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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Why do top-down reforms to public services so often over-promise and under-deliver?

Using five concepts from psychology, economics and organisational sociology, Thomas Elston addresses this pressing question of good governance.

Focusing on the practical challenge of how to undertake better public management reforms, he questions the assumption that failure typically occurs because of poor reform implementation. Instead, he shows how reforms are often badly designed from the outset, being fashion-led, more focused more on fixing errors than exploiting opportunities and ignoring implicit costs of change.

This concise, practically-orientated work employs diverse examples to propose ways to improve the design of public sector reform programmes – and the services that citizens receive.

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The House, the Street, the Town

This book offers an in-depth exploration of the lives of EU migrant workers in the UK following Brexit and COVID-19.

Drawing on a longitudinal study, the book delves into the legal problems migrant workers face and sheds much-needed light on the hidden interactions between the law and communities around issues such as employment, housing, welfare and health. Through personal narratives and insights gathered from interviews, it reveals how (clustered) legal problems arise, are resolved and often bypass formal legal resolution pathways.

This is an invaluable resource that provides a rich picture of everyday life for migrant workers in the UK and highlights the vital role of NGOs working to support them.

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Racial justice is never far from the headlines. The Windrush Scandal, the toppling of the statue of Edward Colston and racism within the police have all recently captured the public’s attention and generated legal action. But, although the ideals of the legal system such as fairness and equality, seem allied to the struggle for racial justice, all too often campaigners have been let down by the system.

This book examines law’s troubled relationship with racial justice. It explains that law’s historical role in creating and perpetuating racial injustices continues to stifle its ability to advance the cause of racial justice today.

Both a lawyer’s guide to anti-racism and an anti-racist’s guide to legal action, it unites these perspectives to help both groups understand how to use the law to tackle racial injustices.

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Racialisation and Practices of Care

This book examines the contemporary social care realities and practices of Finland, a small nation with a history enmeshed in social relations as both colonizer and colonized. Decolonising Social Work in Finland:

• Interrogates coloniality, racialization and diversity in the context of Finnish social work and social care.

• Brings together racialized and mainstream white Finnish researchers, activists, and community members to challenge relations of epistemic violence on racialized populations in Finland.

• Critically unpacks colonial views of care and wellbeing.

It will be essential reading for international scholars and students in the fields of Social Work, Sociology, Indigenous Studies, Health Sciences, Social Sciences, and Education.

Introduction and Chapter 10 available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

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A New Approach to Planning
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The EPDF and EPUB are available open access under a CC BY NC ND licence. This publication was supported by the University of Essex’s open access fund.

How do young people transitioning from care plan their future lives? Planning is usually thought of as requiring clear goals and ‘future orientation’, but how might planning be regarded by young people whose wishes, hopes and plans have been repeatedly dashed? In this book Peter Appleton builds on research interviews with care-experienced young adults, and on cross-disciplinary theories of planning and of emotions, to develop a creative and non-dogmatic three-aspects model of planning for young people leaving care.

A valuable resource for practitioners, researchers and educators, this book puts forward a powerful case to think more broadly and flexibly about transition planning with care-leavers, placing the voices of young people at its heart.

Open access

This book firmly positions lived experience-led expertise as a unique and compelling form of knowledge in decolonising and disrupting research, teaching and advocacy.

Based on the insights of people with first-hand experiences, each chapter presents unique accounts and reflections on a diverse range of social justice issues. Together, the authors’ perspectives centre lived experiences in the production of knowledge, challenge outsider-imposed views, and create new research and writing norms. They demonstrate that when lived experience experts lead the way, their knowledge of how to address social injustices can enrich, transform and decolonise research, teaching and advocacy.

This collection is an invaluable resource for academic and community-based researchers, practitioners, advocates, educators, policymakers, students and people whose lived experiences and views continue to be marginalised across diverse settings.

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This captivating book explores uncharted territory in tort law, shedding light on underexplored viewpoints in the field.

The collection brings issues of social class, race, gender, marginalisation, vulnerability and harm into conversation with core tort law topics to encourage a more critical examination of the law and its impact on different groups of people.

Written by experts in the main areas of tort law from negligence to defamation and personal torts, chapters will:

• deepen students’ understanding of the central concepts and practices of tort law;

• uncover the power imbalances and privileges that underpin tort law decisions and their impact on lived experiences;

• amplify under-represented voices by signposting to the work and ideas of scholars that are less visible in the field.

Integrating marginalized perspectives into the curriculum and discourse, this indispensable textbook paves the way for a more inclusive and comprehensive understanding of tort law.

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We Do!
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This book traces the history of nurseries in the UK, the types and levels of provision, the long-standing splits between welfare care and public education, and community-based attempts to improve the situation. It charts the shifts in public attitudes towards these various forms of childcare and argues that the privatization of childcare, as for many other privatized services, has been a profound mistake that has entrenched inequality and resulted in poor-quality, yet very costly, services for children.

The book recognizes the considerable difficulties in overhauling the way in which nursery education and care are delivered and paid for, but makes practical suggestions about the ways forward. These include more support for flexible state nursery education, a ban on the offshore privatized nursery companies that increasingly dominate nursery ownership, a substantial overhaul of Ofsted’s remit, and involvement of the many unqualified care workers at the fringes of nursery provision.

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Educational Stratification, Meritocracy and Widening Participation

Despite the high aspirations of young people from disadvantaged communities, they face barriers that are frustrating the realisation of their educational ambitions.

This book analyses the ‘left-behind’ phenomenon and shows how education has become the new divide in Western society. It explains how denied educational equality and frustrated opportunity are undermining social cohesion and what we can do about it. It challenges meritocratic thinking and the efficacy of widening participation as a policy for social inclusion.

Combining analysis of educational disadvantage at an international level and among Travelling communities with empirical data derived from fieldwork with parents, teachers and students in the European Union (Ireland), this book offers fresh thinking and new hope in relation to young people left behind in the opportunity structure.

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Exploring Trust in Justice

The pandemic has significantly impacted people's engagement with the administrative justice system (AJS). As we navigate the post-pandemic era, the siloed landscape of tribunals, ombuds, advice services and NGOs face the challenge of maintaining trust in the justice system's fairness, efficacy and inclusivity.

Examining the journeys individuals undertake to seek justice in housing and special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), this book sheds light on how these institutions adapted to remote service provision.

Written by key names in the field, this important contribution uncovers valuable insights for digitalization efforts and offers concrete recommendations for improving pathways to justice.

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