Category Archives: News

NEW SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 1 – Public value as the game changer for co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector

Special issue blog series on strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation

updated special issue editors co creationJacob Torfing, Ewan Ferlie, Tina Jukić and Edoardo Ongaro

During the 1980s and early 1990s, we were consistently told that the public sector was ossified, incompetent and unimaginative, and squandered value produced by the hard-working and innovative private sector. Government was the problem, not the solution, and we should therefore have less state and more market. The neoliberal onslaught on the public sector had begun and public employees gradually developed an inferiority complex.

This nightmarish development was reversed by Mark Moore’s Creating Public Value (1995) who insisted that the public sector creates its own distinctive value. The public sector creates ‘public value’ defined as what has value for the public and public values. Public managers are not merely engaged in securing compliance with bureaucratic rules, but are entrepreneurs engaged in the exploration of new and better service and policy solutions. In this way, the public sector was redeemed and public managers could re-describe themselves as proud guardians of the public interest and producers of public value.  Continue reading NEW SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 1 – Public value as the game changer for co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector

What happens when policymakers limit increases in property taxes?

Yarram et alSubba Reddy Yarram, Brian Dollery and Carolyn Tran

In our recent article in Policy & Politics,  we examine the impact of a ‘cap’ on property taxes in the local government system of the Australian state of Victoria. ‘Fair Go rate capping’ was introduced in Victoria from 1 July 2016. Prior to this, general rates charged by local councils in Victoria had grown by an annual average of 6% over a 10 year period. Under the Fair Go policy, the Minister for Local Government sets a maximum permissible rate increase on the advice of the Victorian Essential Services Commission. The actual rates cap was set at 2% for 2016-17 and 2.5% for 2017-18 based on the forecast Consumer Price Index.

In principle, the rate caps limit the ability of local councils to raise revenue required to fund their ongoing operations, often in the hope that this will stimulate increased operational efficiency. In our article, we empirically investigated two main questions: What were the short-term impacts of the Fair Go rate capping on different types of municipal expenditure? Did Fair Go rate capping have a differential impact on the different categories of Victorian local councils? Analysis of these questions can shed light how best to frame local government policy tailored to accommodate different categories of local council facing different expenditure constraints. Continue reading What happens when policymakers limit increases in property taxes?

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

Policy & Politics announces the 2021 winners of the Early Career and Best Paper Prizes

2020 P&P prize winnersWe are delighted to announce the 2021 prizes for award winning papers published in Policy & Politics in 2020.

The Bleddyn Davies Prize, which acknowledges scholarship of the very highest standard by an early career academic, is awarded to:

Applying design in public administration: a literature review to explore the state of the art‘ by Margot Hermus, Arwin van Buuren & Victor Bekkers from the special issue: ‘Improving public policy and administration: exploring the potential of design’.

The Ken Young Prize, which is awarded to the best article judged to represent excellence in the field published in Policy & Politics, is awarded  to:

When design meets power: Design thinking, public sector innovation and the politics of policymaking’ by Jenny M Lewis, Michael McGann and Emma Blomkamp from the special issue: ‘Improving public policy and administration: exploring the potential of design’.

Brief critiques of the winning articles follow, in celebration of their contributions. Continue reading Policy & Politics announces the 2021 winners of the Early Career and Best Paper Prizes

Why does the publishing process for journal articles end once they are available online?

P&P’s unique model of post-publication support to maximise the impact of your article

P&P blog promotion blogSarah Brown, Elizabeth Koebele and Katie Lucas

As the author of a research article, you’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears into crafting and recrafting the text, often through painstaking coordination with multiple authors, in an effort to make your article the very best it can be. After navigating the peer review process and honing your arguments, you’re delighted to receive the final acceptance decision from your journal of choice. You’re excited about the potential for your research to have a positive impact on the world and, of course, to develop your reputation as a leading thinker in the field. Except that one week, one month or even one year later, your notice that your paper has only had 10 downloads since publication – and you know that two of those were your co-author and your mother. Continue reading Why does the publishing process for journal articles end once they are available online?

Announcing our expanded and increasingly globally representative editorial board

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

A warm welcome to all our new members from across the world of policy scholarship. We’re delighted to have your input into this new chapter of Policy & Politics. Continue reading Announcing our expanded and increasingly globally representative editorial board

Why nudges fail and other puzzles: insights from research on commitment devices

manu savaniManu Savani 

Having just read the new special issue and accompanying blog series published by Policy & Politics entitled Beyond nudge: advancing the state-of-the-art of behavioural public policy and administration, I was inspired to respond to some of the arguments mooted.

The question of why we find behaviour change resolutions difficult to stick to has long been the subject of debate and research. It is familiar territory at this time of year as we contemplate new year’s resolutions. Knotty inter-temporal choices can be affected by present bias, where we focus on short-term gains rather than the long-term payoffs. Commitment devices – any voluntary strategy we use to influence our future decisions and achieve our goals – have shown promise in addressing present bias. These strategies can rely on financial stakes, as shown by the stickK approach, which reports having $51 million on the line across 527,000 individual commitments. Continue reading Why nudges fail and other puzzles: insights from research on commitment devices

New editorial statement for the Policy & Politics journal

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

Policy & Politics is a world-leading journal that provides the primary outlet for scholars and reflexive practitioners to engage with the most pressing governance challenges inhibiting the continued advancement in the study of public policy and its practice. These challenges span the globe and link communities in a common struggle to realise and sustain human dignity and quality of life for all. Moreover, they entail questions about: the impact on governance of political inequality and economic inequality; the implications of such inequalities on political voice and who receives help and who faces barriers from our public policies; how we advance knowledge about public policies comparatively as global phenomena; how we link across macro and micro scales within and between countries in understanding public policy and politics; advancing our theories and methodologies to address these challenges as a policy community; and bringing together a public policy research community that is interconnected globally but also sometimes siloed in distinct approaches and assumptions. Continue reading New editorial statement for the Policy & Politics journal

Policy & Politics: Serving and Enhancing our Metacommunities

Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Christopher M. Weible

In the study of ecological systems, there is a concept called metacommunities. The idea is that a species might be dispersed in different yet interconnected communities.  These metacommunities might emerge and grow for reasons of fit, space, survival, or chance.  These metacommunities interconnect through some species traversing between them either rarely or habitually. Over time metacommunities might also evolve and adapt to their particular niches. For those who care about supporting ecological systems that might be dispersed in interconnected niches, metacommunities provide a broad language and perspective to help visualize, understand, and govern.

As editors for Policy & Politics, we view this metaphor of metacommunities apt for describing the broadly defined field of public policy, which is dispersed in many communities, each with their own research approaches, lexicons, and traditions.  We also see that some scholars navigate between communities more than others.   In describing academia, we often refer to these metacommunities as silos where some silos are more isolated or connected than others as well as some silos existing within other silos.  Similar to metacommunities, silos might emerge and grow as scholars search for space to develop their ideas, self-sort with others of similar orientations, and more. Continue reading Policy & Politics: Serving and Enhancing our Metacommunities