Search Results for: complexity

How does ‘complexity thinking’ improve our understanding of politics and policymaking?

Presentation to ‘A jurisprudence of complexity? Rethinking the relationship between law and society’, University of Lancaster, 25th September 2015 It is customary to describe complexity theory as new, exciting, and interdisciplinary. Its advocates suggest that it offers a new way … Continue reading

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The language of complexity does not mix well with the language of Westminster-style accountability

A common argument in British politics is that the UK Government has exacerbated its own ‘governance problem’. A collection of post-war reforms, many of which were perhaps designed to reinforce central control, has produced a fragmented public landscape and a … Continue reading

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What is ‘Evolution’? What is ‘Complexity’? [and How does it inform the study of policymaking?]

There is a long history in the social sciences of using the natural sciences as a source of comparison. Much of the comparison is based on little more than the (often very useful) metaphor. There is now an equally important … Continue reading

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Complexity Theory in Thought and Practice

This is the second of two blogs (the first is here) which accompanied brief lectures at the CIPFA Scotland annual conference (March 13-14 2013). The second talk provided a chance to reflect on the conference as a whole: The main thing … Continue reading

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Complexity Theory and Policymaking

This blog will appear shortly on the CIPFA Scotland website to run alongside my talk at their annual conference. I will then amend the blog after discussions during the two days (informing my round-up talk on the second day).  The CIPFA … Continue reading

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Creeping crisis: the UK government’s response to COVID-19 (and the role of experts)

These are my presentation notes on the UK government’s initial response to COVID-19, as part of the ‘The Role of Experts’ panel at the Creeping Crisis conference. I draw on articles and blog posts stored in my COVID-19 page. You … Continue reading

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Perspectives on academic impact and expert advice to policymakers

A blog post prompted by this fascinating post by Dr Christiane Gerblinger: Are experts complicit in making their advice easy for politicians to ignore? There is a lot of advice out there for people seeking to make an ‘impact’ on … Continue reading

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I am not Peter Matthews

Some notes for my guest appearance on @urbaneprofessor ‘s module Peter’s description Paul comes from a Political Science background and started off his project trying to understand why politicians don’t make good policy. He uses a lot of Political Science … Continue reading

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Policy learning to reduce inequalities: a practical framework

This post first appeared on LSE BPP on 16.11.2020 and it describes the authors’ published work in Territory, Politics, Governance (for IMAJINE) While policymakers often want to learn how other governments have responded to certain policies, policy learning is characterized by … Continue reading

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The UK government’s lack of control of public policy

This post first appeared as Who controls public policy? on the UK in a Changing Europe website. There is also a 1-minute video, but you would need to be a completist to want to watch it. Most coverage of British … Continue reading

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The coronavirus and evidence-informed policy analysis (long version)

Final update 2.11.20. Don’t read this post. It became too long and unwieldy. I turned it into: A published article https://rdcu.be/b9zAk (PDF) A 25000 word version with more discussion and links Cairney UK coronavirus policy 25000 14.7.20  This is the … Continue reading

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ANZSOG

See also: The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking: ANZSOG talks In 2018, I took a trip to New Zealand and Australia as a guest of ANZSOG. Here is a list of dates and titles for each talk (followed by some talks in … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 Words: complex systems and systems thinking

This post forms one part of the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview and connects to previous posts on complexity. The first 750 words tick along nicely, then there is a picture of a cat hanging in there baby to … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 Words: what you need as an analyst versus policymaking reality

This post forms one part of the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview. Note for the eagle eyed: you are not about to experience déjà vu. I’m just using the same introduction. When describing ‘the policy sciences’, Lasswell distinguishes between: … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 words: William Dunn (2017) Public Policy Analysis

Please see the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview before reading the summary. This book is a whopper, with almost 500 pages and 101 (excellent) discussions of methods, so 800 words over budget seems OK to me. If you disagree, … Continue reading

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Can A Government Really Take Control Of Public Policy?

This post first appeared on the MIHE blog to help sell my book. During elections, many future leaders give the impression that they will take control of public policy. They promise major policy change and give little indication that anything … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 words: Wil Thissen and Warren Walker (2013) Public Policy Analysis

Please see the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview before reading the summary. Please note that this is an edited book and the full list of authors (PDF) is here. I’m using the previous sentence as today’s excuse for not … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 words: Beryl Radin, B (2019) Policy Analysis in the Twenty-First Century

Please see the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview before reading the summary. As usual, the 750-word description is more for branding than accuracy. Beryl Radin (2019) Policy Analysis in the Twenty-First Century (Routledge) ‘The basic relationship between a decision-maker … Continue reading

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Policy in 500 Words: Punctuated Equilibrium Theory

See also the original – and now 6 years old – 1000 Words post. This 500 Words version is a modified version of the introduction to chapter 9 in the 2nd edition of Understanding Public Policy.    Punctuated equilibrium theory … Continue reading

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Policy Analysis in 750 words: Using Statistics and Explaining Risk (Spiegelhalter and Gigerenzer)

Please see the Policy Analysis in 750 words series overview before reading the summary. This post is close to 750 words if you divide it by 2. David Spiegelhalter (2018) The Art of Statistics: Learning from Data (Pelican, hardback) Gerd Gigerenzer (2015) … Continue reading

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