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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Pedagogies of Hope and Social Justice
Authors: Rob Smith and Vicky Duckworth

Based on the Transforming Lives research project, this book explores the transformative power of further education.

Outlining a timely and critical approach to educational research and practice, the book draws extensively on the testimonies of students and teachers to construct a model of transformative teaching and learning. The book critiques reductive ‘skills’ policies in further education and illuminates the impact colleges and Lifelong Learning have on social justice both for individuals, their families and communities.

For trainee teachers, teachers, leaders, researchers and policymakers alike, this is a persuasive argument for transformative approaches to teaching and learning which highlights the often unmeasured and under-appreciated strong holistic social benefits of further education.

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Author: Jonathan Wistow

In this challenging and original study, Wistow positions social policy within political economy and social contract debates.

Focusing on individual, intergenerational and societal outcomes related to health, place and social mobility in England, he draws on empirical evidence to show how the social contract produces longstanding, highly patterned and inequitable consequences in these areas. Globalisation and the political economy simultaneously contribute to the extent and nature of social problems and to social policy’s capacity to address them effectively.

Applying social contract theory, this book shows that society needs to take ownership of the outcomes it produces and critically interrogates the individualism inherent within the political economy.

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Rethinking What Motivates Public Actors
Author: Chris O’Leary

Chris O’Leary looks afresh at the reasons for prosocial work choices in the first substantive critique of Public Service Motivation (PSM).

With critical analysis of theoretical and empirical research to date, this book explores the pros and cons of PSM and interrogates the reasons why people choose to work in the public and third sectors. It proposes an alternative theory for the pursuit of service, rooted in rational choice theory, that shows public servants are expressly motivated to confirm their values and identity through their work.

For those involved in public policy, administration and management, this is a constructive and stimulating review of an important but often neglected aspect of the sector.

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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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Innovations and Challenges
Editors: Jon Dean and Eddy Hogg

The first book of its kind, this volume brings together a range of experts to review key methodological issues in the study of voluntary action, charitable behaviour and participation in voluntary organisations.

Using case studies from around the world – from ethnography to media analysis and surveys to peer research – chapters illustrate the challenges of researching altruistic actions and our conceptualisations of them. Across different fields and methods, authors unpick the methodological innovations and challenges in their own research to help guide future study.

Demystifying research and deepening our ability to understand the role of the third sector, this accessible book is suitable for social researchers at all levels.

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Lessons from Sustainable Development for the Crisis of Governance

In this timely analysis, Matthew J. Quinn plots a landmark reimagination of governance and public administration, underpinned by sustainable development and civic republicanism.

He draws on governance literature and Foucault’s concept of governmentality to demonstrate the anachronism of existing bureaucratic norms and how these have thwarted sustainability and fuelled right-wing populism. Using international examples and the author’s own extensive experience in sustainability governance as a senior UK official, the book proposes a new civic bureaucracy which fosters societal engagement and dialogue. It sheds new light on debates about the emerging crisis of governance, the role of public bureaucracy and the means to embed sustainability in governance.

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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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Reworking the Countryside

Feeding Britain while preparing for the ravages of climate change are two key issues – yet there’s no strategy for managing and enhancing that most precious resource: our land. This book explores how the pressures of leaving the EU, recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, and addressing global heating present unparalleled opportunities to re-work the countryside for the benefit of all.

Incorporating personal, inspiring stories of people and places, Peter Hetherington sets out the innovative measures needed for nature’s recovery while protecting our most valuable farmland, encouraging local food production and ‘re-peopling’ remote areas. In the first book to tackle these issues holistically, he argues that we need to re-shape the countryside with an adventurous new agenda at the heart of government.

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Between International Law and Politics

Amid a global health crisis, the process for declaring a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) is at a crossroads.

As a formal declaration by the World Health Organization, a PHEIC is governed by clear legislation as to what is, and what is not, deemed a global health security threat. However, it has become increasingly politicized, and the legal criteria now appear to be secondary to the political motivation or outcome of the announcement. Addressing multiple empirical case studies, including COVID-19, this multidisciplinary book explores the relationship between international law and international relations to interrogate how a PHEIC is declared and its role in how we collectively respond to outbreaks.

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Policy Making for a Better World

COVID-19 has exposed defects in our current political–economic order: extreme wealth inequality, an ideology-driven government, a greedy corporate sector, a precarious labour force and a looming climate catastrophe.

This accessible book offers a unique blend of moral imagination and social–political analysis to overcome these defects. It focuses on two characteristics of contemporary societies – hegemony and complexity – that have inhibited our ability to imagine, and take seriously, better practices and institutions.

Considering housing, work, governance, finance, climate change and more, this book presents feasible and pragmatic solutions which are informed by a comprehensive vision of a flourishing, sustainable and richly democratic society.

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