E-petitions have become extremely popular over the last decade. They circulate freely and quickly, with most people at some point having signed one. But there is a perennial question associated with them: what’s the point of e-petitions, do they achieve anything? In my recent Policy & Politics article, I approach this issue by exploring the different roles petitions can play, focusing on petitions to parliament. I show that petitions systems perform roles beyond enabling participation and policy change, depending on the types of processes in place to evaluate them. I demonstrate that the processes through which petitions are considered are crucial in shaping the role(s) they perform. Continue reading Can you make a difference when you sign an e-petition?
One constantly hears the slogan that local government is closest to the people and thus serves the people best.
But is it really close to the people and which people does it serve?
When did you last attend a council meeting? When did you last feel that you had a direct voice in a local government decision that affects your life? Do you know the name of your Councillor? Did your Mayor keep their election promise – did you even know what the promise was?
The truth of the matter is that most of us will answer negatively to all of these questions. That’s probably why most of us grumble about ‘crazy’ local government decisions but stand impotently by as the same group of Councillors are returned at the elections every few years. Continue reading Local Government by Lottery?
Lisa Schmidthuber, Dennis Hilgers and Maximilian Rapp
Public sector institutions increasingly make use of modern information and communication technology to exchange knowledge with stakeholders and involve external actors in decision-making. Public participation has the potential to increase the knowledge base relevant for innovation and continuous improvement in policy-making. It can also enhance the relationship among actors, increase public trust and improve citizen satisfaction. Our recent article in Policy & Politics focuses on public participation in party politics. Specifically, our research focused on a political party which involved citizens in the development of its programme using an online platform. Continue reading Political Innovation, Digitalisation and Public Participation in Party Politics
New research articles for course reading lists in Public Policy, Politics and Social Policy from Policy & Politics. By Oscar Berglund, Lecturer in International Public and Social Policy, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol.
All articles mentioned in this blog post are free to access until 20th September or Open Access.
Continue reading Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations
Peter John and Gerry Stoker
Policies that promote behaviour change are not so controversial as we move towards the third decade of the twenty first century. The question that matters now is how to ensure that behaviour change policies work and match an increasingly assertive democratic culture among citizens. Our solution is to build on past successes and to move towards something we label “nudge plus”. Continue reading Nudge Plus: How behaviour change policies can build on their success by recognizing their failings
Jan Boon, Heidi Houlberg Salamonsen and Koen Verhoest
The role of the media in relation to public agencies has only recently become the focus of scholarly attention within public management and administration. Many would agree that, at least in Western democracies, we live in what is referred to as “mediatised societies”. These are generally understood to be societies in which the media somehow penetrate and affect the way central institutions of our societies function (including the public agencies responsible for service delivery, regulation, etc). However, we have just begun to investigate the degree to which such media attention affects public agencies, how they are organized, and held accountable. Continue reading Why do some public agencies attract more media attention than others?
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