How does technological governance shape democracy?

Am and MetzlerHeidrun Åm & Ingrid Metzler

In our recent article in Policy & Politics, we explore debates about “digital contact tracing apps” in Norway and Austria, i.e. apps developed to help manage the COVID-19 pandemic. We followed what we dubbed a ‘technology-centred comparison’: following the development of these apps throughout each stage as they were designed, launched, assessed, contested, stabilised, and redesigned. At each of these stages, we explored which actors shaped these developments and how. Continue reading

How volunteers support refugee families’ access to childcare in Germany: ‘Sometimes I ask myself, am I supporting a flawed system?

Siede MunchAnna Siede and Sybille Münch

The integration of migrants and refugees is often proclaimed to be a ‘two-way process’, leading not just to a transformation of the newcomers but the whole society. This requires efforts from both the state as well as civil society, ideally in co-operation. That’s how many policy documents in Germany phrase it. And indeed, since 2015 and now with the current arrival of Ukrainian refugees, we see unprecedented levels of civic engagement. So, where do we stand with regard to these new forms of interaction between state and society that are called “co-production”? Continue reading

Policy & Politics highlights collection May – July 2022 – free to access.

BROWN_SarahQuarterly highlights collection 3rd May – 31st July 2022

In this quarter’s highlights collection, we feature three articles that provide a range of insights from different contexts on the politics of governance. Continue reading

Policy & Politics favourites of 2021

Thea Cook, Journals Marketing ExecutiveThea-Cook

We wanted to share some of our readers’ favourite content that you might have missed. Please enjoy free access to some of our most read and highly cited articles, along with some of our editors’ highlights from recent issues. Continue reading

Policy & Politics Highlights collection November 2021 – January 2022 – all articles included are free to access

Sarah_Brown_credit_Evelyn_Sturdy
Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This quarter’s collection highlights three of our most popular and highly cited articles in 2021 which, based on their readership and citation levels, have clearly made an important contribution to their fields.

The first article, A theoretical framework for studying the co-creation of innovative solutions and public value, forms an introduction to the special issue on co-creation in public policy and governance, guest edited by Jacob Torfing, Ewan Ferlie, Tina Jukić and Edoardo Ongaro, published in April 2021. The central proposition is that the concept of public value carries unexploited potential as a ‘game changer’ for advancing the co-creation of innovative solutions in the public sector. They argue that it allows us to appreciate the many different public and private actors, including service users, citizens and civil society organisations, which can contribute to the production of public value. The authors quip that co-creation is the “new black” because it mobilises societal resources, enhances innovation and builds joint ownership over new public value outcomes. Continue reading

Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations for Public Policy, Politics and Social Policy from Policy & Politics

All articles featured in this blog post are free to access until 31 October 2021

KoebeleIntroducing Elizabeth Koebele: our new Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science, University of Nevada, Reno.

I am thrilled to have begun serving as Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics in January 2021. I have spent the last few months taking over this position from my colleague, Oscar Berglund, who now serves as one of the journal’s co-editors. As many of us are beginning to plan for our policy and politics-focused courses next semester, I figured what better way to celebrate joining the P&P team than to share with you some of my favorite Policy & Politics articles that make a great fit on a variety of syllabi? I hope this saves you time and effort in mining our recent articles, while also ensuring your course materials reflect the latest research from the frontiers of the discipline.

My initial suggestions are structured around two general topics that I hope many of you find yourself teaching or studying: one focused on knowledge, and one focused on actors/influence. I’m also sharing my top picks for readings on an increasingly popular policy topic: policy diffusion/transfer. In each case, I’ve recommended three articles that represent some of the most significant research we’ve published recently. Please let me know what you think when you’re compiling your reading lists for the start of the academic year. I’d value your feedback and suggestions for future topics to cover! Continue reading

SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 7 – Key Themes In The (Possible) Move to Co-production and Co-creation in Public Management

ewan-ferlie-2.xaf3c0b17Ewan Ferlie

In my concluding article for the forthcoming special issue on Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation , I review the contributions from the other articles in the collection  and considers what has been learnt. Building on the questions raised in the introductory paper, my article considers:

  • basic definitions of co-production and co-creation along with the claim made of a move from lower order co-production to higher level co-creation. It is argued that it is not clear whether the organisational capabilities needed to support such a major transition are as yet present in an intensive and extensive enough form. The evidence from the empirical and case-based papers in the edition is mixed.
  • the link between co-creation and co-production and different models of strategic management which may help manage organisational wide transitions and get beyond small scale projects. The article considers why strategic management is important and which schools are the most promising. The public value school is seen as a critical ‘lynchpin’ (as the goal of co-production and co-creation activity may be to create public value enhancing innovations). In addition, the strategic planning and culture schools are seen as promising. The question of how strategy is formed in diffuse multi agency networks as opposed to single agencies is an important and unresolved one so it may be helpful to bring in additional literature on cooperative forms of strategy.
  • the potential role of digitalisation in the move to co-production and co-creation with ‘open platforms’ being designed by government and the third sector seen as promising;

Continue reading

SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 2 – Co-creation: the new kid on the block in public governance

Special issue blog series on strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation

Ansell and TorfingChristopher Ansell and Jacob Torfing

In our recent article in our special issue on Strategic management of the transition to public sector co-creation, we reminisce briefly about the time when bureaucracy with its hierarchical command structure and emphasis on compliance with written rules was the only game in town. This was understandable, since the public sector was tasked with solving simple problems through large-scale provision of services such as schooling, health care and social welfare. This task called for exploitation of the bureaucratic forms of organisation propagated by industrialisation.

Then, from the 1970s onwards, the criticisms of the public sector for being inefficient and delivering poor services and failing governance solutions started to grow and the public sector was confronted with the question whether to ‘make or buy’. As a result, we saw the expansion of quasi-markets where public and private service providers competed for contracts and customers. This development turned citizens into demanding, dissatisfied and complaining consumers expecting service without having to contribute anything themselves towards problem solving. In the increasingly cash-strapped public sector, this development seems to be unsustainable. We need to mobilise the manifold resources of users, citizens and private stakeholders in order to provide needs-based services and create new and better solutions through mutual learning and innovation. Continue reading

Virtual issue on Working with citizens and changing behaviours

p&p editorsSarah Ayres, Steve Martin and Felicity Matthews,
Co-editors of Policy & Politics

New virtual issue from Policy & Politics: Working with citizens and changing behaviours

In this month’s virtual issue we showcase our latest research on the topic of the state working with citizens and changing behaviours. As governments grapple with the longer-term implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, invoking behavioural change will be a key measure in the easing of lockdowns and the maintenance of social distancing,  Against this backdrop, the articles below provide a series of instructive lessons. Continue reading

Introduction to the Special Issue on the potential of design to improve public policy and administration

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Arwin Van Buuren, Jenny Lewis, Guy Peters, William Voorberg

In recent years, policy makers and administrators have shown increasing interest in design approaches to address policy problems. Design methods offer innovative perspectives on persistent policy problems (e.g. climate change; ageing population; urbanization etc.). Given the enormous influx of design toolboxes, design approaches and design steps, there is a search for an ‘ultimate design approach for public sector problems. But there are different approaches that can be used and which have different strengths.

In our introduction to the special issue on design and public policy we distinguish three rather different design approaches in public sector design.   Continue reading