Category Archives: Policy & Politics

Behind the scenes of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition

FelicityProfileFelicity Matthews, co-editor of Policy & Politics.

The formation of coalition government has been a major concern of comparative political science, and for many decades, scholars have devoted significant attention to who gets in and who gets what in terms of parties, portfolios and policies. Similarly, the termination of coalition government has been subject to much analysis, as scholars have sought to explain when and why coalitions fall. Yet despite great swathes of research on its birth and death, surprisingly little attention has been given to the life of coalition government. Continue reading Behind the scenes of the Conservative–Liberal Democrat Coalition

Spring Highlights Collection from Policy & Politics

BROWN_Sarah Sarah Brown,
Journal Manager of Policy & Politics

Policy & Politics Spring Highlights collection free to access from 1 February 2019 – 30 April 2019.

This quarter’s highlights collection from Policy & Politics, which features three of our most popular articles, demonstrates the rich and varied scope that the journal espouses, whilst demonstrating its hallmark of advancing our understanding of the policy process across a range of different areas.

Continue reading Spring Highlights Collection from Policy & Politics

Europe in crisis

OscarOscar Berglund,
Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics

All articles mentioned in this blog post are free to access until 31 March 2019. 

Europe is experiencing various forms of crises in governance, policy and politics at the continental, national and local levels. Whilst many of these have been brewing for some time, the sense of political crisis is increasing with EU policies challenged by national political actors, growth of populist parties, political fragmentation, weak governments and increasing poverty and inequality in many countries across the continent. Here at Policy & Politics we have recently published several articles that can help us make sense of these crises and contribute to the policy debates to help resolve them.

Continue reading Europe in crisis

So-called ‘toxic’ Prevent scheme to halt radicalisation has been misrepresented new research shows

Paul Thomas

Text by Sarah Brown based on Paul Thomas’ article: Changing Experiences of responsibilisation and contestation within counter-terrorism policies: the British Prevent experience

Britain’s Prevent Strategy was arguably the first post 9/11 attempt to operationalise ‘soft’, preventative counter-terrorism policies and it has been since significantly studied and copied by other states. Such preventative counter-terrorism policies adopted internationally have proved to be controversial, as fierce criticisms of Britain’s Prevent strategy have shown.

In some cases, subsequent modifications have attempted to address these criticisms but the negative public understanding of Prevent has stuck, based on those original criticisms.

Continue reading So-called ‘toxic’ Prevent scheme to halt radicalisation has been misrepresented new research shows

Is it time to give up on evidence-based policy? Four answers

richard frenchRichard D. French

This blog post was originally published on the Discover Society – Policy and Politics blog on 2 January 2019.

I have watched an enthusiastic, well-intentioned lobby for evidence-based policy on my campus for several years. However, I frequently reflect that if I were to opine publicly on evolutionary biology, or astrophysics, with as little knowledge of the subject as various scientifically trained persons hold forth on public policy, I would soon be read out of the intellectually reputable part of the university community – and rightly so.

Continue reading Is it time to give up on evidence-based policy? Four answers

The Role of Public Sector Boards

Thomas SchillemansThomas Schillemans

For many organisations providing important public services, such as education, health care or community services, non-governing boards serve as the primary accountability mechanisms for daily management. The ‘boardisation of the public sector’, as Wilks described this, has evolved considerably. In my country of residence the Netherlands, for instance, the guesstimation is that we have almost 50,000 positions on those boards, six times as many as in democratically elected local councils. A large proportion of those positions have been created in the recent past. This would suggest that the board model is a major success.

Continue reading The Role of Public Sector Boards

How are social impact bonds created and implemented?

Lowe_Kimmitt_Wilson_Gibbon2Toby Lowe, Jonathan Kimmitt, Rob Wilson, Mike Martin* and Jane Gibbon

This blog post was originally published on the Discover Society – Policy and Politics blog on 4 December 2018.

In 2010, the UK’s Ministry of Justice established the first Social Impact Bond (SIB) – a new policy tool, designed to link the outcomes of social interventions to payments. The idea was that the financial risk of these interventions would be borne by a private investor rather than public funds. In our recent research article published in Policy & Politics, we set out to offer one of the first detailed accounts of how these mechanisms are created and implemented. Our results highlight three levels of analysis (macro, intermediate and micro) where tensions and congruencies can be found.

Continue reading How are social impact bonds created and implemented?