally or negotiated politically. Thus far, the discussion surrounding design centres on its potential benefit and desirability in a public sector context. However, in our recent article in Policy & Politics, we focused on the unanswered questions regarding the way design is currently used. In what ways is design applied? With what goals? And what types of artefacts are being devised? With these questions in mind, we conducted a systematic literature review looking at applications of design in journal articles published in public administration journals between 1989 and 2016. Continue reading Design in public administration: a typology of approaches
Georges Romme and Albert Meijer
Local, regional and national governments are struggling to find solutions for complex problems such as sustainability, quality of life, and poverty. Public policy researchers are therefore increasingly called upon to help in crafting solutions to these complex challenges. Accordingly, scholars in the field of public policy and administration need to rethink their usual ‘bystander’ approach to designing policy and, instead, engage more in experimentation and interventions that can help change and improve governance systems. Continue reading Design science in public policy and administration research: how to actually apply it?
Jenny M Lewis
Article title: ‘When design meets power: Design thinking, public sector innovation and the politics of policymaking’ (by Jenny M Lewis, Michael McGann and Emma Blomkamp) in the special issue: ‘Improving public policy and administration: exploring the potential of design’.
Governments around the world have been experimenting with ‘design thinking’ approaches to test new policy solutions. In our recent article in Policy & Politics, we argue that policymakers need to learn how to incorporate the insights and practices from design thinking into policy. But designers also need to learn how to deal with the politics of the policy process. If both of these things happen, there should be significant benefits for policy design and all those affected by it. Continue reading What happens when design meets power?