Research

 

You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.

Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
 

Books: Research

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Is transparency a necessary condition to build and restore citizen and civil society trust in governance and democracy?

Throughout Europe, there is a growing demand for effective forms of citizen engagement and decentralisation in policy-making to increase trust and engage increasingly diverse populations.

This volume addresses the relationship between trust and transparency in the context of multi-level governance. Drawing on fieldwork from the UK, France and Germany, this comparative analysis examines different efforts to build trust between key actors involved in decision-making at the sub-national level. It outlines the challenges of delivering this agenda and explores the paradox that trust might require transparency, yet in some instances transparency may undermine trust.

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Place, Time and Boundaries

Epdf and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

Drawing on place-based field investigations and new empirical analysis, this original book investigates civil society at local level.

The concept of civil society is contested and multifaceted, and this text offers assessment and clarification of debates concerning the intertwining of civil society, the state and local community relations. Analysing two Welsh villages, the authors examine the importance of identity, connection with place and the impact of social and spatial boundaries on the everyday production of civil society.

Bringing into focus questions of biography and temporality, the book provides an innovative account of continuities and changes within local civil society during social and economic transformation.

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The Politics of Representation

ePDF and ePUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC licence.

In recent years, the ‘city region’ has seen a renaissance as the de facto spatial centre of governance for economic and social development.

Rich in case study insights, this book provides a critique of city-region building and considers how governance restructuring shapes the political, economic, social and cultural geographies of devolution. Reviewing the Greater Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea Bay City Regions, Cardiff Capital Region and the North Wales Growth Deal, the authors address the tensions and opportunities for local elites and civil society actors.

Based on original empirical material, situated within cutting edge academic and policy debates, this book is a timely and lively engagement with the shifting geographies of economic and social development in Britain.

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The relationship between the family and civil society has always been complex, with the family often regarded as separate from, or even oppositional to, civil society.

Taking a fresh empirical approach, Muddiman, Power and Taylor reveal how such separation underestimates the important role the family plays in civil society. Considering the impact of family events, dinner table debates, intergenerational transmission of virtues and the role of the mother, this enlightening book draws on survey data from 1000 young people, a sample of their parents and grandparents, and extended family interviews, to uncover how civil engagement, activism and political participation are inherited and fostered within the home.

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Editor: Sally Power

Are young people blindly self-interested? How does university shape students’ political participation? Can busy parents and grandparents find time to volunteer?

Challenging conventional thinking, leading academics explore how individuals’ relationships with civil society change over time as different lifecourse events and stages trigger and hinder civic engagement.

Drawing on personal narratives, longitudinal cohort studies and national surveys, this unprecedented study considers rarely examined aspects of civic engagement including school students’ sense of social responsibility and the charitable legacy bequests of elderly people and highlights significant implications for those promoting greater civic and political participation.

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Comparative Perspectives on Civil Repair

The principles of the modern foundational economy and its role in renewing citizenship and informing public policy are explored for the first time in this instructive collection.

Challenging mainstream social and economic thinking, it shows how foundational economy experiments at different scales can foster radical social innovation through collective, rather than private, consumption.

An interdisciplinary group of respected European academics provide case studies of initiatives and interventions around policy cornerstones including housing, food supply and water and waste management. They build a judicious evidence base of the growing relevance of foundational economic thinking and its potential to provide a new political and social outlook on civil society and social justice.

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Governance, Metagovernance and Subjectivity
Author: Bob Jessop

Renowned social and political theorist Bob Jessop explores the idea of civil society as a mode of governance in this bold challenge to current thinking.

Developing theories of governance failure and metagovernance, the book analyses the limits and failures of economic and social policy in various styles of governance. Reviewing the principles of self-emancipation and self-responsibilisation it considers the struggle to integrate civil society into governance, and the power of social networks and solidarity within civil society.

With case studies of mobilisations to tackle economic and social problems, this is a comprehensive review of the factors that influence their success and identifies lessons for future social innovation.

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