My name is Lara and I’m currently about to enter my final year of the BSc Social Policy with Criminology undergraduate degree at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol (home of the Policy & Politics journal). Winning the student prize for the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit came as quite a surprise, but I’m thrilled and honoured to have been chosen. All of my peers are brilliant thinkers and so very talented, so to win has given me a lot of confidence in my academic ability.
One of the main things I loved about the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit was the ability to write about such a broad variety of topics. One of the essays I enjoyed the most focused on two key questions around power within policymaking in the realm of behavioural economics – who is given the authority to make decisions on behalf of the greater good, and why are those decisions considered the right ones to make? Continue reading
Special issue blog series on advancing our understanding of the politics behind nudge and the ‘behavioural insights’ trend in public policy.
Benjamin Ewert, Kathrin Loer and Eva Thomann
Our introductory article with Eva Thomann to the new special issue of Policy & Politics aims to advance our current understanding of Behavioural Public Policy and Administration (BPP/BPA) by moving beyond “nudge”, the iconic but contested synonym for any policies that have been inspired by insights from the behavioural sciences so far. Based on a broad conceptual design and methodological pluralism, we suggest that behavioural policymaking must develop a more nuanced understanding of the interrelations between social structures and individual action in order to effectively tackle more complex policy problems. Continue reading
Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli
The literature on policy learning has generated a huge amount of heat and some light producing policy learning taxonomies, concepts and methods. But yet the ambition to show what learning can offer policy-makers, citizens and societies has remained peripheral. To help things along, we distil the major lessons from the policy learning literature. Continue reading
Christopher M. Weible and Paul Cairney
In this Special Issue of Policy & Politics, we issue a challenge to policy theory scholars to change the way they produce and communicate research: translate your findings to a wider audience to garner feedback on gauge their clarity and quality.
Policy theories have generated widespread knowledge of the policy process, but the field is vast and uncoordinated, and too many scholars write and speak with so much jargon that ideas become obfuscated, hardly understandable to other scholars, and beyond the interests of people outside of academia. As scholars, we often assume, rather than demonstrate, that our ideas convincingly make sense to people beyond our narrow academic circles and that policy process research contains insights that add cumulative and comparable knowledge to practice and the field. Continue reading
Christopher M. Weible and Paul Cairney
Introducing our 2018 Policy & Politics special issue on Practical Lessons from Policy Theories, published in April now available online and in print. (Free to access online until 31 May)
Professors Christopher. M. Weible from the University of Colorado, Denver and Paul Cairney from the University of Stirling talk in the video below about their motivation for producing a special issue on drawing practical lessons from policy theories, and why their subject is so important. Continue reading
Professors Chris Weible and Paul Cairney were the successful applicants for our 2019 special issue call for proposals. This blog post summarises a recent workshop held in Colorado on their topic Practical Lessons from Policy Theories by way of presaging some of the key research themes they will pursue in their special issue.
Policy theories provide profound lessons for people trying to understand and engage with the policy process. As policy scholars we often take them for granted, but for non-specialists they can represent a new way of thinking. So, sharing these insights helps scholars and practitioners. Explaining our theories clearly gives us a new way to take stock of policy theory: how does it help us think about and act within the policy process?
That’s why we asked a group of experts to describe the ‘state of the art’ in their field and the practical lessons that they offer. Continue reading