Tanya 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
Oscar Berglund, Claire A. Dunlop, and Christopher M. Weible
Policy & Politics serves as the ecumenical journal for the sects and strands found in the studies of social policy, public policy, policy processes and politics. It offers a home for scholars espousing a plurality of ontological, epistemological, and methodological orientations to share their science, learn and challenge each other, and enhance their knowledge. Continue reading
Oscar Berglund, Claire Dunlop and Christopher M. Weible
In the study of ecological systems, there is a concept called metacommunities. The idea is that a species might be dispersed in different yet interconnected communities. These metacommunities might emerge and grow for reasons of fit, space, survival, or chance. These metacommunities interconnect through some species traversing between them either rarely or habitually. Over time metacommunities might also evolve and adapt to their particular niches. For those who care about supporting ecological systems that might be dispersed in interconnected niches, metacommunities provide a broad language and perspective to help visualize, understand, and govern.
As editors for Policy & Politics, we view this metaphor of metacommunities apt for describing the broadly defined field of public policy, which is dispersed in many communities, each with their own research approaches, lexicons, and traditions. We also see that some scholars navigate between communities more than others. In describing academia, we often refer to these metacommunities as silos where some silos are more isolated or connected than others as well as some silos existing within other silos. Similar to metacommunities, silos might emerge and grow as scholars search for space to develop their ideas, self-sort with others of similar orientations, and more. Continue reading
Competition winners pictured: Madeleine Pill, Valeria Guarneros-Meza, Christopher M. Weible & Paul Cairney
Written by Sarah Ayres, Steve Martin and Felicity Matthews, Co-Editors of Policy & Politics
The Bleddyn Davies Best Early Career prize has been awarded to: Madeleine Pill and Valeria Guarneros-Meza for their article on Local governance under austerity: hybrid organisations and hybrid officers
In this excellent paper, Madeleine Pill & Valeria Guarneros-Meza explore what austerity means for participation in city governance. Continue reading
Journal Manager of Policy & Politics
Policy & Politics Highlights collection 1 November 2018 – 31 January 2019.
For our Winter Highlights collection from Policy & Politics, we’ve chosen three of the most popular articles from our recent special issue on Practical Lessons from Policy Theories.
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