Category Archives: 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

Democracy needs more than just voice: coping with communicative plenty

Ercan_Hendricks_DryzekSelen A. Ercan, Carolyn M. Hendriks and John S. Dryzek

Imagine a crowded restaurant that is starting to get noisy. The noise at each table begins to rise as people try to make themselves heard. Eventually the noise becomes so loud that nobody can hear anything. Here’s a familiar context where there is plenty of expression, but precious little listening, and not much good conversation.

The noisy restaurant is a metaphor, we believe, for what we see in contemporary democracy where citizens have plenty of opportunities to express their views and opinions about anything that concerns them, but there is no guarantee and little likelihood that these views will be listened to, reflected upon, and/or taken up by decision-making bodies.

Continue reading Democracy needs more than just voice: coping with communicative plenty

Understanding academic impact: fear and failure, stealth and seeds

Matt FlindersMatthew Flinders

This blog post was originally published on the Oxford University Press Blog on 8 August 2018.

Failure is an unavoidable element of any academic career. For all but a small number of ‘superstar über-scholars’ most of the research papers we submit will be rejected, our most innovative book proposals will be politely rebuffed, and our applications for grants, prizes and fellowships will fall foul of good fortune. There is, of course, a strong correlation between ambition and failure in the sense that the more innovative and risky you try to be, the bolder the claims you try to substantiate, and the ‘bigger’ the journal you try to publish in the higher your chances of rejection.

Continue reading Understanding academic impact: fear and failure, stealth and seeds

Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations from Oscar Berglund, Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics

OscarOscar Berglund,
Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics

All articles mentioned in this blog post are free to access until 20th September. 

This time of year, many of us involved in teaching are looking at how to refresh our reading lists for the upcoming academic year. Here at Policy & Politics, we thought that we would give a little helping hand with that by going through some of our latest content that we think will help students understand the things we try to teach.

For those of us teaching concepts, models and theories of the policy process, the recent Weible and Cairney special issue on ‘Practical lessons from policy theories’ is a gold mine where many of the papers give a good account of their respective field, whilst seeking to take the concepts forward and increase their policy relevance. This includes articles on the Multiple Streams Approach, Institutional Analysis and Development, Punctuated Equilibrium Theory and the Advocacy Coalition Framework that will all help students make sense of these concepts.  Continue reading Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations from Oscar Berglund, Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics

Do candidates from non-profit organisations who adopt party political values improve their chances of electoral success?

Potluka_PerezOto Potluka and Marybel Perez

Candidates aspiring to win a seat in local elections may lead candidates to act instrumentally. In our recent research published in the journal Policy & Politics, we question whether leaders of non-profit organisations (NGOs) may be willing to set aside NGO values to adopt party values when they become candidates for local office. Our answer is yes. Our results suggest that the most important factor relating to whether a candidate was elected was the national standing of the relevant political party; local values on local issues were found to be irrelevant.  Continue reading Do candidates from non-profit organisations who adopt party political values improve their chances of electoral success?

Strategies for collaborating in fragmented governments

Swann_KimWilliam L. Swann and Seo Young Kim

Whether protecting a watershed, recovering from a natural disaster, or facilitating international trade, governments often need to collaborate to achieve policy goals. But resolving complex problems across fragmented jurisdictional landscapes involves overcoming significant collective action barriers.

Governments, like individuals, have an incentive to free ride on collective efforts and obtain benefits without contributing to the costs of public goods. For example, all governments in a region benefit from air pollution mitigation, but each government has an incentive to enjoy cleaner air without making the sacrifices to produce it. Continue reading Strategies for collaborating in fragmented governments

What are advocacy coalitions and why do they matter?

Weible_IngoldChristopher M. Weible and Karin Ingold

There are many ways that people relate to their government.  People may vote for their formal representatives through elections.  Through referendums and initiatives, people can vote directly to shape public policy.  More indirect ways include through informal representation via political parties or interest groups and associations.

This blog addresses another extremely important way to relate government via “advocacy coalitions.”Advocacy coalitions are alliances of people around a shared policy goal. People associated with the same advocacy coalition have similar ideologies and worldviews and wish to change a given policy (concerning health, environmental, or many other issues) in the same direction. Continue reading What are advocacy coalitions and why do they matter?