Rethinking Policy and Politics

Reflections on Contemporary Debates in Policy Studies

Edited by Sarah Ayres

Rethinking Policy and Politics

Edited by Sarah Ayres

Distributed for Bristol University Press

288 pages | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2014
Cloth $125.00 ISBN: 9781447319467 Published March 2015 For sale in North and South America only
Recent years have witnessed significant transformations in the nature of policy and politics. These changes have challenged perceptions about the ways in which policy is studied, designed, delivered, and appraised. This book—originally published as a special issue of the journal Policy & Politics and the first in Policy Press’s New Perspectives in Policy and Politics series—brings together leading scholars to reflect on the implications of these developments for the field of policy studies and the world of policy practice. Offering critical reflections on the recent history and future direction of policy studies, it advances crucial debates by rethinking the ways in which scholars and students of policy studies can engage with the issues in pursuit of both scholarly excellence and practical solutions to global policy problems.


Forty years of public management reform in UK central government: promises, promises - Christopher Pollitt

Political anthropology and civil service reform: prospects and limits - RAW Rhodes

Just do it differently? Everyday making, Marxism and the struggle against neoliberalism - Jonathan Stephen Davies

Performing new worlds? Policy, politics and creative labour in hard times - Janet Newman

Weathering the perfect storm? Austerity and institutional resilience in local government - Vivien Lowndes

Complex causality in improving underperforming schools: a complex adaptive systems approach - Martijn van der Steen, Mark van Twist, Menno Fenger and Sara Le Cointre

Toward policy coordination: alternatives to hierarchy - B. Guy Peters

Governing local partnerships: does external steering help local agencies address wicked problems? - Steve Martin and Valeria Guarneros-Meza

All tools are informational now: how information and persuasion define the tools of government - Peter John

The politics of engaged scholarship: impact, relevance and imagination - Matthew Flinders

Reflections on contemporary debates in policy studies - Sarah Ayres and Alex Marsh

Review Quotes
Diane Stone, Sir Walter Murdoch School of Governance and International Affairs, Australia
“This volume attests to the benefits of constantly rethinking policy: Policy making is in a constant cycle of reinvention and innovation and this international constellation of authors bring their reflexive insights to bear on practical policy experience.”
Jon Pierre, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and University of Melbourne, Australia
“These articles display the breadth, as well as the controversies, of current political analysis. The issues coming out of these articles are likely to shape the political discourse for the next several years.”
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