Beatriz Cuadrado-Ballesteros and Noemí Peña-Miguel
Privatisation may be defined as the sale of shares of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to private investors, resulting in the transference of the property and the decision-making capability from the public to the private sector. Privatisations have always been controversial reforms, from the first ones developed by the Thatcher government in 1979, until now, when the Troika has pushed through privatisation programmes in EU member states that suffered financial problems during the last crisis. Continue reading Does privatisation reduce public deficits?
Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics
Policy & Politics was delighted to welcome the Rt Honourable Baroness Sayeeda Warsi to speak to audiences in Bristol last night on her topic of being Muslim in Britain.
Baroness Warsi was the UK’s first Muslim Cabinet minister and has become a leading voice in the British debate on Islamophobia, not least within the Conservative Party.
Baroness Warsi began her lecture by saying that the recent shocking Islamophobic terror attack in New Zealand highlighted the importance of ‘having an open conversation’ to dispel the myths about what it means to be Muslim. In the current environment, where Islamophobia has become acceptable in so many areas of society, the Christchurch terrorist attack, she says, neither shocked nor surprised her. This conversation about the relationship between Islam and Britain is what Sayeeda Warsi seeks to promote in her book The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain. This is a relationship stretching back to the 7th century that has suffered over the last couple of decades. She asks, ‘How do we reset this relationship?’ Continue reading 2019 P&P Annual Lecture with Baroness Sayeeda Warsi on Muslim Britain
My name is Oli, I am currently studying for a BSc Social Policy (2nd year). I am passionate about issues surrounding inclusion and access in higher education, as well as contemporary challenges facing the welfare state.
I was delighted and surprised to receive the award for the ‘Best Undergraduate Public Policy student essay’. It has given me real confidence in my written voice and ability to comment on policy debates.
In brief, my essay reflects on the relative merits of choice and voice as mechanisms for improving policy outcomes and public service quality. My reading led me to be fairly critical of both mechanisms. Instead, I argue that more privileged social groups are better placed to exercise choice and to make their voice heard. Overall, I advocate voice mechanisms, drawing on the potential of participatory innovations to improve policy outcomes for the greatest number of people. Continue reading Winner of our 2019 BSc Social Policy essay prize on Understanding Public Policy
Simon Bishop and Justin Waring
Cutting ribbons on gleaming new buildings, politicians have long sought to bolster their public image through association with new facilities developed as the flagships of public service reform. ‘Out with the old and in with the new’ is the clearly intended message. But beyond rhetoric of ‘cutting edge design’ and ‘state of the art working’, there is very rarely any deeper conversations of how new buildings affect the lives of the employees and members of the public who use them daily. Even within more detailed deliberations over new facilities by planners and service managers, the focus tends to be on how new spaces are going to work functionally – cost, technical and ergonomic features of building projects are the predominant concerns. Continue reading Looking into the hybrid spaces of public service reform – what are the implications for staff and users?
Professor Bleddyn Davies, co-founder with Ken Young of Policy & Politics, pays tribute to his former colleague and friend in celebration of his life and work.
Our idea of establishing a journal emerged when Ken and I were members of the Greater London Group. By that time, the group’s focus was research for the Royal Commission on Local Government in England. Ken, Andrew Barton and I collaborated in work published by the Commission in Local Government in South-East England, the first in its research studies series. The contacts continued, Janet Lewis (in effect the third founder of Policy & Politics) becoming increasingly involved. But what I associate the early history involving Ken and Policy & Politics were meals, networking, and Ken getting himself to the right place at the right time. Continue reading Obituary for Professor Ken Young
Anthony Kevins and Kees van Kersbergen
The generous, “universal” welfare states of Scandinavia offer a range of perks that foreigners often have a hard time even imagining. In exchange for paying higher taxes, citizens across the income spectrum gain access to a wide array of social programmes and transfers. There’s a lot to praise. But does the generosity and broad accessibility of these welfare states reinforce the dividing line between, for example, native Danes and newcomers to Denmark?
Continue reading One of Us? How Welfare States Help Shape Immigrant Integration
Felicity 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