Lisa Schmidthuber, Dennis Hilgers and Maximilian Rapp
Public sector institutions increasingly make use of modern information and communication technology to exchange knowledge with stakeholders and involve external actors in decision-making. Public participation has the potential to increase the knowledge base relevant for innovation and continuous improvement in policy-making. It can also enhance the relationship among actors, increase public trust and improve citizen satisfaction. Our recent article in Policy & Politics focuses on public participation in party politics. Specifically, our research focused on a political party which involved citizens in the development of its programme using an online platform. Continue reading Political Innovation, Digitalisation and Public Participation in Party Politics
How can small-territory, subnational governments make the most of their position? Subnational governments like the devolved governments in the UK combine some of the opportunities and limitations of the national and the local governments between which they sit. They have some ‘national government’-type responsibilities and resources, like legislative authority and funding powers, although those resources are limited by their subordinate status. On the other hand, because their territories are comparatively small (Scotland has just under 5.5 million people and 32 local authorities, Wales just over 3 million and 22) they might able to cultivate ‘local government’-type relationships with a comprehensive range of local groups. Continue reading How might lower-ranking officials have a greater impact on policy development than previously assumed?
The UK government is currently undertaking a highly ambitious £1 billion court reform programme. The aspiration is for the physical courts of yesteryear — seemingly sluggish, anachronistic, expensive, and paper-bound — to be replaced by a new, virtual court estate. As the 2016 announcement of the court reform programme made clear, the ambition is for all cases to begin online, for some to be carried out entirely online, and for physical court hearings to make more extensive use of video conferencing. Continue reading What happens to the public in the era of digital government?
What do policy makers do? The question is important, because making policy engages a great number of people one way or another, and what they do they might do well or badly. Our standard answers are rather hazy, not least because policy making entails such great numbers of people doing a great number of things. The literature tends to have addressed the question in functional terms, outlining and defining – and endlessly debating – different sets of activities such as advocacy and agenda-setting, formulating and decision making, implementing and evaluating.
Continue reading What do policy makers really do?: ‘I read, write and have meetings’
Journal Manager of Policy & Politics
Policy & Politics Autumn Highlights collection free to access from 1 August – 31 October 2019.
This quarter’s highlights collection focuses on some of our recent articles looking at public participation in the political process through a range of different lenses. Our first article, the Use and Abuse of Participatory Governance by Populist Governments challenge the notion prevalent in academic literature that participatory governance is a panacea for all ills in Western democracies. Based on a case study of Viktor Orban’s national consultations in Hungary, the authors use their case as evidence of how not to run a public consultation and why asking the public is not always such a great idea.
Continue reading Autumn Highlights Collection from Policy & Politics
New research articles for course reading lists in Public Policy, Politics and Social Policy from Policy & Politics. By Oscar Berglund, Lecturer in International Public and Social Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.
All articles mentioned in this blog post are free to access until 20th September or Open Access.
Continue reading Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations
Peter Eckersley and Paul Tobin
How can we identify the real impact of austerity on policy? Our recent article in Policy & Politics bridges the gaps between research on ‘cutback management’, ‘policy capacity’ and ‘policy dismantling’, finding that front-line and often short-term challenges are being prioritised over more hidden and medium-term threats. The results suggest a ticking time-bomb for discovering the real impacts of austerity – particularly in sectors such as the environment, where policymakers need to stay on top of scientific and societal developments in order to design effective approaches to problems. Continue reading The Impact of Austerity on Policy Capacity in Local Government