Oscar Berglund, Claire A. Dunlop, and Christopher M. Weible
Policy & Politics serves as the ecumenical journal for the sects and strands found in the studies of social policy, public policy, policy processes and politics. It offers a home for scholars espousing a plurality of ontological, epistemological, and methodological orientations to share their science, learn and challenge each other, and enhance their knowledge.
You’ll find that its latest Special Issue, “Taking Risks and Breaking New Frontiers in Policy & Politics,” embodies the course and cover of Policy & Politics. For this Special Issue, we challenged a group of leading scholars from different communities in the field to explore questions of inclusivity, diversity and relevance in their areas of expertise.
We encourage you to explore the exegesis on mainstream policy process theories by Tanya Heikkila and Michael D. Jones (2022) and how and whether they should incorporate equity and diversity. Next, examine Anna P. Durnová’s (2022) arguments on making interpretive policy analysis relevant through the study of emotions and using ethnographic approaches that furl human biases and normativity into research. Emanuela Lombardo and Petra Meier’s contribution (2022) challenges gender and policy studies to cross boundaries in exploring issues of equity and power and offers strategies for realizing more democratic and egalitarian societies. Consider the arguments by Saba Siddiki and Cali Curley (2022) who encapsulate recent advances in policy design research with recommendations for its continued progression, including questions of the choices policymakers make and their societal effects. Learn from Osmany Porto de Oliveira’s (2022) deft synopsis of global public policy studies and contemplate his research questions regarding power, the far-right, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, sharpen your insights about the interplay between citizens and public policy along with the impact of the pandemic, as discussed by Jae Moon and Shine Cho (2022).
Each of us will find pertinent lessons in this Special Issue about what we know in our varied communities of scholarship and how we’re addressing or could address better questions of inclusivity, diversity and relevance. It has prompted us to ask five cardinal questions about the study of policy and politics:
(1) How do we conceive of policy and political studies?
(2) To what extent should our science be “normative” or “objective” or “positive”?
(3) Who is our audience, and how do we engage them?
(4) Whose knowledge matters, and how does it accumulate?
(5) How should we advance the study of policy and politics?
Our introduction to this Special Issue posits these questions and some initial – though surely not final – responses. Indeed, we want to know what cardinal questions were missed and how to improve upon our responses.
In all, we hope this Special Issue moves you to embrace an openness to the diversity of scholarship in policy and politics and to consider the journal Policy & Politics as a home for making connections, advancing our sciences and serving humanity.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also be interested to read:
Global Public Policy studies
Challenging boundaries to expand frontiers in gender and policy studies
Making interpretive policy analysis critical and societally relevant: emotions, ethnography and language
How diverse and inclusive are policy process theories?
The implications of COVID-19 for concepts and practices of citizenship
Conceptualising policy design in the policy process
Policy & Politics: a perspective on the first half century
Taking risks and breaking new frontiers: introduction to the Special Issue and the cardinal challenges for policy and politics scholarship