Tag Archives: crisis

Policy & Politics event in the US: sponsored panel on Ambiguity and Crisis: Disasters, Governance and Social Risk

Nikos Zarariadis
Nikos Zarariadis

Policy & Politics sponsored an international symposium on Ambiguity and Crisis: Disasters, Governance and Social Risk in February 2016 convened by Editorial Advisory Board member Professor Nikolaos Zahariadis from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, US (pictured below) and Professor Tom Birkland  from North Carolina State University, US. You can read more about it in their article below.

While ambiguity is a fact of public life, scholarship on its implications for public policy is not yet well developed. The gap is particularly deep during periods of crisis because of rapid and turbulent change and the lack of adequate information and limited information processing capacities. We have a good understanding of the strategic use of ambiguity but do not fully comprehend its implications for creating winners and losers in public policy.

On February 28, 2016, Tom Birkland and Nikolaos Zahariadis convened a two-day symposium on ambiguity and its effects during crises. The symposium explored the implications of ambiguity on policy making as conceptualized through the multiple streams approach (MSA) during man-made crises and natural disasters. The approach draws inspiration from March and Olsen’s garbage can model of organizational choice and John Kingdon’s agenda setting framework. MSA contends there is a “right” (and “wrong”) time to propose solutions to pressing public problems. The likelihood of any one idea becoming official government policy has as much to do with when Continue reading Policy & Politics event in the US: sponsored panel on Ambiguity and Crisis: Disasters, Governance and Social Risk

Policy & Politics sponsored international symposium on Ambiguity and Crisis: Disasters, Governance and Social Risk

Nikos Zarariadis
Nikos Zarariadis

While ambiguity is a fact of public life, scholarship on its implications for public policy is not yet well developed. The gap is particularly deep during periods of crisis because of rapid and turbulent change and the lack of adequate information and limited information processing capacities. We have a good understanding of the strategic use of ambiguity but do not fully comprehend its implications for creating winners and losers in public policy.

On February 28, 2016, Tom Birkland and Nikolaos Zahariadis are putting together a two-day symposium on ambiguity and its effects during crises. The symposium explores the implications of ambiguity on policy making as conceptualized through the multiple streams approach (MSA) during man-made crises and natural disasters. The approach draws inspiration from March and Olsen’s garbage can model of organizational choice and John Kingdon’s agenda setting framework. MSA contends there is a “right” (and “wrong”) time to propose solutions to pressing public problems. The likelihood of any one idea becoming official government policy has as much to do with when it is proposed as it does with the political ideology of policy makers and the ability of entrepreneurial individuals to advocate, broker, persuade, or coerce others into accepting it. The overall aim is to enrich and expand this literature, assess its value-added relative to other policy process approaches, and place the findings within the broader political environment. What does the approach tell us about governance (both in terms of capacity and performance) under crisis? Continue reading Policy & Politics sponsored international symposium on Ambiguity and Crisis: Disasters, Governance and Social Risk

Governing, governability, the future of the state and other minor issues

Jon Pierre
Jon Pierre

Jon Pierre is Professor of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and professor of public governance at the Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne. He serves on the editorial advisory board of Policy & Politics.

Two recent papers in the October 2015 edition of Policy & Politics  provoked my thinking about governing and governance; Bob Jessop’s “Crises, crisis-management and state restructuring: what future for the state?”, and Allan Cochrane, Bob Colenutt and Martin Field’s “Governing the ungovernable: spatial policy, markets and volume house-building in a growth region”. They did so for quite different reasons. Or so I thought.

The two texts could not be more different in style and presentation. For me, reading Bob Jessop has always been like having a bowl of fettuccine al burro in an Italian restaurant; it is pure delicacy but at the same time so incredibly rich that in order not to choke you have to proceed very slowly. You read a paragraph or even just a sentence (sometimes that can be one and the same thing) and then find yourself forced to sit back to take in and digest Bob’s argument. His analysis covers several discourses and perspectives, then puts a diachronic spin on the analysis and ends up asking Continue reading Governing, governability, the future of the state and other minor issues

Community Resilience and Crisis Management: Policy Lessons from the Ground

Nicole George
Nicole George

Nicole George and Alastair Stark (University of Queensland) discuss their  recent contribution to the journal, Community Resilience and Crisis Management: policy lessons from the ground

The last months of 2010 and the first months of 2011 are remembered in Queensland as the ’summer of sorrow’. During this period, an unprecedented flood emergency inundated 78% of the north-eastern state’s territory. More than 60 lives were lost. 6 billion dollars of damage was done to public infrastructure while private insurance payouts to home-owners and businesses totalled more than 2 billion dollars.

Brisbane, Queensland’s capital city, did not escape this natural disaster. By the second week of January, residents and business owners in low-lying suburbs were caught off-guard as a flood moved rapidly down the Brisbane River.  They hastily evacuated what possessions they could, then watched with a sense of disbelief as muddy waters rose through their streets and two days later receded. When they could return to their water and mud sodden homes, and began to pick through the chaos of destroyed belongings, the true extent of the emergency became real for many.

In the days that followed, flood waters were replaced by floods of citizen-volunteers who gathered spontaneously in affected Continue reading Community Resilience and Crisis Management: Policy Lessons from the Ground

Sneak preview of October 2015 edition!

Sarah Brown

by our Journal Manager, Sarah Brown

Here’s a sneak preview of our October edition which will be published at the end of this month. Read on to scan this post for links to the articles in this forthcoming edition. If you have difficulty accessing the full text, it may be because your institution doesn’t subscribe to Policy & Politics. If that’s the case, do try our free trial or recommend the journal to your librarian.

 

Bob Jessop
Bob Jessop

Opening with a tour d’horizon entitled Crises, crisis-management and state restructuring: what future for the state?, Bob Jessop provides an insightful critical overview of what constitutes ‘the state’. In exploring a range of challenges to the state, some of which ‘condense’ into crises, he offers some thoughts on the future of the state, its management of crises and its challenges.

 

Peter Taylor-Gooby
Peter Taylor-Gooby

Continuing with the theme of the state, but with a specific focus on welfare, Peter Taylor-Gooby argues powerfully about the critical need for a welfare state, particularly in the context of harsh spending cuts which affect the poorest and most vulnerable groups in society. In his article Making the Case for the Welfare State, he argues for more inclusive discourses around welfare, so reframing the way people think about work, reward and welfare.

 

Craig Berry
Craig Berry

Craig Berry’s article also addresses the issue of welfare. In Citizenship in a financialised society: financial inclusion and the state before and after the crash, he unpacks the ‘financial inclusion’ agenda which has been extensively promoted by successive UK governments. This agenda, he argues, can ‘empower’ individuals to play an enhanced role in ensuring their own financial security without relying on the state. However, in his subsequent critical analysis, he reveals its more covert aspects, such as the increased hidden risks that ‘financial inclusion’ exposes individuals to, in order to secure macroeconomic growth at all costs.

Allan Cochrane
Allan Cochrane

There is further exploration of the role of the state, this time in relation to the markets, in Allan Cochrane and Bob Colenutt’s piece on Governing the Ungovernable: spatial policy, markets and volume house-building in a growth region. They deconstruct the global rhetoric promoting the role of private markets in the provision of new housing and how it masks a more complex reality. They offer perceptive critical reflections on the consequences of policies that sanction ‘light touch’ state involvement in a housing development market shaped by the priorities of powerful corporate actors.

Deborah Wilson
Deborah Wilson

Exploring a wide-ranging array of other policy issues, this edition of Policy & Politics also includes an article by Gary Bridge and Deborah Wilson called Towards an interactive sociological rational choice approach to theorising class dimensions of school choice. By exploring the value of two established perspectives on decision-making, they develop a third framework for explaining how school choices are made by parents in the UK. They argue that using this new framework could result in policy benefits such as reducing social class differentials between schools and subsequent educational outcomes.

Annette Hastings and Peter Matthews
Annette Hastings and Peter Matthews

In a similar vein, Annette Hastings and Peter Matthews proffer a new approach for analysing middle class service use in their article on Bourdieu and the Big Society: empowering the powerful in public service provision? Building on Bourdieu’s theory of practice to theorise middle-class use of public services, they proffer a new theoretical framework and evidence how engagement with the state is a classed practice, producing benefits for those already empowered. They conclude with a call to action to policy scholars and practitioners to fully understand how advantage comes about, so that it can be challenged if it is unfair and leads to detrimental outcomes.

Jitske Verkerk, Geert Teisman and Arwin van Buuren
Jitske Verkerk, Geert Teisman and Arwin van Buuren

On a different topic, Jitske Verkerk, Geert Teisman and Arwin van Buuren explore the challenges of a complex, multi-governance setting in their article on Synchronising climate adaptation processes in a multilevel governance setting: exploring synchronisation of governance levels in the Dutch Delta. They analyse how the concept of synchronisation helps actors to connect multilevel governance processes that all have their own development, logic and self-organising dynamics. Using a case study based on the Dutch Delta, they demonstrate how the concept of synchronisation helps to understand the self-organising coordinative capacity within multilevel governance processes and produce a coherent adaptation strategy.

Nakray
Keerty Nakray

Last but not least, Keerty Nakray explores the concept of gender budgeting and the challenges to operationalising gender justice in India in her article on Gender budgeting and public policy: the challenges to operationalising gender justice in India. In a thorough analysis of the Indian gender budget statement of 2005, Nakray demonstrates how incomplete the process was. It failed to take into account all the gender budget procedures that needed to be implemented in order to achieve tangible gender equality outcomes, despite being viewed as a progressive development by the transnational feminist movement. She highlights that gender budgets should be further consolidated within central administrative mechanisms to result in more gender sensitive approaches to governance.

That was rather a whistle-stop tour through this month’s edition packed with impactful research findings. I do hope it’ll encourage you to click through to read the articles themselves.

I hope you enjoy the issue. Feedback always welcome!

Women are worse affected by the crisis and changes to pensions

Liam Foster
Liam Foster

Liam Foster gives us an insights into his latest article in Policy & Politics on the impact of the latest pension reforms on women. Liam is from the University of Sheffield, UK.

The global economic and financial circumstances since the summer of 2007 are without precedent in post-war history. The resultant higher unemployment, lower growth, increasing national debt and financial market volatility have made it harder to deliver on pension promises and demonstrated serious weaknesses in the design of many pension schemes and their long-term sustainability. The crisis has enhanced existing challenges as well as creating new ones. This has accelerated the momentum of change in relation to pensions in a number of EU countries. Recent strategies to deal with pension challenges have differed with some countries extending help to safeguard private schemes while, in others, pension Continue reading Women are worse affected by the crisis and changes to pensions

Crisis is not intrinsically problematic

Originally posted on September 1st on the Crick Centre blog.

Mark Chou from the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne argues that crises aren’t necessarily bad for democracy, but can force us to think in new and innovative ways about how we organise our democratic societies.

Occupy_London_Tent

In The Confidence Trap, probably one of the most talked about books on democracy written in recent years, David Runciman tackles what he calls the history of democracy in crisis.

Like the GFC which consumed global financial markets, democracy too has been embroiled its own ‘crisis talk’ in recent years. From Britain, Australia and the United States to Egypt, Thailand and Russia, we’ve seen firsthand how vulnerable democracies – both new and established – can be. But unique as these democratic crises may feel, Runciman reminds us that they are in fact just the latest in a long line of democracies in crisis. Continue reading Crisis is not intrinsically problematic