Category Archives: Social Policy

Super Interest Groups and the Diffusion of Stand Your Ground Laws in the U.S. States

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Stephanie DeMora, Loren Collingwood, Adriana Ninci

As recently as last week, Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws were used to  States justify killing as self-defense. In Georgia, three young men were shot and killed in what is being called an attempted murderIn the most well-known SYG case, George Zimmerman claimed self-defense in the murder of Trayvon Martin in Florida in 2012 

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Florida was one of the first states to pass Stand Your Ground or No Duty to Retreat legislation in 2005. SYG legislation then spread rapidly to many states throughout the country. Research shows a significant increase in murder rates in states with Stand Your Ground laws. Our research showed that SYG laws passed after Florida’s were not only similar in content, but almost textually identical from state to state. We investigated this phenomenon further in our recent Policy & Politics article entitled “The Role of Super Interest Groups in Public Policy Diffusion”   Continue reading Super Interest Groups and the Diffusion of Stand Your Ground Laws in the U.S. States

How might lower-ranking officials have a greater impact on policy development than previously assumed?

andrew cornellAndrew Connell

How can small-territory, subnational governments make the most of their position? Subnational governments like the devolved governments in the UK combine some of the opportunities and limitations of the national and the local governments between which they sit. They have some ‘national government’-type responsibilities and resources, like legislative authority and funding powers, although those resources are limited by their subordinate status. On the other hand, because their territories are comparatively small (Scotland has just under 5.5 million people and 32 local authorities, Wales just over 3 million and 22) they might able to cultivate ‘local government’-type relationships with a comprehensive range of local groups.    Continue reading How might lower-ranking officials have a greater impact on policy development than previously assumed?

Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations

OscarNew 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

One of Us? How Welfare States Help Shape Immigrant Integration

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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

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?

Do elites in a society exercise disproportionate and unacceptable levels of influence during collective decision making processes to secure undue benefits for themselves?

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Wahed Waheduzzaman, Sharif As-Saber and Mohotaj Binte Hamid

Countries around the world have been facing numerous challenges in promoting citizen participation in the governance process. Among them, elite capture is considered to be a significant stumbling block that undermines this process. ‘Elite capture’ is where elites in a society exercise disproportionate and unacceptable levels of influence over collective functions and manipulate decision making processes to secure undue benefits for themselves (see Wong, 2012).

Continue reading Do elites in a society exercise disproportionate and unacceptable levels of influence during collective decision making processes to secure undue benefits for themselves?