Policy Studies

Policy Studies is edited by the current Institute Director Mark Evans and is consequently hosted by the Institute. It was set up by the London Policy Studies Institute in 1979 and is into its 30th Volume. Policy Studies is published by Routledge and the Taylor and Francis Group. The journal is taken by all the key libraries in the World and 7,542 articles were downloaded from our platform in 2008 via EBSCO. It has recently been extended to six issues per year due to the success of the title. Policy Studies has an international editorial board including professors:

  • David Bailey, The University of Birmingham;
  • Paul Boreham – The University of Queensland, Australia;
  • Neil Carter – University of York, UK;
  • Phil Cerny – Rutgers University, USA;
  • Carsten Daughberg, Denmark;
  • Jonathan Davies – University of Warwick, UK;
  • Keyong Dong – Renmin University, China;
  • Zang Gang – Zheijang University, China; and
  • Diane Stone – University of Warwick, UK.

It also includes Angela Coulter – Chief Executive Picker Institute Europe, UK and Brian Holland – Deloitte & Touche, Washington DC, USA.

The thematic priorities for Policy Studies are informed by the following developments in the field of action. The world of public policy has become an increasingly small one as a consequence of dramatic changes to global political and economic institutional structures and to nation states themselves. These changes at the structural level of the global system have impacted upon the work of public organizations either directly or indirectly and have broadened the field of action in policy studies. The following empirical statements illustrate the scope of these changes.

  1. A process of external ‘hollowing-out’ has occurred to different degrees in different states as a consequence of the differential impact of processes of globalisation on domestic policy formation, such as changes in the nature of geopolitics, political integration, the internationalisation of financial markets and global communications.
  2. A process of internal ‘hollowing-out’ has occurred to different degrees in different states as a consequence of the differential impact of processes of privatisation, competitive tendering, the marketization of public services, and decentralisation on both the institutional architecture of the state and domestic policy formation.
  3. New technology has impacted on the work, services and commercial activities of public organisations and has created attractive new ways of delivering public goods.
  4. A shift from traditional government to collaborative governance has increased the range of non-state actors involved in delivering public goods and has created an opportunity structure for cross-sector policy learning.
  5. The increasingly multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character of liberal democracies have created new challenges for public administrators that are best dealt with through drawing rational lessons from positive and negative international experiences.
  6. The policy agenda in many, but not all, nation states has become increasingly internationalized with regard to: economic management; public management based upon economy, efficiency and effectiveness; a change in the emphasis of government intervention so that it deals with education, training and infrastructure; reform of the welfare state through managed welfarism; and, reinventing government through decentralization and the opening-up of government.

At the same time, these changes at the structural level have precipitated a range of problems at the public organizational level such as: issues of cost containment; increased pressure on public organisations to engage in income generating activities; the need for more effective coordination of policy systems across sectors and levels of governance; new patterns of need caused by the widening gap between rich and poor, changing social and demographic patterns (e.g. longer life expectancy, smaller sized families) and greater ethnic diversity and conflict within urban areas; the formation of stronger regional identities through processes of administrative decentralisation; and, rising expectations of public services. The public expects more from government than ever before and this expectation has been mediated through politicians to civil servants:

This government expects more of policy-makers. More new ideas, more willingness to question inherited ways of doing things, better use of evidence and research in policy-making and better focus on policies that will deliver long-term goals (Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister, UK Cabinet Office, 1999).

Policy Studies explores the implications of these changes for both the study and the practice of policy-making. It has five main areas of intellectual interest:

  1. To broaden the lens of policy analysis through the publication of research which locates policy-making within a theoretical, historical or comparative perspective.
  2. To widen the field of enquiry in policy analysis through the publication of research which examines policy issues in a British, comparative, international or global context.
  3. To promote constructive debate on theoretical, methodological and empirical issues in policy analysis.
  4. To encourage greater interaction between the world of academia and the world of practice through the encouragement of articles from practitioners and academics with real practical significance.
  5. To keep pace with developments in the international field of action through the publication of regular country reports on administrative development.

We therefore encourage the submission of articles in these areas in order to provide a forum for the theoretical and practical discussion of public policy-making. In sum, Policy Studies is a refereed, multi-disciplinary journal which attempts to strike an important balance in the production of descriptive, explanatory and evaluative policy-oriented research.

The following senior academicians (amongst others) in public policy from the top research schools in the world have published in the journal in the past four years: Professor David Bailey (Birmingham, UK); Professor Sultan Barakat (York, UK); Professor Philip G Cerny (Rutgers University, US); Professor Carsten Daughberg (Copenhagen, Denmark); Professor Mike Geddes (Warwick University, UK); Professor David Marsh (ANZSIG); Professor Andrew Massey (Exeter University, UK); Professor Ian McLean (Nuffield College, Oxford, UK); Professor Clarence Stone (George Washington University, US); Professor Diane Stone (Warwick University, UK); Professor Colin Williams (Sheffield University, UK).

We have also recently published a range of articles on different aspects of Australian public policy including a special issue on the automobile industry edited by Professor Andrew Beer, Vice Chancellor of Research at Flinders University and articles by Professor Judith Bessant (RMIT) and Professor David Marsh (ANU, Director of RSSS).

Policy Studies is ranked number 2 by the UK Association of Business Schools for public policy and performed very strongly in the last UK Research Assessment Exercise.

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