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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The Global Agenda for Social Justice provides accessible insights into some of the world’s most pressing social problems and proposes practicable international public policy responses to those problems.

Written by a highly respected team of authors brought together by the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP), chapters examine topics such as education, violence, discrimination, substance abuse, public health, and environment. The volume provides recommendations for action by governing officials, policy makers, and the public around key issues of social justice.

The book will be of interest to scholars, practitioners, advocates, journalists, and students interested in public sociology, the study of social problems, and the pursuit of social justice.

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A New Approach to Care

Deficiencies in old age care are some of the most pressing human rights concerns in mature welfare states.

This book radically challenges the ethics of viewing care as a tradeable commodity and introduces a novel framework for understanding and analysing social care through the concept of ailment. Providing examples from the British and Finnish welfare states, it demonstrates how ailment shapes societies from the micro to the macro level. Addressing the marketisation and financialisation of care, the authors bring to light increasing inequalities in care.

This book argues that ailment is part of human life and society, and therefore the politics of care should begin with a politics of ailment.

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Author: James Gregory

The growing demand for social housing is one of the most pressing public issues in Britain today, and this book analyses its role and value.

Anchored in a discussion of different approaches to the meaning and measurement of wellbeing, the author explores how these perspectives influence our views of the meaning, value and purpose of social housing in today’s welfare state. The closing arguments of the book suggest a more universalist approach to social housing, designed to meet the common needs of a wide range of households, with diverse socioeconomic characteristics, but all sharing the same equality of social status.

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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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More Harm than Good?

More than a decade on from their conception, this book reflects on the consequences of income management policies in Australia and Zealand.

Drawing on a three-year study, it explores the lived experience of those for whom core welfare benefits and services are dependent on government conceptions of ‘responsible’ behaviour. It analyses whether officially claimed positive intentions and benefits of the schemes are outweighed by negative impacts that deepen the poverty and stigma of marginalised and disadvantaged groups.

This novel study considers the future of this form of welfare conditionality and addresses wider questions of fairness and social justice.

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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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This book is the first systematic study of policy analysis activities in Spain.

It provides a comprehensive overview of how policy actors, including politicians, think tanks, researchers, interest groups and experts, generate information for the policy-making process. The book explores how executive and legislative actors participate in the production of policy analysis and how all actors elaborate and disseminate information on policy analysis.

Contributors consider the ways different policy actors are involved in the production of data and information about policy problems, the resources used to produce policy analysis and the type of analysis produced over time in different policy areas.

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Building Bridges, Not Barriers
Author: Thom Brooks

How many questions could you answer in a pub quiz about British values?

Designed to ensure new migrants have accepted British values and integrated, the UK’s citizenship test is often portrayed as a bad pub quiz with answers few citizens know. With the launch of a new post-Brexit immigration system, this is a critical time to change the test.

Thom Brooks draws on first-hand experience of taking the test, and interviews with key figures including past Home Secretaries, to expose the test as ineffective and a barrier to citizenship. This accessible guide offers recommendations for transforming the citizenship test into a ‘bridge to citizenship’ which fosters greater inclusion and integration.

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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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Why Flexible Working Leads to (Self-)Exploitation
Author: Heejung Chung

Does flexible working really provide a better work-life balance?

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, flexible working has become the norm for many workers. This volume offers an original examination of flexible working using data from 30 European countries and drawing on studies conducted in Australia, the US and India. Rather than providing a better work-life balance, the book reveals how flexible working can lead to exploitation, which manifests differently for women and men, such as more care responsibilities or increased working hours.

Taking a critical stance, this book investigates the potential risks and benefits of flexible working and provides crucial policy recommendations for overcoming the negative consequences.

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