policy and governance
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.
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 Flavin, Alexander 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.
Implementation of almost any policy now requires actions and engagement across multiple organisational domains with government, public, private and community partners. In today's post, Gemma Carey, Helen Dickinson and Sue Olney look to feminist theory for new ideas on how policy actors can navigate and influence the dynamic and increasingly complex policy implementation environment.
When our politicians frame the discussion around welfare users by using such language as "dole bludgers" it is a deliberate tactic to validate punishing them - as we have seen with the Centrelink debt debacle and the accusations by staff that a faulty system was deliberately implemented. In today's post, Paul Michael Garrett explains how language use frames public opinion in the U.K. in unhelpful ways. Have ideologically underpinned debates, portraying those on welfare as being lazy and having an easy life, become part of collective public perceptions? With 2016 marking the 40th anniversary of the publication of Raymond Williams’ Keywords, an interrogation of the taken-for-grantedness of specific words used to support a neoliberal agenda is timely. Here, he looks at ‘welfare dependency’. This blog originally appeared on the London School of Economics' British Politics and Policy blog; the original can be viewed here.
DETOXING DEMOCRACY: Citizen deliberation is a powerful tool for legitimisation, but can it become institutionalised? Just as Yarra Valley Water consulted its community in a way that encouraged their close deliberation on the issues, agencies could cultivate councils of people reflective of community makeup for ongoing capacity to reflect community deliberation.
In recent years, think tanks have been beset by financial constraints, increased competition, and, more recently, a growing questioning of, and popular dissatisfaction with, the role of the ‘expert’ itself. Marcos Gonzalez Hernando, Diane Stone and Hartwig Pautz examine each of these challenges and find that, at a time of huge over-supply of (occasionally dubious) evidence and policy analysis from a variety of sources, think tanks have an opportunity to reinvent themselves as organisations able to discern the reliability and usefulness of policy advice.
Public servants should at least be aware of the human rights treaties to which Australia is party and the obligations they entail, says Gillian Triggs — and many do want to know how to do their jobs better. David Donaldson writes for The Mandarin
In 2008, for the first time in the history of the United States, more than 1% of the adult American adult population was incarcerated. The prison population had increased approximately sevenfold since 1970, the US imprisoned more types of criminal offenders than any other country, and it kept them in prison longer. Here Jo Luetjens reports on work with her ANZSOG colleague Prof Michael Mintrom on how design thinking drove the introduction of an investment approach in the US state of Kansas. Early results are promising, and many other states have since taken up this approach.
It might sound strange, but the tragic voyage of the second fleet, which killed 40% of the convicts on board, holds a lesson for contemporary governments about the consequences of perverse incentives. Here The Mandarin's David Donaldson reports on the work of ANZSOG scholars Gary Sturgess, George Argyrous and Sara Rahman.
Tomorrow is Human Rights Day. Each year the international community commemorates that day in 1948 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Australia played a leading role in its development and reach. On its 68th anniversary, Patrick Emerton from the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law reminds us why human rights are more important than ever, and why governments must not forget their role.