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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Making sense of policy theory

Here is my 2-pager for the ICPP Montreal conference panel called ‘Making Sense of (and Through) Policy Theory’. The panel’s description is: The panel aims to bring authors and readers together in an open exploration of the way in which … Continue reading

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Policy in 500 Words: Ecology of Games

The ‘Ecology of Games Framework’ (EG) combines insights from many approaches to analyze ‘institutional complexity’ and ‘complex institutional systems’. The focus is on actors learning how to secure ‘mutually beneficial outcomes’, cooperating to produce and deliver agreed solutions, and bargaining … Continue reading

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Policy Concepts in 1000 Words: the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IAD) and Governing the Commons

The IAD provides a language, and way of thinking, about the ways in which different institutions foster collective action. The language is so complicated that I have cheated by summarising key terms in this box (and describing polycentric governance in … Continue reading

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Policy Concept in 1000 Words: Multi-centric Policymaking

Many theories in this 1000 words series describe multiple policymaking venues. They encourage us to give up on the idea of an all-knowing, all-powerful national central government. Instead, there are many venues in which to make authoritative choices, each contributing … Continue reading

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Taking lessons from policy theory into practice: 3 examples

Notes for ANZSOG/ ANU Crawford School/ UNSW Canberra workshop. Powerpoint here. The recording of the lecture (skip to 2m30) and Q&A is here (right click to download mp3 or dropbox link): The context for this workshop is the idea that … Continue reading

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Filed under agenda setting, Evidence Based Policymaking (EBPM), IMAJINE, Policy learning and transfer

Talks and blogs: ANZSOG and beyond

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 Europe from 2018). There is usually a link … Continue reading

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How far should you go to privilege evidence? 2. Policy theories, scenarios, and ethical dilemmas

If you have read Why don’t policymakers listen to your evidence? and What can you do when policymakers ignore your evidence? then join me as we get into the thornier dilemmas in this punchline post. Maybe you already appreciate the importance of … Continue reading

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The global study of governance and public policy

I was invited by Dr Emamian from the Governance and Policy Think Tank to deliver this short lecture at the first ‘governance and public policy conference’ in Iran. I was unable to attend, so recorded a set of short video … Continue reading

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How to write theory-driven policy analysis

Writing theory driven policy analysis 10.11.17 (or right click to download this lecture which accompanies my MPP) Here is a guide to writing theory-driven policy analysis. Your aim is to identify a policy problem and solution, know your audience, and account … Continue reading

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Stop Treating Cognitive Science Like a Disease

At the beginning is a guest post by Professor Steven Sloman, responding to Professor Daniel Sarewitz’s post in the Guardian called Stop treating science denial like a disease.  At the end is Dan Sarewitz’s reply. If you are wondering why … Continue reading

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How to Navigate Complex Policy Designs

This is a guest post by Professor Tanya Heikkila (left) and  Professor Krister Andersson (right), discussing how to use insights from the institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework to think about how to design policy effectively. The full paper has been submitted to the … Continue reading

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Telling Stories that Shape Public Policy

This is a guest post by Michael D. Jones (left) and Deserai Anderson Crow (right), discussing how to use insights from the Narrative Policy Framework to think about how to tell effective stories to achieve policy goals. The full paper has been submitted to … Continue reading

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What happens when UK Governments try to control and delegate policymaking? #POLU9UK

To celebrate Andy Murray becoming number 1, I have recorded the podcast in the style of him giving an interview:   British politics looks weird because UK governments have contradictory incentives: to look like they are in control, but delegate … Continue reading

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Using psychological insights in politics: can we do it without calling our opponents mental, hysterical, or stupid?

One of the most dispiriting parts of fierce political debate is the casual use of mental illness or old and new psychiatric terms to undermine an opponent: she is mad, he is crazy, she is a nutter, they are wearing … Continue reading

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Why the pollsters got it wrong

We have a new tradition in politics in which some people glory in the fact that the polls got it wrong. It might begin with ‘all these handsome experts with all their fancy laptops and they can’t even tell us … Continue reading

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Filed under Academic innovation or navel gazing, Folksy wisdom, Uncategorized