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 1600 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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The Role of Power and Morality in the Making of Drug Policy in the UK
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How is UK drugs policy made, and why does it so often seem irrational when considering what works in reducing drug-related harms?

This book explains how the concept of drug policy constellations – the loosely concerted policy actors with shared moral commitments that influenced policy outcomes – explains why there is no such thing as ‘evidence-based’ drug policy. Drawing on his participation in high-level policy discussions, and a novel approach to policy analysis, Stevens presents three recent cases involving key issues in UK illicit drug policy – medical cannabis, drug-related deaths and the government’s 10-year drug strategy.

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A Global Perspective

In this book, faith leaders, scholars and activists from around the globe provide their perspective on faith and abortion. They reflect on examples of faith organisations which have provided leadership on the issue as well as examining religious approaches from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and interfaith perspectives.

Challenging the assumption that all people of faith are anti-abortion, this book provides a counterpoint to right-wing faith perspectives and outlines how faith communities reimagine abortion as an issue of social, pastoral and theological concern.

Providing perspectives from the global North and South, it includes settings where abortion is legal, and where it is restricted, and settings where abortion stigma is ever-present to settings where abortion is normalised. It also demonstrates the complex connections between faith and abortion, how women and pregnant people are positioned in society and how morality is claimed and challenged.

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Marx argued that capitalist society acts against the core capacities, skills and talents of human beings, and that it also limits their realisation or channels them into activities related to profit rather than need.

Bringing Marx’s theory of alienation forward to the present day, this book uniquely links it to health and well-being. Using case studies and vignettes of workers across different industries, it reveals their lived experiences, offering crucial insights into the insidious ways in which capitalism continues to damage human well-being.

This is a resounding call for how society can change for the better.

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Food, Heritage and Trade in Post-Authoritarian Environments
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Post-Soviet Latvia and post-apartheid South Africa are far apart geographically and yet have endured a similar history of colonial and authoritarian rule before transitioning to democracy at the end of the 20th century. This book examines these two nations in an unusual comparative study of post-authoritarian efforts to decolonize production and trade.

The book combines an analysis of political economy and ecocultural heritage to unpack alternative trade formations. It also connects world systems thinking with Indigenous knowledge to articulate a decolonial theory of development and change over the longue durée. Conclusions and insights drawn are timely and important for a planet confronted by crises such as authoritarianism, laissez-faire capitalism, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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A Manifesto for a New Social Contract

A public health crisis is gripping the UK. Improvements in life expectancy have stalled, health inequalities have widened, obesity and alcohol misuse are placing an increasing strain on health services and urban air pollution is now widely recognised as a serious health hazard. COVID-19 revealed the weaknesses of the UK's public health system, once thought to be among the best in the world.

Against this background, this book examines the organisational and political barriers to an effective public health system showcased through the UK. It urges that what is needed is a new social contract, in which health policy is truly public.

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Innovative Research on Leaving Care and Transitions to Adulthood

EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY licence.

Young people transitioning out of care towards independence, work and adulthood are on the edge of these phases of life. Considering previously neglected groups of care leavers such as unaccompanied migrants, street youth, those leaving residential care, young parents and those with a disability, this book presents cutting-edge research from emerging global scholars.

The collection addresses the precarity experienced by many care leavers, who often lack the social capital and resources to transition into stable education, employment and family life. Including the voices of care leavers throughout, it makes research relevant to practitioners and policymakers aiming to enable, rather than label, vulnerable groups.

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The State of UK Health Policy

In its 75th anniversary year, this book examines the history, evolution and future of the NHS.

With contributions from leading researchers and experts across a range of fields, such as finance, health policy, primary and secondary care, quality and patient safety, health inequalities and patient and public involvement, it explores the history of the NHS drawing on narrative, evaluative and analytical approaches.

The book frames its analysis around the four key axes from which the NHS has evolved: governance, centralisation and decentralisation, public and private, and professional and managerial.

It will address the salient factors which shape the direction and pace of change in the NHS. As such, the book provides a long-term critical review of the NHS and key themes in health policy.

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Insights into Health Data Use
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EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-ND licence.

This book explores the concept of public trust in health systems.

In the context of recent events, including public response to interventions to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, vaccination uptake and the use of health data and digital health, this important book uses empirical evidence to address why public trust is vital to a well-functioning health system.

In doing so, it provides a comprehensive contemporary explanation of public trust, how it affects health systems and how it can be nurtured and maintained as an integral component of health system governance.

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Life Choices, Identities and Methods

What does mothering mean in different cultures and societies? This book extensively applies biographical and narrative research methods to mothering from international perspectives.

This edited collection engages with changing attitudes and approaches to mothering from women’s individual biographical experiences, illuminating how socially anticipated tasks of mothering shaped through interlinking state, media, religious beliefs and broader society are reflected in their identities and individual life choices. Considering trust, rapport, reflexivity and self-care, this collection advances methodological practice in the study of mothers, carers and childless women’s lives.

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Critical Perspectives on Children’s Services Reform
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Over the last decade there has been a series of Government policy initiatives in respect of children’s services and social work education in England, many of which aim to de-regulate or privatise aspects of these services. Critically considering the impact of the MacAlister Review, this book explores the past, present and future of children’s services in the UK from a range of perspectives – lived, professional and academic.

This accessible guide provides a timely and incisive overview of the current children’s services reform agenda in the UK. It identifies current challenges, analyses both strengths and weaknesses in the current policy agenda and sets out alternative policy and practice directions for a system that can meet families’ needs.

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