Save the Date: Conference on Policy Process Research, January 10-14, Denver, USA

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Save the Date: January 10 – 14 2023 | Denver, CO USA
Advancing Policy Process Theories and Methods
Call for papers, roundtables panels, and workshops coming soon!
The Conference on Policy Process Research (COPPR) mission is to advance the scholarship of policy process theory and methods. It embraces a broad interpretation of theories and methods, supporting a plurality of theoretical perspectives. It welcomes both emergent and established theories and methods and questions of what it means to conduct science and engage with our communities. COPPR seeks to support both established and emerging research communities and build bridges among them. COPPR includes critical assessments of the lessons learned from the past, challenges to contemporary boundaries, proposals for innovative research agendas, and arguments of what our future should be. Continue reading

Are resilience, robustness, agility and improvisation in policymaking all they’re cracked up to be?

Perri 6Perri 6
Professor in Public Management
Queen Mary University of London

Summary of article

After crises and disasters, pundits regularly write articles and books calling for more resilience in policymaking, and the Covid-19 pandemic has been an especially rich opportunity for advocates of resilience (e.g., https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-70179-6_14). Business project management jargon about ‘agility’ gets used to urge politicians and their advisers to do their policymaking more fluidly in response to constant change. In 2016, even the Cabinet Office joined in the fun, issuing guidance on agility in open policymaking. Some writers now advocate greater use of improvisation in policymaking. Others argue for ways of working among policymakers which can lead to policy designs that can withstand shocks – or robustness. Long advocated by the RAND Corporation as way of handling uncertainty, academics too are now urging greater efforts to pursue robustness 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 February 2022 – April 2022 –free to access

Sarah_Brown_credit_Evelyn_Sturdy
Image credit: Evelyn Sturdy at Unsplash

Sarah Brown
Journal Manager, Policy & Politics

This week we pause our special issue blog series on ‘Taking Risks and Breaking New Frontiers in Policy & Politics‘ to showcase some of our just-published articles while they’re hot off the press. In this quarter’s highlights collection, we feature three articles that provide a range of insights from different perspectives on the complexities of policy making. Continue reading

How diverse and inclusive are policy process theories?

Tanya Mike BlogTanya Heikkila and Mike Jones

The various approaches to studying policy processes differ by their attention to distinct questions, issues and theoretical emphasis. Some zoom into particular “stages” of policymaking such as agenda setting (Multiple Streams Analysis), while others pay attention to long term patterns in policy evolution (Punctuated Equilibrium Theory). Several explore how policy actors form coalitions, communicate, strategize, and influence policy outcomes (Advocacy Change Framework, Narrative Policy Framework, Social Construction Framework). Continue reading

Blog from the winner of our Policy & Politics 2021 undergraduate prize to the student achieving the highest overall mark on the ‘Understanding Public Policy’ unit at the School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Lara Gordge

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: Blog 5 – In times of pandemic crisis and beyond: Moving to an advanced understanding of Behavioural Public Policy and Administration

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

The Lessons of Policy Learning

Dunlop.RadaelliClaire 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

Introduction to the 2018 special issue on Practical Lessons from Policy Theories

WeibleCairneyChristopher 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

Introducing our 2018 Policy & Politics special issue on Practical Lessons from Policy Theories

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