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Towards a Contextualised Understanding of Policy Making
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Policy development and implementation has a pivotal role in the youth justice system, profoundly impacting professionals and the children they work with. This imaginative book challenges limited explanations of policy-making as linear and government-dominated through original research into the practices, identities and relationships of a wide range of stakeholders working in multiple policy- making contexts in England and Wales.

The result is a detailed expert analysis of the contexts and mechanisms of youth justice policy-making. This book is key reading for researchers, professionals and students seeking effective understandings and responses to the long term social problem of youth offending.

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Critical Reflections from Theory, Research and Practice

Available open access digitally under CC BY-NC-ND licence.

‘Desistance’ – understanding how people move away from offending – has become a significant policy focus in recent years, with desistance thinking transplanted from the adult to the youth justice system in England and Wales. This book is the first to critique this approach to justice-involved children, many of whom are yet to fully develop an identity (criminal or otherwise) from which to ‘desist’.

Featuring voices from academia, policy and practice, this book explores practical approaches to desistance with children in the ‘Child First’ context. It gives new insights into how children can be supported to move away from offending and proposes reforms to make a meaningful difference to children’s lives.

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Cultural and Political Trajectories
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East Asian societies and welfare systems are rapidly changing, creating an increasing need for research that can help to establish sustainable and legitimate welfare systems.

This original volume considers welfare attitudes in East Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, Singapore and Taiwan, using qualitative and quantitative research methods. Proposing new methods and approaches to analysing cross-national variations in welfare attitudes, it decentralises dominant European based concepts and measurements and takes approaches that are sensitive to cultural and political trajectories and the impact of colonialism and gender.

This book explores the influence of contextual and individual factors, such as family roles and values, on citizens’ welfare attitudes. It also studies social legitimacy and social bonds to understand how to design and implement sustainable welfare policies.

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In this book, street-level bureaucracy scholars from South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America analyse the conditions that shape frontline work and citizens’ everyday experience of the state.

Institutional factors such as political clientelism, resource scarcity, social inequality, job insecurity, and systemic corruption affect the way street-level bureaucrats enforce rules and implement policies. Inadvertently, they end up implementing inequities in citizens’ access to rights and services – despite efforts to repair organisational deficiencies and broker relations between vulnerable citizens and a distant state. This book illuminates these realities and challenges and provides unique insights into critical themes such as resource scarcities, bureaucratic corruption, control practices, and the complexities of dealing with vulnerable population groups.

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Why do top-down reforms to public services so often over-promise and under-deliver?

Using five concepts from psychology, economics and organisational sociology, Thomas Elston addresses this pressing question of good governance.

Focusing on the practical challenge of how to undertake better public management reforms, he questions the assumption that failure typically occurs because of poor reform implementation. Instead, he shows how reforms are often badly designed from the outset, being fashion-led, more focused more on fixing errors than exploiting opportunities and ignoring implicit costs of change.

This concise, practically-orientated work employs diverse examples to propose ways to improve the design of public sector reform programmes – and the services that citizens receive.

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Secrets and Disclosure in the Undercover Policing Inquiry

The ‘spycops’ scandal has laid bare the existence of secretive police units that sent undercover police officers to infiltrate and undermine hundreds of political campaigns and activist groups.

This is the first academic analysis of the activists’ experiences and their attempts to find answers and accountability in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Written from the perspective of the ‘policed’, the author draws on extensive fieldwork and his first-hand experience of police infiltration through his participation in climate campaigns.

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Scottish Police Reform, Localism, and Epistocracy
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Making a unique contribution to the scholarship on democratic policing, this book adapts the concept of epistocracy to explore the role of knowledge and expertise in police governance and accountability.

A rigorous empirical analysis of the Scottish police governance arrangements following reform in 2013 is complemented with examples from other liberal democracies, situating the Scottish context in wider debates on democratic policing, localism, and the operational independence doctrine. The book provides a framework for knowledge-based working practices, showing how principles of democratic policing, such as equity and responsiveness, may be achieved in practice.

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An Introduction to Rights-Focused Practice

While Social Work theory tends to emphasise helping individuals and challenging social injustice, the reality of practice is characterised by challenge and conflict. This text offers a new concept of Social Work that explains the nature of these conflicts and moves beyond them, with an inspiring and practical vision of what Social Work is and should be.

Placing rights at the heart of practice, this introduction to social work will be useful to practitioners and students with a substantive contribution to the theoretical literature that emphasises the role of social work when rights may be in conflict, enabling students and workers to become more confident dealing with the uncomfortable realities of practice.

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Demonstrating the relevance of theory to political and policy debates and practice, this lively and accessible second edition helps students to grasp the real-life implications of social policy theory.

It considers contemporary shifts in welfare ideologies in the context of global austerity and the UK Coalition and Conservative governments (2010 onwards). With a new chapter focusing on critical debates about disability, sexuality and the environment, this textbook also includes fresh reflections on migration, social security conditionality, resilience, social justice and human rights.

Key features include:

• real-life examples from UK and international politics and policy to explain and illuminate the significance of social policy theory;

• key questions for student reflection and engagement;

• and bulleted chapter summaries and annotated further readings at the end of every chapter.

This new edition is a dynamic, engaging and valuable introduction to the key theoretical perspectives and concepts deployed in social policy.

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Context, Practices and Challenges

Neighbourhood policing has been called the ‘cornerstone of British policing’ but changing demand, pressures on funding and the cyclical nature of political support mean that this approach is under considerable pressure.

Locating neighbourhood policing in its social and political context, the book investigates whether this UK model - intended to build confidence and legitimacy - has been successful. Exploring effective policing strategies and the importance of funding and philosophical support, it concludes with an assessment of the model’s future and the challenges that it needs to overcome.

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