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

New blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy – Introductory blog on our forthcoming special issue: Transformational Change through Public Policy.

Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.

P&P EdsGuest edited by co-editors Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop, Elizabeth Koebele and Chris Weible

The 2020s are turbulent times, from COVID-19 to cost-of-living crises, violent and institutionalised racism, attacks on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, and beyond – all against the backdrop of rapid climate change. Meanwhile, symbolic action and agenda denial are widespread responses whilst polarisation and authoritarianism increase. The impetus for this Policy & Politics 2022 special issue on “Transformational Change through Public Policy” (see below for table of contents) comes from a sense of unease about the lack of action on these challenges and the role public policy studies may play in addressing them.

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NEW SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 6 -The transformative potential of disasters

Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.

Nya professorer 2021
Daniel Nohrstedt Professor vid Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Forskare och lärare Foto Mikael Wallerstedt BILDEN ÄR FRIKÖPT AV UPPSALA UNIVERSITET

Daniel Nohrstedt
Disasters – such as major floods, storms, and wildfires – are often seen as windows of opportunity that enable major policy changes to reduce risks and enhance preparedness. Understanding whether and how disasters fulfill this role is important given the need for transformative action to increase community resilience to climate-related extremes. Against this background, my recent article in the new special issue on Transformational Change in Public Policy explores how public policy and administration scholarship view the relationship between disasters and major policy change. Continue reading

NEW SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Blog 2 – Citizens do matter for policy change

Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.

Tosun Beland Papadopoulos

Jale Tosun, Daniel Béland and Yannis Papadopoulos

They come with names such as Save Bees and Farmers and End the Cage Age: European Citizens’ Initiatives (ECIs). This tool for giving European citizens an “opportunity to express their concerns in a very concrete way and to influence the European political and legislative agenda” has been viewed with skepticism by academics and the public. What impact could such a tool possibly have that at best can only formally induce the European Commission to issue a formal response? Continue reading

NEW SPECIAL ISSUE BLOG SERIES: Introductory blog on our forthcoming special issue: Transformational Change through Public Policy.

Special issue blog series on Transformational Change through Public Policy.

Eds2Guest edited by co-editors Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop, Elizabeth Koebele and Chris Weible

The 2020s are turbulent times, from COVID-19 to cost-of-living crises, violent and institutionalised racism, attacks on women’s and LGBTQ+ rights, and beyond – all against the backdrop of rapid climate change. Meanwhile, symbolic action and agenda denial are widespread responses whilst polarisation and authoritarianism increase. The impetus for this Policy & Politics 2022 special issue on “Transformational Change through Public Policy” (see below for table of contents) comes from a sense of unease about the lack of action on these challenges and the role public policy studies may play in addressing them. Continue reading

Policy & Politics announces the 2022 winners of the Early Career and Best Paper Prizes

Prize P&POscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop, Chris Weible.

2022 prize narratives.
We are delighted to announce the 2022 prizes for award winning papers published in Policy & Politics in 2021.

The Bleddyn Davies Prize, whichacknowledges scholarship of the very highest standard by an early career academic, is awarded to From policy entrepreneurs to policy entrepreneurship: actors and actions in public policy innovation by early career scholar Maria Galanti and her co-author Giliberto Capano. Continue reading

Policy & Politics Highlights collection August – October 2021

Sarah_Brown_credit_Evelyn_Sturdy
Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

One of the hallmarks of the Policy & Politics journal, which has been consistent across its 49 years of publishing, has been to push the boundaries of conventional wisdom and not take things at face value in developing our understanding of policymaking. Across diverse locations and contexts and employing a range of different methods, the journal is known for showcasing incisive analyses of the policy world which foreground the politics that underpin policy making. The three articles chosen for this quarter’s highlights are no exception as each, in different ways, push the boundaries presenting results that often challenge the prevailing view in their fields. Continue reading

Can you make a difference when you sign an e-petition?

CLBCristina Leston-Bandeira 

E-petitions have become extremely popular over the last decade. They circulate freely and quickly, with most people at some point having signed one. But there is a perennial question associated with them: what’s the point of e-petitions, do they achieve anything? In my recent Policy & Politics article, I approach this issue by exploring the different roles petitions can play, focusing on petitions to parliament. I show that petitions systems perform roles beyond enabling participation and policy change, depending on the types of processes in place to evaluate them. I demonstrate that the processes through which petitions are considered are crucial in shaping the role(s) they perform.  Continue reading

Using information processing theory to build a smarter government

Koski_WorkmanChris Koski and
Samuel Workman

Many people assume that the main problem faced by governments is an information deficit. However, the opposite is true. A surfeit of information exists and institutions have a hard time managing it.  At the same time, all the information that exists in defining problems may be insufficient. Institutions need to develop a capacity to seek out better quality information too.

In our recent research article in the special issue Practical Lessons from Policy Theories, we analyse studies of national and subnational information processing and policy change to identify potential bottlenecks of information and patterns of policy feedback, identifying lessons from this literature.  Continue reading

Narratives as tools for influencing policy change

Crow_JonesDeserai Crow and Michael Jones

Imagine. You are an ecologist. You recently discovered that a chemical that is discharged from a local manufacturing plant is threatening a bird that locals love to watch every spring. Now, imagine that you desperately want your research to be relevant and make a difference to help save these birds. All of your training gives you depth of expertise that few others possess. Your training also gives you the ability to communicate and navigate things such as probabilities, uncertainty, and p-values with ease.

But as NPR’s Robert Krulwich argues, focusing on this very specialized training when you communicate policy problems could lead you in the wrong direction. While being true to the science and best practices of your training, one must also be able to tell a compelling story.  Perhaps combine your scientific findings with the story about the little old ladies who feed the birds in their backyards on spring mornings, emphasizing the beauty and majesty of these avian creatures, their role in the community, and how the toxic chemicals are not just a threat to the birds, but are also a threat to the community’s understanding of itself and its sense of place.  The latest social science is showing that if you tell a good story, your policy communications are likely to be more effective.

This blog is based on our recent article on narrative as a tool for influencing policy change in the 2018 special issue on Practical Lessons from Policy Theories.  Continue reading