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 1,500 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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This chapter summarises the arguments made throughout the book and provides some concluding thoughts in the context of police governance in Scotland. It also offers some forward-looking suggestions in relation to the role of knowledge and expertise in police and policing governance. The framework of epistocracy provides ways in which knowledge-based governance can be envisioned in various other governance contexts.

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This chapter charts the historical developments in police governance in Britain and situates them within the broader context of networked governance. It then provides a conceptual and philosophical justification for epistocracy in police governance by drawing on the examples of expert regulatory and security organisations within the EU. The chapter argues that direct forms of democratic governance pose conceptual and practical challenges, such as the threat of majoritarianism and partisanship. In the context of these limitations, an epistocracy within a democratic order may not only be justifiable but it may be more desirable than the previously tried and tested methods of democratic governance, which often reduce democratic policing to elections, consultations, and surveys.

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This chapter pulls together the conceptual and empirical themes examined in the previous chapters and proposes a framework for institutionalising epistocracy within the broader networked-governance landscape. The key characteristics of the framework include broad composition, delegated authority, autonomy, and deliberative proceduralism. The framework is informed by the rich empirical analysis of the Scottish Police Authority.

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This chapter provides a summary of the research and underpinning methodology that informs key debates covered in the book. The chapter situates the discussions within the broader literature on police, policing, and security governance and places Scottish police reform in the wider context of police reform across central and northern Europe.

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This chapter examines the status of the operational independence doctrine within Scottish policing. It charts the formative years of the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland, as they negotiated their respective roles, functions, and boundaries of influence. The reliance of the Scottish Police Authority on Police Scotland and the Scottish Government, and the recasting of its role as a collaborating partner, bears similarities to the established concept of regulatory capture in corporate governance. Recent reviews into controversies surrounding internal governance and complaints handling, led by Baroness Casey and Dame Angiolini, have highlighted the significance of external actors’ ability to hold policing to account, both for operational policing and decision making, but also for internal working practices – something that existing mechanisms of police governance have not been able to achieve.

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Scottish Police Reform, Localism, and Epistocracy
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Making a unique contribution to the scholarship on democratic policing, this book adapts the concept of epistocracy to explore the role of knowledge and expertise in police governance and accountability.

A rigorous empirical analysis of the Scottish police governance arrangements following reform in 2013 is complemented with examples from other liberal democracies, situating the Scottish context in wider debates on democratic policing, localism, and the operational independence doctrine. The book provides a framework for knowledge-based working practices, showing how principles of democratic policing, such as equity and responsiveness, may be achieved in practice.

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This chapter examines the early development of modern police forces and the concomitant local police governance structures in Scotland. This analysis serves to demonstrate the strong appeals to localism in Scottish policing and governance discourse. This commitment to localism is embedded in Scotland’s approach to policing, emphasising community-oriented policing and a broad social welfare role. The chapter analyses Scottish police reform in the context of police reform, restructuring, and reorganisation across Central and Northern Europe. While austerity became the catalyst for change, Scottish police reform was driven by weaknesses in local governance structures and the need for a more harmonised national policing framework.

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This book provides a new, critical realist approach for explaining the outcomes of policy processes. It develops this policy constellations approach from theories on morality and power, using new analysis of recent policies on illicit drugs in the United Kingdom. This shows the various forms of morality and power that are held by policy actors to explain why policies which lack evidence of effectiveness remain in place. Drug policy cases – including the legalisation of cannabis for medical use, the response to the UK’s drug-related death crisis, and the UK’s ten-year drug strategy – are examined using ethnography, analysis of policy documents and debates, elite interviews, and social network analysis. Constellations of actors form around particular ethico-political bases, including compassion, traditionalism, paternalism, progressive social justice and liberty. These are different in the UK and Scottish policy fields, with a greater influence of egalitarianism and less focus on liberty in Scotland. This helps to explain different policies between the nations of the UK. Policies can be changed when members of policy constellations deploy epistemic, affective, economic, media and savvy social power to make change happen. The institutional power, conservative thinking and default paternalism of dominant constellations limit the scale and speed of change. At UK level, this institutional power is held by a long-standing medico-penal constellation which prevents substantial change on drug policy. This discussion takes a critical realist explanatory approach, which shows the ongoing influence of social and cultural structures in generating policy processes and outcomes.

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Author:

This book provides a new, critical realist approach for explaining the outcomes of policy processes. It develops this policy constellations approach from theories on morality and power, using new analysis of recent policies on illicit drugs in the United Kingdom. This shows the various forms of morality and power that are held by policy actors to explain why policies which lack evidence of effectiveness remain in place. Drug policy cases – including the legalisation of cannabis for medical use, the response to the UK’s drug-related death crisis, and the UK’s ten-year drug strategy – are examined using ethnography, analysis of policy documents and debates, elite interviews, and social network analysis. Constellations of actors form around particular ethico-political bases, including compassion, traditionalism, paternalism, progressive social justice and liberty. These are different in the UK and Scottish policy fields, with a greater influence of egalitarianism and less focus on liberty in Scotland. This helps to explain different policies between the nations of the UK. Policies can be changed when members of policy constellations deploy epistemic, affective, economic, media and savvy social power to make change happen. The institutional power, conservative thinking and default paternalism of dominant constellations limit the scale and speed of change. At UK level, this institutional power is held by a long-standing medico-penal constellation which prevents substantial change on drug policy. This discussion takes a critical realist explanatory approach, which shows the ongoing influence of social and cultural structures in generating policy processes and outcomes.

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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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