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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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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Developing Trauma Resilience for a New Era

How does it feel to be a police officer in the UK? What happens in the brains of officers, particularly in high-risk roles such as counter-terrorism and child sexual exploitation? Jessica Miller uses the most recent neuroscience and real-life examples to explore risks to individual resilience, be it trauma exposure, burnout or simply the daily pressure of adapting to life on the front line.

A compulsory read for anyone with an interest in policing, the book offers practical, easy-to-follow resilience techniques applicable to anyone in the wider emergency responder community. The book also offers policy and operational recommendations to equip police officers with skills to face crime in a post-COVID world.

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A Comparative Study of England and Canada

This timely comparative study assesses the role of medical doctors in reforming publicly funded health services in England and Canada.

Respected authors from health and legal backgrounds on both sides of the Atlantic consider how the high status of the profession uniquely influences reforms. With summaries of developments in models of care, and the participation of doctors since the inception of publicly funded healthcare systems, they ask whether professionals might be considered allies or enemies of policy-makers.

With insights for future health policy and research, the book is an important contribution to debates about the complex relationship between doctors and the systems in which they practice.

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Core Design Features

Bringing together ten leading researchers in the field of deliberative democracy, this important book examines the features of a Deliberative Mini-Public (DMP) and considers how DMPs link into democratic systems.

It examines the core design features of DMPs and their role in the broader policy process and takes stock of the characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of citizen participation. In doing so, the book offers valuable insights into the contributions that DMPs can make not only to the policy process, but also to the broader agenda of revitalising democracy in contemporary times.

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EU Spending and Well-Being
Author: Lisa Dellmuth

Throughout the history of European integration, economic wealth has increased to the benefit of citizens in the European Union (EU). However, inequalities in well-being persist within and between Europe’s regions, undermining the legitimacy of the EU in the eyes of citizens. This book investigates how the EU can use its regional funding programmes in ways that increase citizen well-being.

The book shows that while EU social investments improve labour market performance in rich regions, they exacerbate income inequality in poor regions. Based on this insight, the book presents a theory on the conditions under which EU funding will enhance well-being. Crucially, it argues the case for enhancing the inclusivity of EU growth, which yields the promise of a more legitimate and stronger union.

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Policies, Practices and Outcomes
Author: Janice Morphet

In this comprehensive account, Janice Morphet analyses the role and use of outsourcing within the UK public sector since the mid-1970s.

Morphet examines the many drivers for the use of outsourcing in the public sector, including international agreements, new public management, performativity and austerity. She also takes in to account the role and failures of the private sector and its response to the opening up of public sector competition.

By investigating the way that outsourcing has been used in different service sectors and across scales, the book illustrates the impact it has had on ideology, policy narratives and public expectations in the present.

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Public Health and Social Care Policy in England During the First Wave
Author: Jane Lewis

Providing an account of the policy response to COVID-19 in England, this book analyses the political and long-term systemic factors associated with the failures to control the first wave of the pandemic during 2020.

It explores the part played by key policy actors, particularly politicians and scientists, and focuses on two difficult policy issues during the first wave: the establishment of a ‘test, trace and isolate’ system and responses to the high death rate in care homes for older people.

Drawing on a wide range of documentary evidence, including parliamentary papers and SAGE minutes, this book draws attention to the importance of longstanding structural problems in public health and the care sector, especially the impact of outsourcing and privatisation.

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An Insider’s Guide
Author: Stephen Muers

Why do so many government policies fail to achieve their objectives? Why are our political leaders not held to account for policy failures?

Drawing on his years of experience as a senior government policy maker, as well as on global research, Stephen Muers uses examples ranging from the collapse of the Soviet Union to Cold War Germany, the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum to expose the crucial impact culture and values have on policy success and political accountability.

This illuminating study sets out why policy makers need to take culture seriously, how culture and values shape the political system and presents essential, practical recommendations for what governments should do differently.

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Charity and the Symbolic Power of Doing Good
Author: Jon Dean

We praise those people who do things for others. But the symbolic power of giving means individuals can take advantage of the glow of ‘goodness’ that charity provides.

This book analyses the reality of how charity operates in the social world; how the personal benefits of giving and volunteering are vital for getting charitable acts to happen; how the altruism associated with gifts isn’t always what it seems; how charity misbehaviour or bad management gets overlooked; and how charity symbols are weaponised against those who don’t participate.

Drawing on original data and a novel application of the sociology of Bourdieu, this book examines a wide range of examples from culture, politics and society to provide an entertaining critique of how contemporary charity works.

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Evidence, Policy and Practice

This timely book is the most comprehensive account yet of recent commissioning practice in the English NHS and its impact on health services and the healthcare system.

Drawing on eight years of research, expert researchers in the field analyse crucial aspects of commissioning, including competition and cooperation, the development of Clinical Commissioning Groups and contractual mechanisms. They also consider the influence of recent commissioning reforms on public health infrastructure.

For academics and policy makers in health services research and policy, this is a valuable collection of evidence that deepens understanding of how commissioning works.

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