dogsCairney mugshot 3.7.13

My name is Paul Cairney and I am Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling.

Scroll down this page for a full list of my publications (usually with links to the full text) or click these links for my:

Main Academic Publications



  1. Paul Cairney (2016) The Politics of Evidence-based Policymaking (London: Palgrave Pivot) PDF (see also)
  2. Robert Geyer and Paul Cairney (eds.) (2015) Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)  introduction and conclusion (see also) (Gandar Review)
  3. Paul Cairney and Neil McGarvey (2013) Scottish Politics 2nd Ed. (Basingstoke: Palgrave)
  4. Paul Cairney, Donley Studlar and Haddii Mamudu (2012) Global Tobacco Control: Power, Policy, Governance and Transfer (Basingstoke: Palgrave)
  5. Paul Cairney (2012) Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues (Basingstoke: Palgrave)
  6. Paul Cairney (2011) The Scottish Political System Since Devolution: From New Politics to the New Scottish Government (Exeter: Imprint Academic) PDF
  7. Neil McGarvey and Paul Cairney (2008) Scottish Politics (Basingstoke: Palgrave) PDF


  1. Paul Cairney (2018) ‘The UK government’s imaginative use of evidence to make policy’, British Politics, Open Access PDF
  2. Paul Cairney and Kirstein Rummery (2018) ‘Feminising politics to close the evidence-policy gap: the case of social policy in Scotland’, Australian Journal of Public Administration, forthcoming (Open Access) Preview PDF
  3. Paul Cairney and Richard Kwiatkowski (2017) ‘How to communicate effectively with policymakers: combine insights from psychology and policy studies’, Palgrave Communications PDF (see also Kwiatkowski Youtube on organisational politics)
  4. Paul Cairney and Christopher M. Weible (2017) ‘The new policy sciences: combining the cognitive science of choice, multiple theories of context, and basic and applied analysis’, Policy Sciences, 50, 4, 619-27 Open Access
  5. Paul Cairney and Mikine Yamazaki (2017) ‘A comparison of tobacco policy in the UK and Japan: if the scientific evidence is identical, why is there a major difference in policy?’ Journal of Comparative Policy AnalysisPDF
  6. Paul Cairney and Kathryn Oliver (2017) ‘Evidence-based policymaking is not like evidence-based medicine, so how far should you go to bridge the divide between evidence and policy?’ Health Research Policy and Systems (HARPS), DOI: 10.1186/s12961-017-0192-x PDF
  7. Paul Cairney and Robert Geyer (2017) “A critical discussion of complexity theory: how does ‘complexity thinking’ improve our understanding of politics and policymaking?”, Complexity, Governance & Networks,  PDF 
  8. Paul Cairney (2017) “Evidence-based best practice is more political than it looks: a case study of the ‘Scottish Approach’”, Evidence and Policy, 13, 3, 499-515 PDF
  9. Paul Cairney, Karin Ingold, and Manuel Fisher (2016) ‘Fracking in the UK and Switzerland: why differences in policymaking systems don’t always produce different outputs and outcomes’, Policy and Politics, forthcoming PDF
  10. Karin Ingold, Manuel Fischer, and Paul Cairney (2016) ‘Drivers for Policy Agreement in Nascent Subsystems: An Application of the Advocacy Coalition Framework to Fracking Policy in Switzerland and the UK’, Policy Studies Journal, 45, 3, 442-63 PDF
  11. Paul Cairney (2016) ‘The Scottish Parliament election 2016: Another momentous event but dull campaign’, Scottish Affairs, 25, 3, 277–293 PDF
  12. Paul Cairney, Kathryn Oliver, and Adam Wellstead (2016) ‘To Bridge the Divide between Evidence and Policy: Reduce Ambiguity as Much as Uncertainty’, Public Administration Review, 76, 3, 399–402 DOI:10.1111/puar.12555 PDF
  13. Paul Cairney and Michael Jones (2016) ‘Kingdon’s Multiple Streams Approach: What Is the Empirical Impact of this Universal Theory?’ Policy Studies Journal, 44, 1, 37-58 PDF (Annex to Cairney Jones 2016) (special issue of PSJ)
  14. Paul Cairney, Siabhainn Russell and Emily St Denny (2016) “The ‘Scottish approach’ to policy and policymaking: what issues are territorial and what are universal?” Policy and Politics, 44, 3, 333-50 PDF
  15. Peter Allen and Paul Cairney (2015) “What Do We Mean When We Talk about the ‘Political Class’?” Political Studies Review, Early View, DOI: 10.1111/1478-9302.12092 PDF
  16. Paul Cairney, Alex Wilson and Michael Keating (2015) “Solving the problem of social background in the UK ‘political class’: do parties do things differently in Westminster, devolved, and European elections?” British Politics (Early View) PDF
  17. Paul Cairney (2015) ‘The Scottish Independence Referendum: What are the Implications of a No Vote?’ Political Quarterly, 86, 2, 186-91 PDF
  18. Paul Cairney (2015) ‘Scotland’s Future Political System’, Political Quarterly, 86, 2, 217-25 PDF
  19. Hadii Mamudu, Paul Cairney and Donley Studlar (2015) ‘Global Public Policy: does the new venue for transnational tobacco control challenge the old way of doing things?’ Public Administration, 93, 4, 856-73 DOI: 10.1111/padm.12143 PDF
  20. Paul Cairney (2015) ‘What is complex government and what can we do about it?’ Public Money and Management, 35, 1, 3-6 PDF
  21. Paul Cairney and Anders Widfeldt (2015) ‘Is Scotland a Westminster-style Majoritarian Democracy or a Scandinavian-style Consensus Democracy? A comparison of Scotland, the UK and Sweden’, Regional and Federal Studies, 25, 1, 1-18, DOI: 10.1080/13597566.2014.958818 PDF
  22. Paul Cairney (2015) ‘How Can Policy Theory Have an Impact on Policy Making?’ Teaching Public Administration, 33, 1, 22-39 PDF
  23. Paul Cairney (2014) ‘The Territorialisation of Interest Representation in Scotland: Did Devolution Produce a New Form of Group-Government Relations?’ Territory, Politics, Governance, Advance Access PDF
  24. Paul Cairney and Donley Studlar (2014) ‘Public Health Policy in the United Kingdom: After the War on Tobacco, Is a War on Alcohol Brewing?’ World Medical and Health Policy, 6, 3, 308-323 PDF
  25. Paul Cairney and Haddii Mamudu (2014) ‘The Global Tobacco Control ‘Endgame’: change the policy environment to implement the FCTC’ Journal of Public Health Policy, Advance Access doi: 10.1057/jphp.2014.18 PDF
  26. Donley Studlar and Paul Cairney (2014) ‘Conceptualizing Punctuated and Non-Punctuated Policy Change: Tobacco Control in Comparative Perspective’, International Review of Administrative Sciences, 80, 3, 513-31 PDF
  27. Paul Cairney and Jim Johnston (2014) ‘What is the Role of the Scottish Parliament?’, Scottish Parliamentary Review, 1, 2, 91-130 PDF
  28. Paul Cairney (2013) ‘How Can the Scottish Parliament Be Improved as a Legislature?’ Scottish Parliamentary Review, 1, 1.
  29. Per Nilsen, Christian Ståhl, Kerstin Roback and Paul Cairney (2013) ‘Never the twain shall meet? – a comparison of implementation science and policy implementation research’, Implementation Science 8: 63 Open Access PDF
  30. Paul Cairney (2013) ‘Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: How Do We Combine the Insights of Multiple Theories in Public Policy Studies?’ Policy Studies Journal, 41, 1, 1-21 PDF
  31. Paul Cairney (2013) ‘What is Evolutionary Theory and How Does it Inform Policy Studies?’ Policy and Politics, 41, 2, 279-98  PDF
  32. Grant Jordan and Paul Cairney (2013) ‘What is the ‘Dominant Model’ of British Policy Making? Comparing Majoritarian and Policy Community Ideas’, British Politics, 8, 3, 233-59 PDF (see also our ‘reply’ article PDF)
  33. Paul Cairney (2013) ‘Territorial Policy Communities and the Scottish Policy Style: the Case of Compulsory Education’, Scottish Affairs, 82, Winter, 10-34 PDF
  34. Paul Cairney (2012) ‘Complexity Theory in Political Science and Public Policy’, Political Studies Review, 10, 346-58 PDF
  35. Paul Cairney (2012) ‘Public administration in an age of austerity’: Positive lessons from policy studies’, Public Policy and Administration, 27, 3, 230-47 PDF
  36. Paul Cairney (2012) ‘Intergovernmental Relations in Scotland: what was the SNP effect?’ British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 14, 2, 231-49 PDF
  37. Michael Keating, Paul Cairney and Eve Hepburn (2012) ‘Policy Convergence, Transfer and Learning in the UK under Devolution’, Regional and Federal Studies, 22, 3, 289-307 PDF
  38. Michael Keating and Paul Cairney (2012) ‘Policymaking, Learning and Devolution’, Regional and Federal Studies, 22, 3, 239-50 PDF
  39. Paul Cairney (2011) ‘Coalition Government in Scotland: lessons for the UK’, Political Quarterly, 82, 2, 261-9 PDF
  40. Paul Cairney (2011) ‘The New British Policy Style: From a British to a Scottish Political Tradition?’, Political Studies Review, 9, 2, 208-20 PDF
  41. Steve Kettell and Paul Cairney (2010) ‘Taking the Power of Ideas Seriously: The Case of the 2008 Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill’, Policy Studies, 31, 3, 301-17 PDF
  42. Paul Cairney (2009) ‘The Role of Ideas in Policy Transfer: The Case of UK Smoking Bans since Devolution’, Journal of European Public Policy, 16, 3, 471-488 PDF
  43. Paul Cairney (2009) “The ‘British Policy Style’ and Mental Health: Beyond the Headlines”, Journal of Social Policy, 38, 4, 1-18 PDF
  44. Paul Cairney (2009) ‘Implementation and the Governance Problem: A Pressure Participant Perspective’, Public Policy and Administration, 24, 4, 355-77  PDF
  45. Bossman Asare, Paul Cairney and Donley Studlar (2009) ‘Federalism and Multilevel Governance in Tobacco Policy: The European Union, the United Kingdom and the Devolved UK Institutions’, Journal of Public Policy, 29, 1, 79-102 PDF
  46. Michael Keating, Paul Cairney and Eve Hepburn (2009) ‘Territorial Policy Communities and Devolution in the United Kingdom’, Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society, 2, 1, 51-66 PDF
  47. Paul Cairney (2008) ‘Has Devolution Changed the British Policy Style?’ British Politics, 3, 3, 350-72  PDF
  48. Paul Cairney (2007) ‘A Multiple Lens Approach to Policy Change: the Case of Tobacco Policy in the UK’, British Politics, 2, 1, 45-68 PDF
  49. Paul Cairney (2007) ‘Using Devolution to Set the Agenda? Venue shift and the smoking ban in Scotland’, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 9,1, 73-89 PDF
  50. Paul Cairney (2007) ‘The Professionalisation of MPs: Refining the ‘Politics-Facilitating’ Explanation’, Parliamentary Affairs, 60, 2, 212-33 PDF
  51. Paul Cairney (2006) ‘The Analysis of Scottish Parliament Committees: Beyond Capacity and Structure in Comparing West European Legislatures’, European Journal of Political Research, 45, 2, 181-208. PDF
  52. Paul Cairney (2006) ‘Venue Shift Following Devolution: When Reserved Meets Devolved in Scotland’, Regional and Federal Studies, 16, 4, 429-45 PDF
  53. Michael Keating and Paul Cairney (2006) ‘A New Elite? Politicians and Civil Servants in Scotland after Devolution’, Parliamentary Affairs, 59, 1, 43-59 PDF
  54. Mark Shephard and Paul Cairney (2005) “The Impact of the Scottish Parliament in Amending Executive Legislation”, Political Studies, 53, 2, 303-19 PDF
  55. Paul Cairney and Michael Keating (2004) “Sewel Motions in the Scottish Parliament”, Scottish Affairs, 47, 115-34 Free
  56. Mark Shephard and Paul Cairney (2004) “Consensual or Dominant Relationships with Parliament? A Comparison of Administrations and Ministers in Scotland”, Public Administration, 82, 4, 831-56 PDF
  57. Michael Keating, Linda Stevenson, Paul Cairney and Kate Taylor (2003) ‘Does Devolution Make a Difference? Legislative Output and Policy Divergence in Scotland’, Journal of Legislative Studies, 9, 3, 110-39  PDF
  58. Paul Cairney (2002) “New Public Management and the Thatcher Health Care Legacy”, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 4, 3, 375-98 PDF

Reply Articles and Letters to Journal Editors

  1. Paul Cairney and Grant Jordan (2015) ‘Theories of the policy process: What is British and what is universal? A polite reply to Marsh and McCaffrie’, British Politics, advance online publication doi: 10.1057/bp.2015.32 PDF
  2. Robbert Biesbroek, Johann Dupuis, Andrew Jordan, Adam Wellstead, Michael Howlett, Paul Cairney, Jeremy Rayner, and Debra Davidson (2015) ‘Opening up the black box of adaptation decision-making’, Nature Climate Change 5, 493-4 doi:10.1038/nclimate2615 PDF
  3. Kathryn Oliver, Adam Wellstead, and Paul Cairney (2015) ‘Policy advice: Irked by naivety about policymaking’, Nature (correspondence), 527, 165 (12 November) doi:10.1038/527165e see here

 Book Chapters

  1. Paul Cairney (2018) ‘Policy Styles in the UK: majoritarian UK versus devolved consensus democracies?’ in (eds) Michael Howlett and Jale Tosun (eds) Policy Styles and Policy-Making: Exploring the National Dimension (London: Routledge) Preview PDF
  2. Tanya Heikkila and Paul Cairney (2017) ‘Comparison of Theories of the Policy Process’ in (eds) Chris Weible and Paul Sabatier Theories of the Policy Process 4th ed. (Chicago: Westview) PDF
  3. Paul Cairney, Malcolm Harvey and Emily St Denny (2017) ‘Constitutional Change, Social Investment and Prevention Policy in Scotland’ in (ed.) Keating, M. A Wealthier, Fairer Scotland (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press)  PDF
  4. Paul Cairney (2017) ‘Why is the SNP so pleased with the Scottish Parliament?’ in (eds) Gerry Hassan and Simon Barrow The SNP: Ten Years On (Edinburgh: Luath Press) PDF
  5. Paul Cairney (2017) ‘The politics of evidence-based policymaking’, Oxford Research Encyclopedia DOI: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228637.013.268 PDF
  6. Paul Cairney, Manuel Fischer and Karin Ingold (2016) ‘Hydraulic fracturing policy in the UK: coalition, cooperation and opposition in the face of uncertainty’ in Christopher Weible, Tanya Heikkila, Karin Ingold and Manuel Fischer, eds. Comparing Coalition Politics: Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing in North America and Western Europe (London: Palgrave) PDF
  7. Paul Cairney (2016) ‘The future of Scottish government and public policy: a distinctive Scottish style?’ in (ed) McTavish, D. Politics in Scotland (London: Routledge) PDF
  8. Paul Cairney and Nikos Zahariadis (2016) ‘Multiple streams analysis: A flexible metaphor presents an opportunity to operationalize agenda setting processes’ in Zahariadis, N. (eds) Handbook of Public Policy Agenda-Setting (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar) PDF see also
  9. Paul Cairney and Chris Weible (2015) ‘Comparing and Contrasting Peter Hall’s Paradigms and Ideas with the Advocacy Coalition Framework’ in (eds) M. Howlett and J. Hogan Policy Paradigms in Theory and Practice (Basingstoke: Palgrave) PDF
  10. Paul Cairney (2015) ‘Sabatier’s advocacy coalition model of policy change’ in (eds) Page, E., Balla, S. and Lodge, M. Oxford Handbook of the Classics of Public Policy and Administration (Oxford: Oxford University Press) PDF1 or PDF2
  11. Paul Cairney and Robert Geyer (2015) ‘Introduction: A New Direction in Policymaking Theory and Practice?’ in (eds.) R. Geyer and P. Cairney Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar)  introduction
  12. Paul Cairney and Robert Geyer (2015) ‘Where does complexity and policy go from here?’ in (eds.) R. Geyer and P. Cairney Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar) conclusion
  13. Stuart Astill and Paul Cairney (2015) ‘Complexity Theory and Political Science: do new theories require new methods?’ in (eds.) R. Geyer and P. Cairney Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar) PDF
  14. Paul Cairney and Tanya Heikkila (2014) ‘A Comparison of Theories of the Policy Process’ in (eds) P. Sabatier and C. Weible Theories of the Policy Process, Third Edition (Chicago: Westview Press) PDF
  15. Paul Cairney (2014) ‘A Crisis of the Union?’ in (eds) Richards, D., Smith, M. and Hay, C. UK Institutions, Crisis and the Response (Basingstoke: Palgrave) PDF
  16. Paul Cairney, Darren Halpin and Grant Jordan (2009) ‘New Scottish Parliament, Same Old Interest Group Politics?’ in C. Jeffery and J. Mitchell (eds.) The Scottish Parliament, 1999-2009: The First Decade (Edinburgh: Luath Press) PDF Paywall
  17. Michael Keating and Paul Cairney (2009) ‘The New Scottish Statute Book: The Scottish Parliament’s Legislative Record Since 1999’ in C. Jeffery and J. Mitchell (eds.) The Scottish Parliament, 1999-2009: The First Decade (Edinburgh: Luath Press) PDF Book