Digital Associate Editor for Policy & Politics
All articles mentioned in this blog post are free to access until 31 March 2019.
Europe is experiencing various forms of crises in governance, policy and politics at the continental, national and local levels. Whilst many of these have been brewing for some time, the sense of political crisis is increasing with EU policies challenged by national political actors, growth of populist parties, political fragmentation, weak governments and increasing poverty and inequality in many countries across the continent. Here at Policy & Politics we have recently published several articles that can help us make sense of these crises and contribute to the policy debates to help resolve them.
Felicity Matthews (University of Sheffield), Co-Editor of Policy & Politics
“Politics in Interesting Times”. Has ever a conference title been so apt, or provided such a unifying theme? This year’s PSA Conference, held at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, was host to a record number of delegates, who had travelled from 75 countries to reflect on the interesting times that we inhabit. Brexit, Scottish independence, forthcoming elections in Italy and France, the election of Trump, the decline of traditional parties, the rise of populism, new forms of representation and participation. All of these issues – and many, many more – were discussed, debated and often contested within the conference’s ten panel sessions. Continue reading →
Supra national and cross-national funding is increasingly becoming the norm in a context characterised by international consortia. Although bringing advantages in terms of scale, it raises issues about the relative salience of national location and gender and its implications for the funding of projects led by women, and for the composition of research teams. These themes are explored in a case study of a cross-national research programme, with a broadly Nordic funding structure, based in Sweden, and with a total budget of approximately EUR 3million. Two critical intervention points were identified: firstly those related to the relative power of the location based Steering Group and the gender balanced expert panels; and secondly the project leaders’ attitudes to diversity.
The Steering Group for the research programme was composed of representatives of nationally located funding organisations. At the inception of the Steering Group (when critical decisions were being made about structures, criteria and funding), only 20 per cent of the members were women. This breached the Swedish 40 per cent gender balance rule. Continue reading →
Why is that immigrant barman fresh from architecture school designing only shamrocks on the head of your Guinness? Or that cleaning lady with perfect English and the degree in literature, why is she cleaning the blackboard at your kids’ school and not teaching at it? Traditional accounts of immigrant success, or otherwise, in the labour market highlight a number of important, even obvious, factors at play in outcomes such as these: grasp of the language, level of education, time in the country, and networks of contacts all matter.
Not all migrants hold low level jobs of course: 28% of third-country nationals in the UK in 2006 were employed in ‘prestige’ occupations. However Continue reading →
Jeremy Moon, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark reports on the article he has published with Jette Steen Knudsen, Copenhagen University, Denmark, and Rieneke Slager, Nottingham University Business School, UK.
Traditionally, most authorities on corporate social responsibility (CSR) suggested that, by definition, CSR was about the discretion of companies and unrelated to the requirements of the law and public policy.
Curiously, one of the main CSR themes over the last decade has been the growth of governmental interest in CSR. My own introduction to CSR was in the context of this supposed paradox. Whilst studying public policy responses to UK unemployment in the early 1980s I encountered overlaps with CSR (e.g. through local economic partnerships, the Youth Training Scheme). Continue reading →
“Arguments about poverty,” note Paul Copeland and Mary Daly in a recent article, “go to the heart of political disagreement in Europe,” because they express profound differences about social policy and models of capitalism. The European commitment to fight poverty and social exclusion has thus moved over the years, from the ambitious decision to make social inclusion an explicit goal governed by the new Open Method of Coordination (OMC) with the Lisbon strategy in 2000, to a more circumscribed vision giving priority to economic growth and job creation after 2005, and to an ambiguous but nevertheless explicit quantitative target agreed upon in the summer of 2010, “to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion” by 2020. But changing orientations at the European level are not the only manifestation of political disagreement about poverty. Important differences are also expressed through the distinct ways member states have interpreted the common objectives. Continue reading →