Category Archives: News

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

Merry Christmas from the Policy and Politics co-editors

Merry Christmas from the Policy & Politics team!

Thank you to all our authors, reviewers, board members and friends in the unprecedented year that was 2020 and goodbye from the outgoing editors Sarah Ayres, Steve Martin and Felicity Matthews.

As the outgoing co-editors of this thriving journal, we wanted to express our huge gratitude for the loyalty and commitment that we’ve been fortunate enough to witness from our diverse community of scholars. It has been such a pleasure to steward the journal through the last five years (and in Sarah’s case, eight years) with positive developments too numerous to list. We are most grateful for our meteoric rise to an impact factor of 3.069 and to a consequent rise in ranking from the 3rd to the 1st quartile, which of course is testament to the quality of work published, courtesy of our authors and reviewers. Congratulations to you all!  To celebrate all we have achieved this year we have made our top 10 highly cited articles published in 2020 free to access until 31 January 2021, please see below for the full collection.

So from January 2021, we pass the baton to a new editorial team in whom we have enormous confidence and faith. We will watch with interest the excitement of a new chapter unfolding for the journal as it approaches its 50th year and fully expect to see it go from strength to strength.

We look forward to reading of new exciting advances in the field and to P&P’s continued contribution in communicating those advances to our community and to the broader public.

Policy & Politics Co-Editors: Sarah Ayres, Steve Martin & Felicity Matthews

p&p editors

Top 10 highly cited articles published in 2020 – free to access until 31 January 2021

The role of scientific knowledge in dealing with complex policy problems under conditions of uncertainty
Hanna Ylostalo

Improving public policy and administration: exploring the potential of design
Arwin van Buuren, Jenny M Lewis, B Guy Peters and William Voorberg

Policy windows and multiple streams: an analysis of alcohol pricing policy in England [Open Access]
Benjamin Hawkins and Jim McCambridge

Applying design in public administration: a literature review to explore the state of the art
Margot Hermus, Arwin van Buuren and Victor Bekkers

When design meets power: design thinking, public sector innovation and the politics of policymaking [Open Access]
Jenny M Lewis,  Michael McGann and Emma Blomkamp

What determines the audiences that public service organisations target for reputation management? [Open Access]
Jan Boon,  Koen Verhoest and Jan Wynen

Applying design science in public policy and administration research
A Georges L Romme and Albert Meijer

How do media, political and regulatory agendas influence one another in high risk policy issues?
Alette Eva Opperhuizen,  Erik Hans Klijn and Kim Schouten

Challenges in applying design thinking to public policy: dealing with the varieties of policy formulation and their vicissitudes
Michael Howlett

Designing environments for experimentation, learning and innovation in public policy and governance [Open Access]
Maurits Waardenburg, Martijn Groenleer and Jorrit De Jong 

Policy & Politics Highlights collection – all articles included are Open Access

Sarah BrownSarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This quarter’s collection highlights three of our most popular individual research articles downloaded in 2020. As so often typifies these collections, all the articles featured demonstrate one of the main hallmarks of Policy & Politics in foregrounding the politics of the policy-making process. Continue reading Policy & Politics Highlights collection – all articles included are Open Access

Updated essential reading recommendations

Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations for Public Policy, Politics and Social Policy from Policy & Politics.

All articles featured in this blog post are free to access until 31 December or Open Access. 

Oscar Berglund, Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics and Lecturer in International Public and Social Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.

As we embark on a year of online learning, keeping your module reading lists up to date with the latest research has never been more important. We hope to make this easier with the essential reading list below which features some of the most significant research relevant to public policy students that we’ve published over the last year. So here I introduce six articles and two special issues for teaching topical themes such as evidence-based policy, citizens’ assemblies, policy design and behavioural public policy.


Design special issue highlights collection – free to access from 31 July 2020 – 31 October 2020

Sarah BrownSarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This quarter’s highlights collection brings to you a selection of articles from our incredibly popular special issue on Policymaking as designing: the added value of design thinking for public administration and public policy.

Published earlier this year, this special issue brings together a collection of papers that have taken design of public policy and administration seriously, in a variety of different and practical ways. The papers demonstrate that not only are there many examples of design approaches being implemented, but that there is much to learn about how we make the best use of these to improve public policy and administration and the design of public services. Continue reading Design special issue highlights collection – free to access from 31 July 2020 – 31 October 2020

Blog announcement from the Policy & Politics team

P&P editorsSarah Ayres, Steve Martin and Felicity Matthews,
Co-editors of Policy & Politics

We are delighted to announce that Policy & Politics has achieved an impressive result in this year’s Journal Citation Reports with an Impact Factor of 3.069. This places the Journal in the top quartile of all public administration and the political science journals (10th out of 48 in the Public Administration category and 20th out of 160 in the Political Science category).

This fantastic outcome is testimony to the outstanding quality of research produced by our authors, the meticulous scrutiny of our peer reviewers, the hard work of the Policy & Politics and Policy Press team and the support of our Editorial and Management Boards. We would like to offer our thanks and congratulations to all.

To celebrate this increase we have made our most highly cited articles which contributed to the Impact Factor free to read until 31st August 2020. Please see the list below. Happy reading! Continue reading Blog announcement from the Policy & Politics team

Virtual issue on Evidence in policymaking and the role of experts

Sarah BrownSarah Brown,
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

New virtual issues from Policy & Politics:
Evidence in policymaking and the role of experts

The importance of using evidence in policymaking and debates over the role of experts has never been more crucial than during the current coronavirus pandemic and ensuing public health crisis. From prevailing, long-standing debates over both topics in Policy & Politics, we bring you a collection of our best and most recent articles.

Continue reading Virtual issue on Evidence in policymaking and the role of experts

A statement from Policy & Politics to our community

As colleagues around the world adjust to the personal and professional challenges of COVID-19, the editorial team of Policy & Politics would like to assure all of our readers and contributors that we are committed to ensuring that the journal will continue to be inclusive and accessible for all members of our academic community.  

We will still endeavour to handle papers in a timely manner and in accordance with our editorial review process.  For early career academics especially, the opportunity to publish is a core concern.

However, we also recognise that for many colleagues, deadlines for peer reviewing, revisions and re-submissions may become difficult.  We know that people’s experiences will vary.  Whilst some may find themselves with more time to read and write articles, a great many others will have additional caring responsibilities or may be unwell themselves.

If this is the case, please do let us know so that we can amend deadlines accordingly.  Our intention is to afford all members of our academic community the opportunity to engage with the journal, and we do not wish to create any unnecessary barriers at such an extraordinary and challenging time.

Policy & Politics Editorial Team

Policy & Politics Co-Editors: Sarah Ayres, Steve Martin & Felicity Matthews, Senior Journals Manager, Sarah Brown 

p&p editors Sarah Brown

Efficiency and legitimacy in inter-local agreements: why collaboration has become a default choice among councils

LSERuth Dixon and Thomas Elston

Over 97 per cent of English local authorities cooperate with one another, providing common public services across separate council areas. Ruth Dixon and Thomas Elston consider how and why this occurs. In a follow-up to their previous post, they find that propensity to collaborate is unpredictable, but partner choice can be partly explained by geographical proximity of councils and similarities in organizational and resource characteristics. Contrary to the view that collaboration is a wholly ‘rational’ strategy chosen simply to improve service costs or quality, therefore, this analysis suggests that both efficiency and legitimacy influenced reform choices. Continue reading Efficiency and legitimacy in inter-local agreements: why collaboration has become a default choice among councils