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Book

Andrew Walton, William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, and Tom Parr

Should the state permit euthanasia? Should it prohibit recreational drug use? Should it ban hate speech? Should it grant members of minority groups exemptions from otherwise universal laws? When, if ever, should it intervene in the affairs of other states to prevent human rights abuses? All of these questions have been prominent in political debate over the last fifty years, and there remains plenty of dispute about them at the start of the 2020s. Political arguments about public policy are an apt subject of philosophical analysis—or, in other words, they present a prime opportunity to do some political philosophy. This book provides an introduction to political philosophy by theorizing about public policy. Each of the chapters draws on the tools of political philosophy to explore a distinct area of public policy. Each case identifies some of the moral threads that run through the public policy debate; explains the philosophical positions taken by the various sides; introduces the academic literature that supports these positions; and examines the strengths and weaknesses of the competing views.

Chapter

This chapter describes interest, pressure, or advocacy groups, which organize separately from political parties, seeking to influence public opinion and public policy. It discusses the nature of these groups and what they do, before reviewing the debate on the power of interest groups, in particular whether business has a privileged position. Studies of interest groups show the importance of these groups to the delivery of public policy, which reveals a two-way relationship between groups and the state. There is a complex pattern of governance that makes policy-making complicated and difficult terrain for governments or regional and local agencies. In today's turbulent politics, there is room for new advocacy groups to upset the equilibrium. The very unpredictability of the interest group world and the appearance of actors skilled in the use of social media may provide opportunities to influence the political agenda and to engage in more disruptive politics.

Chapter

Daniel Kenealy

This chapter examines how EU policies are made. Most EU legislation is now adopted via a process in which the Council and the European Parliament have equal powers. The basic policy-making rules laid down in the treaties have been supplemented over the years by formal agreements and informal understandings between the main actors in the decision-making institutions. The chapter considers how policy is made formally, explaining the underlying principles, principal actors, and key stages of the policy process. It goes on to consider what happens in practice, exploring the EU’s institutional hierarchies and policy networks. It also evaluates the transparency and efficiency of the EU policy-making process.

Chapter

Jørgen Goul Andersen

This chapter examines the effects of public policy. It first considers economic paradigms and approaches to welfare and documents the overriding historical changes in approaches to the economy, from Keynesian ideas of macro-economic steering to more market-oriented economic perspectives. It then explores the idea of institutional complementarity, as expressed in the typologies of welfare regimes, varieties of capitalism, and flexicurity. It also looks at some of the empirical analyses of the effects of welfare policies and the tension between welfare and economic efficiency. Finally, it looks at policy feedback, path dependence, policy learning, social learning, policy transfer and policy diffusion, and policy convergence.

Chapter

Caitlin Byrne

This chapter examines public diplomacy as a foreign policy instrument for the contemporary world. Public diplomacy has enjoyed a revival over the past decade, beginning with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. Within a few years public diplomacy had become the hottest topic on the diplomacy studies agenda, giving rise to robust new debate about the role and relevance of publics and public opinion in the conduct of foreign policy. The chapter first traces the origins and modern evolution of public diplomacy before discussing its theoretical foundations, with particular emphasis on its soft power underpinnings and constructivist tendencies. It also explores key approaches and instruments to illustrate the broad diversity of a project of public diplomacy. Finally, it assesses the role of new media technologies in extending the reach of public diplomacy and drawing foreign policy more than ever into the public domain.

Chapter

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter provides an overview of how to do political philosophy. It identifies some of the main aims of the discipline, showing that one can make progress with the subject by studying arguments about the justifiability of various public policies. Political philosophers are mostly concerned with exploring the moral claims of an argument, and the relationship between an argument’s claims and its conclusion. It is here that the discipline connects to other parts of philosophy, particularly moral philosophy and logic. This chapter discusses two tools in the practice of political philosophy. One of these involves arranging arguments in clear and organized terms, and the other involves the use of examples and thought experiments in the analysis of moral claims. The chapter then discusses how to employ these tools in the service of a political argument.

Chapter

This chapter explores diplomacy and the conduct of foreign policy, which are fundamental to relations between political communities and have been practised for thousands of years. In the contemporary period, diplomatic and foreign policy practices usually involve fully professionalized state bureaucracies. But alongside formal state diplomacy, other important actors contribute as well, from Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) to special envoys or third-party mediators tasked with specific missions. There are also special forms of diplomacy such as ‘summit diplomacy’ and ‘public diplomacy’, both of which have assumed increasing importance in contemporary practice. Foreign policy behaviour itself is a closely related but distinctive field of study focusing on the strategies that states adopt in their relations with each other and which reflect, in turn, the pressures that governments face in either the domestic or external sphere. The chapter then considers the foreign and security policy of the EU which now has a role and an identity as an international actor in its own right. Finally, it presents a brief account of Wikileaks, which illustrates another very different kind of actor in the field.

Book

Edited by Steve Smith, Amelia Hadfield, and Tim Dunne

This text provides an introduction to the ever-changing field of foreign policy. Combining theories, actors, and cases, chapters provide an interesting introduction to what foreign policy is and how it is conducted. With an emphasis throughout on grounding theory in empirical examples, the text features a section dedicated to relevant and topical case studies where foreign policy analysis approaches and theories are applied. Chapters clearly convey the connection between international relations theory, political science, and the development of foreign policy analysis, emphasizing the key debates in the academic community. New chapters focus on such topics as public diplomacy, and media and public opinion. A new case study on Syria examines the forms of intervention that have and have not been adopted by the international community.

Chapter

This chapter examines the adaptations that have occurred in Sweden’s political and administrative system following its admission to the European Union on 1 January 1995. Sweden became a member of the EU on 1 January 1995 after a long period of hesitation. After fifteen years of membership, reticence has given way to a more positive stance, best characterized as pragmatic support. The chapter first considers patterns in Sweden’s membership in the EU before discussing Swedish public opinion towards the EU and the impact of Sweden’s EU membership on the country’s political parties, political institutions, public administration, and sub-national actors such as the civil service. The chapter goes on to explore Sweden’s approach to EU public policy and concludes by comparing its experience with those of other member states, including Austria and Finland.

Chapter

This chapter explores the central government departments, executive agencies, and other public bureaucracies in operation in the UK today, such as those in local and territorial governments. These bodies help make and implement public policies and run public services. The chapter reviews more general work on bureaucracy and public administration, and sets out the theory of politician–bureaucrat relationships (going back to the principal–agent model), before addressing the classic question of civil service influence over public policy. It then takes account of the diversity of bureaucratic organizations operating in Britain today. The chapter also looks at the evidence of how politicians manage to satisfy their political objectives through delegating authority to these bodies.

Chapter

Stephanie Lawson

This chapter discusses diplomacy and the conduct of foreign policy, both of which are fundamental to relations between political communities worldwide. It first considers diplomacy and its related concept, statecraft, in global history, focusing on some important concepts such as raison d’état (reason of state) and machtpolitik (power politics). It then examines diplomatic practice in contemporary global politics, with particular emphasis on track-two diplomacy and third-party mediation, along with developments in diplomacy during the Cold War. It also looks at public diplomacy, which may be understood as an instrument of ‘soft power’ in contrast with the methods of power politics. It concludes with an overview of the European Union’s common foreign and security policy.

Chapter

This chapter examines the influence of media and public opinion on U.S. foreign policy and vice versa. It considers the extent to which the media and public have been manipulated by the government, and the extent to which public opinion and media have shaped foreign policy during tumultuous times such as the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. It also explores the consequences of public opinion and media for U.S. power in the twenty-first century. The chapter describes pluralist and elite models of the public opinion/ media/foreign policy nexus, long with public and media diplomacy. It concludes with a discussion of the extent to which developments in communication technology have empowered U.S. public opinion and media, as well as the impact of this technology on global U.S. power and influence, in particular in the context of the current war on terror.

Chapter

This chapter examines France’s relationship with the European Union by focusing on the heterogeneity of adaptation to the EU. While public policy and legislation became increasingly Europeanized, the EU had a limited impact on political life and the domestic institutional system. This situation changed during the 2010s, as revealed by the 2017 presidential elections and the arrival of President Macron. The chapter considers patterns in France–EU relations before discussing the impact of EU membership on public opinion and political parties. It then looks at the Europeanization of French politics and the impact of EU membership on French institutions as well as public policy. The chapter argues that while domestic politicization is recent, there remains considerable continuity in other aspects of France’s adaptation to the EU.

Chapter

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter examines whether the state should permit an individual to end their own life. Physician-assisted suicide is only one way in which a doctor can hasten an individual’s death. In fact there are three ways in which a doctor may act. First, they can be passive by allowing an individual to die. Second, they can assist an individual by enabling them to bring about their own death. Third, they can be active in hastening an individual’s death by administering life-ending medication. The chapter argues that a doctor should be permitted to assist an individual to end their own life, as well as to intervene to hasten their death. It supports this view by appealing to the value of freedom, specifically the freedom to choose how to live and die. The chapter then considers the worry that it is wrong for the state to allow a doctor to assist an individual to end their life, since this is an affront to the sanctity of life. It outlines some implications of this argument for the design of public policy.

Chapter

Peter Ferdinand

This chapter deals with political parties: why they emerged, how they can be classified, what functions they perform, how they interact, and what challenges they are facing today. One of the paradoxes about democracies is that there is almost a unanimous consensus about the indispensability of political parties. On the other hand, the benefits of being a member of a political party are bound to be minuscule compared to the costs of membership. Thus it is irrational for people to join parties. They should only form (small) interest groups. The chapter first provides a historical background on the development of political parties before discussing their functions, such as legitimation of the political system, structuring the popular vote, and formulation of public policy. It then considers different types of political parties as well as the characteristics of party systems and concludes with an analysis of the problems facing political parties today.

Chapter

How are the policies of the member states affected by their membership of the European Union? What are the concepts and explanations in this field? Can Europeanization be reversed? This chapter examines the effects of the the public policy functions of European Union on domestic policy. It introduces the relevant concepts, and then illustrates types and modes of Europeanization. On balance, we find that the Europeanization processes have not created homogeneity or policy convergence. Rather, the Europeanization effect is differential: it differs by policy area and political system. And there are good theoretical reasons for this, grounded in the causal theories addressing the question how the EU affects domestic policy via adaptational pressure and/or domestic agency. Finally, the chapter explores a question raised by the decision of the UK to leave the EU and in diverse ways by the attempts to de-regulate or reverse the overall domestic burden of EU regulations. These categories of decisions, initiatives, and policies can be called de-Europeanization or Europeanization in reverse gear. We therefore appraise the prospect for significant de-Europeanization. The pressures for de-Europeanization are strong, but the EU regulatory regime is certainly resilient. For sure we have not seen a bonfire of EU regulations, although Europeanization effects can be reduced by withdrawing proposals or by reducing the stringency of implementation requirements.

Chapter

This chapter examines the dynamics of Europeanization of interest groups and social movements in European Union member states. European integration has influenced interest groups and social movements since the beginning of the process in the 1950s. However, transformation has been induced by other elements such as globalization or the transformation of the state. Drawing on findings from empirical studies, this chapter analyses the change in interests, strategies, and internal organizational structures of interest groups and social movements, both in the ‘old’ and ‘new’ member states. It shows that the Europeanization of interest groups and social movements is highly differentiated, according to public policy areas, group types, and national origins. It concludes in analysing more recent developments such as interest group and social movement reactions to austerity politics as well as Brexit.

Chapter

Nathaniel Copsey and Karolina Pomorska

This chapter examines the pattern of Poland’s relations with the European Union during the period 1989–2011. Poland took an early decision in 1989 to place European integration at the centre of its plans for democratization and modernization. Post-accession opinion in Poland on the EU was initially divided between an increasingly Europhile public and an occasionally Eurosceptic political class. By the time of the Polish Presidency of the EU in 2011, however, Poland had largely shed its reputation for awkwardness and had achieved a few policy successes, particularly in relations with its Eastern neighbours. The chapter explains how Poland came to join the EU and assesses the impact of its EU membership on domestic politics, public opinion, institutions, governance, and public policy. It concludes by considering the re-emergent divide between elite and public attitudes since the 2015 elections and tensions with the EU over the rule of law.

Chapter

Daniel Kenealy, Amelia Hadfield, and Richard Corbett

This chapter discusses the practical and analytical reasons for studying the EU. It presents the EU as a complex and innovative political entity, comprising its member states, its institutions, and its citizens. The chapter presents some of the key theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding how the EU has developed historically and how it works today. Furthermore, it outlines three broad themes that help the reader make sense of the EU: experimentation and change; power sharing and consensus; and scope and capacity. Finally, it provides an overview of the chapters that follow, which cover topics ranging from an historical overview of the EU’s development to its institutional architecture, from its policy-making process to its democratic credentials, from its key internal policies to its growing role as an actor on the global stage.

Chapter

I. Interdisciplinarity  

The Interaction of Different Disciplines for Understanding Common Problems

Roberto Carrillo and Lidia Núñez

This chapter describes interdisciplinary, a term which refers to a mode of conducting research that ‘integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice’. Therefore, it is a way of conducting research that goes beyond the frontiers of traditional disciplines. The chapter provides an overview of the main features of how interdisciplinarity is applied in the social sciences. It defines the concept and traces its origins and evolution, as well as the interrelationship between interdisciplinary studies, society, and the development of public policies. The chapter then discusses the measurement and analysis of interdisciplinarity. Finally, it presents the main criticisms of interdisciplinarity and its use in the social sciences.