May 2015 saw another election victory for the Conservative party in a UK general election, as they formed a majority government at Westminster. Many are concerned about the social equity issues arising from some of the policy decisions already announced, not least the £12 billion in welfare cuts announced in the July budget. However, as we suggest in our paper past research shows we should not be surprised about the direction policy is taking – Julian LeGrand’s work analysing the spending priorities implicit in the cuts meted out by the Thatcher government between 1979 and 1983 showed not only that they were focused on welfare, but that they protected “middle class” services such as education and health. These are also the services that Conservative voters were most likely to use. Continue reading Protecting the services of the middle classes
Hartwig Pautz from the University of the West of Scotland discusses his forthcoming panel at the International Conference of Interpretive Policy,July 2015 in Lille, France.
The relationship between policy expertise and policy outcomes and the role that ‘politics’ plays has inspired a rich and varied literature – with academics, journalists and pro-transparency campaigners making important and thought-provoking contributions. They tackle questions of influence and power, discuss the ‘red lines’ between legitimate exchanges and undue influence and critique the diminishing part which academic scholars play in political discourse. In short: the role of policy experts and their activities in a complex world is considered by many worth thorough and critically-minded scrutiny.
The near-collapse of the global financial system and the ‘Great Recession’ set in motion, in many western countries, a number of policy changes Continue reading Policy experts and the making of the ‘Age of Austerity’