Agnes Batory & Sara Svensson
Involving people in policy-making is generally a good thing. Policy-makers themselves often pay at least lip-service to the importance of giving citizens a say. In the academic literature, participatory governance has been, with some exaggeration, almost universally hailed as a panacea to all ills in Western democracies. In particular, it is advocated as a way to remedy the alienation of voters from politicians who seem to be oblivious to the concerns of the common man and woman, with an ensuing decline in public trust in government. Representation by political parties is ridden with problems, so the argument goes, and in any case it is overly focused on the act of voting in elections – a one-off event once every few years which limits citizens’ ability to control the policy agenda. On the other hand, various forms of public participation are expected to educate citizens, help develop a civic culture, and boost the legitimacy of decision-making. Consequently, practices to ensure that citizens can provide direct input into policy-making are to be welcomed on both pragmatic and normative grounds. Continue reading How not to conduct a consultation – and why asking the public is not always such a great idea
Journal Manager of Policy & Politics
Policy & Politics Summer Highlights collection free to access from 1 May 2019 – 31 July 2019.
This quarter’s highlights collection from Policy & Politics showcases the best of the journal’s most topical research, retaining our hallmark focus on combining robust science coupled with a real-world relevance that resonates across our diverse readership.
Continue reading Summer Highlights Collection from Policy & Politics
This blog post was originally published on the Discover Society – Policy and Politics blog on 6 November 2018.
In my recent Policy & Politics article, I explore the question of whether the governance paradigm can survive the rise of populism.
The governance paradigm that came to the fore from the 1980s onwards reflected a sense that the conditions for governing in contemporary democratic states were undergoing some profound changes. It encouraged the use of new policy tools: networks and markets. For its advocates, its style of working was not only more effective, but more democratic because it allowed a wider range of people direct influence over making decisions.
Continue reading Meeting the Challenge of Populism: The Future of Governance and Public Management
Journal Manager of Policy & Politics
In celebration of APSA’s Conference theme this year on democracy and its discontents, we bring you the latest and best of our research on that topic which is free to access until 20 September 2018. Just click on the hyperlinks below to go straight to the download page for each article.
To whet your appetite, here are three highlights from our range of articles on democracy, all of which aim to enhance our understanding of its importance.
Continue reading New research articles on democracy from Policy & Politics: free to download until 20 September
This blog post was originally published on the Oxford University Press Blog on 6 May 2018.
One of the great things about being on sabbatical is that you actually get a little time to hide away and do something that professors generally have very little opportunity to do – read books. As a result I have spent the last couple of months gorging myself on the scholarly fruits that have been piling-up on my desk for some time, in some cases years. I’ve read books on ‘slow scholarship’ (Berg and Seeber, 2016) and ‘How to be an academic super-hero’ (Hay, 2017); books on ‘radical approaches to political science’ (Eisfeld, 2012); brilliant books on The festival of insignificance (Kundera, 2015) and In Defence of Wonder (Tallis, 2012); and even novels on university life, such as Stoner (Williams, 2012). What fun it is to soak yourself in the literature! To swim from genre to genre, from topic to topic with a little more freedom to explore beyond your micro-specialism than is ever usually possible and, through this, to garner new insights. Continue reading Are we to blame? Academics and the rise of populism
Matt Flinders reflects on the changing nature of democratic politics and asks whether a focus upon all things ‘post’ – post-Trump, post-Brexit, post-truth, post-democratic, etc. – has prevented scholars and social commentators from looking beyond or beneath the populist signal.
This blog post was originally published on the LSE British Politics and Policy blog.
Although there is no doubt that we live in ‘interesting times’, I cannot help but think that there is something incredibly boring, possibly even myopic, about most of the political analysis that is surrounding recent events. A clichéd sameness, defined by narratives of impending democratic doom, wrapped-up in notions of ‘crisis’, ‘disaster’, ‘hatred’, and ‘death’ that tend to flow into (and out of) dominant interpretations of post-Trump, post-Brexit, post-truth, post-democratic politics. The contemporary democratic debate is arguably cocooned within its own intellectual echo chamber that specialises in problem identification but falls short in terms of a more vibrant brand of design-orientated, solution-focused political science. Continue reading What kind of democracy is this? Scholars must look beyond the populist signal