Introduction to Spotlighting interpretive approaches to public policy scholarship

Stephanie PatersonProfessor Stephanie Paterson

Professor Stephanie Paterson, one of the curators of our blog series spotlighting interpretive approaches to the study of policy and politics, explains our motivations behind the series and expands on the study of intersectionality from within critical policy studies…

Critical policy studies envelopes diverse approaches to the study of public policy, spanning institutionalist, materialist, and discursive approaches. A common feature, however, is their attention to power and commitment to social change.

Within this broad family of scholarship is intersectionality, a research paradigm originating within Black feminism that aims to expose and interrogate the intersectional or interlocking systems of oppression that shape lived experiences. Intersectionality has a long history that is rooted in Black feminist experience and thought (Bilge 2014; Hancock 2016). The paradigm began to take shape in the Combahee River Collective Statement (1977), which identified an “integrated analysis and practice based upon the fact that the major systems of oppression are interlocking. The synthesis of these oppressions creates the conditions of our lives.” From this, legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw (1989) articulated the concept of intersectionality with reference to the metaphor of a traffic intersection (see Hancock 2016 for an overview).

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Updating your course reading lists? Check out our essential reading recommendations for teaching Public Participation, Gender and the Policy Process, and Policy Innovation from Policy & Politics

Elizabeth SarahElizabeth Koebele with Sarah Brown

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

Spotlighting interpretive approaches to public policy scholarship – Dr Tiffany Manuel on intersectionality

New Policy & Politics blog feature by Dr Tiffany Manuel.

In this video, Dr Tiffany Manuel (or Dr T as she prefers to be called) provides an excellent challenge to public policy researchers to think about the ways in which intersectionality needs to be woven into their research, that is not just driven by members of minority groups. In her talk, Dr T refers to her paper: How Does One Live the Good Life?: Assessing the State of Intersectionality in Public Policy: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10….

This video is part of a new feature on the Policy and Politics blog which aims to spotlight interpretive approaches to the study of policy and politics. This spotlight series hopes to encourage a greater range of scholarship. Continue reading

New Special Issue Blog Series : Blog 3 – Lessons from policy theories for the pursuit of equity in health, education and gender policy

Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.

 

CairneyPaul 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

Spotlighting interpretive approaches to public policy scholarship

New Policy & Politics blog feature by Julia Jordan-Zachery.

We are delighted to launch a new feature on the Policy and Politics blog which aims to spotlight interpretive approaches to the study of policy and politics. As a mainstream journal, although our aim is to incorporate pluralist perspectives, the reality is that have received and become known for some types of scholarship rather than others.

This spotlight series hopes to encourage a greater range of scholarship, and, to this end, our first feature showcases interpretive perspectives on policy problems.

In this piece, Julia Jordan-Zachery provides an excellent snapshot of the history and practice of intersectionality, illuminating some of its policy implications. Continue reading

Policy & Politics launches new equitable citations policy

P&P 2021 EditorsOscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Chris Weible.

In support of our commitment to addressing inequities in academic publication processes that are suffered by under-represented and minority communities, as set out in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy, we are delighted to launch a new equitable citations policy. Continue reading

European Policies and Research Funding: A Case Study of Gender Inequality and Lack of Diversity in a Nordic Research Programme

Pat O’Connor and Antoinette Faux-Chamoux
Pat O’Connor and Antoinette Faux-Chamoux

by Pat O’Connor & Antoinette Fauve-Chamoux

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

Inspired by the issue: The challenges to operationalising gender justice in India

Geetanjali Gangoli
Geetanjali Gangoli

As a friend of Policy & Politics, former editor and someone who has (very) recently stepped down as Chair of the Policy & Politics Management Board, the journal is of particular interest to me. The October issue has an article by Keerty Nakray that speaks directly to my research interests on feminisms, gender and India: Gender budgeting and public policy: the challenges to operationalizing gender justice in India.)

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

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!

Gender budgeting and public policy: the challenges to operationalising gender justice in India

Nakray
Keerty Nakray

Dr Keerty Nakray discusses her Policy & Politics article article Gender budgeting: does it really work?

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