This quarter’s highlights collection focuses on three of our most widely read and cited articles this year. All three were featured in our special issue published in July on Transformational Change in Public Policy which was guest edited by our co-editors: Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop, Elizabeth Koebele and Chris Weible.
The authors highlight how significant time and effort has been spent seeking to understand policy change around the major societal issues we face. Yet their findings show that most change tends to be incremental. The consequent challenge they set out is whether or not public policy scholarship is up to the job of developing a coherent research programme to build knowledge and enable necessary, positive transformational change.
Ingrid Bego, Anne Charlott Callerstig, Elisa Chieregato, Isabelle Engeli, Ashley English, Lenita Freidenvall, Season Hoard, Sophie Jacquot, Andrea Jochmann-Doell, Veronika Lemeire, Iga Magda, Amy Mazur, Susan Milner, Lucie Newsome, Ania Plomien, Sophie Pochic, Jill Rubery, Olga Salido, Francesca Scala, Alexandra Scheele, Sydney Smith, Andrea Spehar, and Ines Wagner.
The politics and policy addressing gender inequalities in public and private life evident across supra-national, national, local or organisational contexts, especially but not exclusively in the Global North, are nothing short of remarkable. The range of issues various actors promote to advance equality include care, division of labour, education, employment, health, pay, political participation, poverty of income and time, reproductive rights, violence and more. All these interests are underpinned by gendered social norms and power. Yet, the existence and prominence of the wide assortment of gender politics and policies is as much a cause for celebration as it is for concern. It represents both an achievement of the feminist struggle to legitimise and institutionalise feminist goals of improving women’s lives, juxtaposed with the uneven, unfinished, or indeed unintended outcomes of these efforts. Does gender equality policy work in practice?
Are you planning a new policy or politics-focused course? Or maybe you’re updating your existing syllabi with some of the newest research on policy and politics? We’re here to help! In this blog, we provide recommendations for new Policy & Politics articles (as well as a few older favorites) that make excellent contributions to syllabi for a diversity of courses. We 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. Continue reading →
Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.
Paul Cairney, Emily St.Denny, Sean Kippin, Heather Mitchell
Could policy theories help to understand and facilitate the pursuit of equity (or reduction of unfair inequalities)? We are producing a series of literature reviews to help answer that question, beginning with the study of equity policy and policymaking in health, education, and gender research, which has just been published in Policy & Politics. Continue reading →
The Reverend Richard Coles of Radio 4 and ‘The Communards’ fame, presented this year’s Policy and Politics Annual Lecture, the 21st in the series. The theme of the lecture was same sex marriage and the church, delivered by the Reverend as a ‘ramble down memory lane’ and very much part of his own personal life story.
The lecture was, by turns, amusing, informative and challenging as well as saddening. It veered from funny anecdotes to tales of tragedy; from personal life events to big questions of principle. Overall it was a brilliant piece of oratory with just the right level of information and challenge, as well as being more than sufficiently thought provoking.
Richard’s life story is well documented in his autobiography “Fathomless Riches: Or How I Went from Pop to Pulpit” published in 2014. It’s a colourful story of a young gay man from middle England making his way to London and becoming part of an ‘alternative gay culture’. In his presentation he described London in the 1980s as a polarized city: a place where Thatcher and Livingstone epitomized the ‘twin poles of values in the battlefield of London”. He saw it as a city where post-punk democratization was evident and an alternative gay culture was emerging, one with a ‘hard-left’ basis and a tribal culture, with a political common purpose. He told us about his involvement with the lesbian and gay support for the striking miners of South Wales, recently depicted in the film ‘Pride’. He describes the mid 1980s as a time of experimentation, creativity and excitement, when he found himself surrounded by a small group of people that came together to epitomize a significant cultural and political moment in gay history. Continue reading →
Nakray’s article raises the important issue of gender budgeting in the Indian context, and the role of feminist intervention in introducing this concept to India. Gender budgeting refers to not only a gendered analysis of the national (or state level) budgets, but at a broader and much more conceptual level, to locating gender relations within the economy as a whole. Nakray also raises Continue reading →
This year marks the culmination of the Millennium Development Goals 2015 (MDGs) which provide the watershed for the global community to evaluate its development victories and failures. It is time to engage in collective reflections on lessons learnt and also to re-evaluate strategies in order to continue efforts to improve the quality of people’s lives. The MDGs reflected the consensus amongst world leaders to address eight goals: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; to achieve universal primary education; to promote gender equality and empower women; to reduce child mortality; to improve maternal health; to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; to ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development.
Gender equality was one of the ambitious goals of the MDGs with gender budgets receiving widespread endorsement as one of the most important strategies to achieve it. However, to the dismay of the feminist movement, gender Continue reading →
The UK Civil Service has long been regarded a bastion of white, middle class men, but there have been efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce in recent years. In this post Rhys Andrews and Rachel Ashworth assess the representativeness of Whitehall staff, in terms of gender, ethnicity and disability. They show that progress has been made in most departments, although there are still questions to be answered about the type of jobs that women, people from ethnic minorities and disabled people tend to hold.
In recent years policy-makers and politicians have been keen to encourage public organizations to become more diverse, especially within central government. For example, the shadow Cabinet Office Minister Michael Dugher recently stated that a future Labour government would ensure that a greater proportion of Fast Stream civil servants come from black and working class backgrounds. Government has sought to increase the representativeness of the civil service for two main reasons: firstly, so that it is more representative of society and can therefore be viewed as legitimate and, secondly to ensure that policies can generate outcomes that benefit all sections of society. Continue reading →