Public Health Research and Public Management: A Match Made in Heaven?

Next week at UNSW Canberra, a range of international and domestic experts are coming together for a workshop entitled 'Public management and policy implementation for public health policy – new directions for research and practice'. But what is the history of collaboration between these respective academic disciplines? Are they, as the cliche goes, a match made in heaven? Gemma Carey discusses below in advance of the workshop next week.

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A primer on policy entrepreneurs

Scholars of public policy often seek to explain how particular policy ideas catch on. What is it that makes some ideas fly, and others flop? For social policy advocates, this is a crucial question. In this post, ANZSOG researcher Jo Luetjens suggests that understanding the role of the policy entrepreneur, and the strategies they use to create change, can help move us toward more effective advocacy strategies. 

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AIHW Report on Child Protection: A Wake Up Call

The NSW Legislative Council Inquiry into Child Protection yesterday released a report called Child Protection. It is yet another in a long list of reports into the child protection system telling us what we already know: game changing reform is needed. In today's post, Dr Kirsty Nowlan from the Benevolent Society discusses the implications of the report for the social services sector in Australia.

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So you want to change policy? Six steps for academics looking to achieve policy change

The inevitable chaos and unpredictability of politics makes trying to achieve policy change a real challenge. But that doesn’t mean academics should just give up. Drawing from policy analysis and public affairs lessons in the UK, James Lloyd, Director of the London-based think tank the Strategic Society Centre, recommends six steps to get researchers going in the right direction towards achieving policy change.

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The focus on better communicating certain ‘truths’ is misplaced: academics must improve their emotional literacy

How can researchers have impact in a political landscape in which public opinion is shaped more by emotion and personal belief than evidence? Following the selection of ‘post-truth’ as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2016, Ruth Dixon takes inspiration from artist Grayson Perry’s plea that academics should cultivate greater emotional understanding of those with whom they disagree. It’s time for political scientists to question, with some humility, their own ‘deficit model’ of the public understanding of politics. This post originally appeared on the author's personal blog and was reposted on the LSE Impact BlogIt appears here with the author's permission.

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Citizens are happier in countries where the government intervenes more frequently in the economy

What types of public policy promote greater happiness among citizens? Many governments justify pro-market policies on the basis of offering their citizens ‘choice and control’. Today’s post by Patrick FlavinAlexander C. Pacek and Benjamin Radcliff presents results from an analysis of survey data across 21 industrialised democracies between 1981 and 2007. They find that in countries where governments intervene more frequently in the economy, insulating citizens from market fluctuations, there is a higher degree of self-reported happiness among citizens. While the authors note that these findings cannot strictly be taken as evidence that social democratic policies are better in a normative sense overall, the results suggest that more research is needed on the impact of a country’s political context on the happiness of its citizens. This article was originally published on the LSE EUROPP - European Politics and Policy – blog.

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