The Department of Government's staff are responsible for a number of publications. Our most recent published research can be found on the publications page.
The Impact of the Social Sciences: How Academics and Their Research Make a Difference
University social science plays an essential role in the ‘human-dominated’ and ‘human-influenced’ systems that are central to our modern civilization. Across the world around 40 million people now work or study in university social science, or work in jobs where they ‘translate’ or mediate advances in social science research for use in business, government and public agencies, health care systems, media and civil society organizations. Yet the impacts of university social science have been under-researched, and their effectiveness often decried. Relatively little is known about the scale, diversity, and external salience of university social science research as a discipline group.
Using large-scale and in-depth research on Britain, the authors comprehensively demonstrate how the growth of a services economy and the success of previous scientific interventions, both mean that key areas of advance for corporations, policymakers and citizens alike now depend on our ability to understand and manage our complex societies and economies.
The authors break new ground in charting the scale and common features of impacts across the social sciences. They show how university research throughout this discipline group shapes public policy development, contributes to economic prosperity, plays a vital role in civil society, and critically informs public understanding of how our society and political processes work.
Author: Simon Bastow, Jane Tinkler and Patrick Dunleavy
Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd
Publication date: January 2014
Field Experiments and Their Critics: Essays on the Uses and Abuses of Experimentation in the Social Sciences
In recent years, social scientists have engaged in a deep debate over the methods appropriate to their research. Their long reliance on passive observational collection of information has been challenged by proponents of experimental methods designed to precisely infer causal effects through active intervention in the social world. Some scholars claim that field experiments represent a new gold standard and the best way forward, while others insist that these methods carry inherent inconsistencies, limitations, or ethical dilemmas that observational approaches do not.
This unique collection of essays by the most influential figures on every side of this debate reveals its most important stakes and will provide useful guidance to students and scholars in many disciplines.
Author: Dawn Langan Teele
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: January 2014
Deliberating American Monetary Policy: A Textual Analysis
American monetary policy is formulated by the Federal Reserve and overseen by Congress. Both policy making and oversight are deliberative processes, although the effect of this deliberation has been difficult to quantify. In this book, Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey provides a systematic examination of deliberation on monetary policy from 1976 to 2008 by the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) and House and Senate banking committees. Her innovative account employs automated textual analysis software to study the verbatim transcripts of FOMC meetings and congressional hearings; these empirical data are supplemented and supported by in-depth interviews with participants in these deliberations. The automated textual analysis measures the characteristic words, phrases, and arguments of committee members; the interviews offer a way to gauge the extent to which the empirical findings accord with the participants’ personal experiences.
Analysing why and under what conditions deliberation matters for monetary policy, the author identifies several strategies of persuasion used by FOMC members, including Paul Volcker’s emphasis on policy credibility and efforts to influence economic expectations. Members of Congress, however, constrained by political considerations, show a relative passivity on the details of monetary policy.
Author: Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: November 2013
Business Politics in the Middle East
Although most Arab countries remain authoritarian, many have undergone a restructuring of state-society relations. Lower- and middle-class interest groups have lost ground, while big business has benefited in terms of its integration into policy-making and the opening-up of economic sectors that used to be state-dominated. Arab businesses have also started taking on aspects of public service provision in health, media and education that used to be the domain of the state, while also becoming increasingly active in philanthropy. Among the topics addressed by the contributing authors are: the role of business in recent regime change; the political outlook of businessmen; the consequences of economic liberalisation on the composition of business elites in the Middle East; the role of the private sector in orienting government policies; lobbying of government by business interests; and the mechanisms by which governments seek to keep businesses dependent upon them. The Arab Spring is likely to lead to a more pluralistic political order in the Middle East and this makes it all the more important to understand business interests in the region. They are a segment of society that have often been close to the ancient regime, but will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in a future social contract.
Edited by: Steffen Hertog, Giacomo Luciani and Marc Valeri
Publisher: C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd
Publication date: 15 April 2013
Civil Society and Transitions in the Western Balkans
This book examines the ambiguous role played by civil society in state-building, democratisation and post-conflict reconstruction in the Western Balkans. In doing so, it challenges the received wisdom that civil society is always a force for good. Civil society actors have helped create the conditions for new, more constructive relations inside and between former Yugoslav countries. But, their agency has also rekindled nationalism hindering efforts to rebuild the region after the conflicts of the 1990s. The book demonstrates that diverse civil society effects cannot be captured without querying both the nature of civil society and the complexity of the ongoing transformation. So how can the emancipatory role of civil society be harnessed? This rigorous case study-driven reappraisal of the ability of civil society to support progressive transformation from an illiberal regime to democracy and from conflict to peace will be a valuable resource to scholars and practitioners alike.
Edited by: Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic, James Ker-Lindsay and Denisa Kostovicova Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Publication date: 11 January 2013
Growing The Productivity Of Government Services
Productivity is essentially the ratio of an organization’s outputs divided by its inputs. For many years it was treated as always being static in government agencies. In fact productivity in government services should be rising rapidly as a result of digital changes and new management approaches, and it has done so in some agencies. However, Dunleavy and Carrera show for the first time how complex are the factors affecting productivity growth in government organizations – especially management practices, use of IT, organizational culture, strategic mis-decisions and political and policy churn. With government budgets under stress in many countries, this pioneering book shows academics, analysts and officials how to measure outputs and productivity in detail; how to cope with problems of quality variations; and how to achieve year-on-year, sustainable improvements in the efficiency of government services.
Authors: Patrick Dunleavy and Leandro Carrera
Publisher: Edward Elgar
Publication date: January 2013
Global justice and avant-garde political agency
Why should states matter and how do relations between fellow-citizens affect what is owed to distant strangers? How, if at all, can demanding egalitarian principles inform political action in the real world? This book proposes a novel solution through the concept of avant-garde political agency. Ypi grounds egalitarian principles on claims arising from conflicts over the distribution of global positional goods, and illustrates the role of avant-garde agents in shaping these conflicts and promoting democratic political transformations in response to them. Against statists, she defends the global scope of equality, and derives remedial cosmopolitan principles from global responsibilities to relieve absolute deprivation. Against cosmopolitans, she shows that associative political relations play an essential role and that blanket condemnation of the state is unnecessary and ill-directed. Advocating an approach to global justice whereby domestic avant-garde agents intervene politically so as to constrain and motivate fellow-citizens to support cosmopolitan transformations, this book offers a fresh and nuanced example of political theory in an activist mode. Setting the contemporary debate on global justice in the context of recent methodological disputes on the relationship between ideal and nonideal theorizing, Ypi's dialectical account illustrates how principles and agency can genuinely interact.
Author: Ypi, Lea
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 22 December 2011
Bottom-Up Politics: An Agency-Centred Approach to Globalization
The writing out of agency from the study of globalization resulted in its portrayal as an uncontrollable, unstoppable and unchangeable force. Ordinary people have been conceptualized as victims or beneficiaries. Alternatively, grassroots activism has been romantically portrayed as an unproblematic force for good. Inspired by the work of Mary Kaldor on global civil society and new wars, the authors explore complex, counterintuitive and even unintended forms and consequences of bottom-up politics as the state loses its dominance as a political actor in the global era. Leading theorists such as Albrow, Falk, Held, Rothschild and Sassen, together with young scholars demonstrate the importance of agency to our understanding of globalization.
Edited by: Denisa Kostovicova and Marlies Glasius
Publication date: 22 Nov 2011
Global Democracy: Normative and Empirical Perspectives
Democracy is increasingly seen as the only legitimate form of government, but few people would regard international relations as governed according to democratic principles. Can this lack of global democracy be justified? Which models of global politics should contemporary democrats endorse and which should they reject? What are the most promising pathways to global democratic change? To what extent does the extension of democracy from the national to the international level require a radical rethinking of what democratic institutions should be? This book answers these questions by providing a sustained dialogue between scholars of political theory, international law and empirical social science. By presenting a broad range of views by prominent scholars, it offers an in-depth analysis of one of the key challenges of our century: globalizing democracy and democratizing globalization.
Editors: Daniele Archibugi, Mathias Koenig-Archibugi, and Raffaele Marchetti
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: October 2011
The Triumph of Politics
The Return of the Left in Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador
The Triumph of Politics offers a comparative and historical interpretation of Venezuela's Chavez, Bolivia's Morales and Ecuador's Correa - South America's most prominent ‘21st century socialists'. It argues that the claims of these 21st century socialists should be taken seriously even though not necessarily at face value.
The authors show how the consensual market oriented policymaking that characterized almost all of South America in the 1990s has now given way to something quite different. Polarization and intense political conflict have returned to much of the region. Although the Left has not always been the beneficiary of this changed pattern, the ‘21st century' governments of Chavez, Morales and Correa have been agenda setters. The questions raised by their emergence, style of governance and policy orientations resonate across Latin America and beyond. It is likely that the kind of politics with which they have been associated will be influential in the region for quite some time to come.
Author: George Philip and Francisco Panizza
Publication date: Sep 2011
New Beginnings: Constitutionalism and Democracy in Modern Ireland
"New Beginnings" covers Irish constitutional development from Home Rule to the Good Friday Agreement, focusing on turning points where radical constitutional change was discussed, attempted, or implemented. It asks what Irish constitution-makers were trying to do in drafting constitutional documents, or significantly amending existing constitutions. It deals with the 1919, 1922, and 1937 constitutions, debates over the 1937 constitution since 1969, and the 1998 Belfast peace agreement. Taking the relationship between constitutionalism and democracy as its key issue, it asks why Irish politicians have seen constitutions as ways of making democracy more manageable, rather than of furthering democracy. It is intended for students of politics and constitutional law, as well as the general reader, and written in an accessible style that assumes no prior knowledge of Irish constitutional history or law.
Author Bill Kissane
Publication date: 24 May 2011
Austria, Prussia and the Making of Germany: 1806-1871
It is often argued that the unification of Germany in 1871 was the inevitable result of the convergence of Prussian power and German nationalism. John Breuilly here shows that the true story was much more complex. For most of the nineteenth century Austria was the dominant power in the region. Prussian-led unification was highly unlikely up until the 1860s and even then was only possible because of the many other changes happening in Germany, Europe and the wider world.
Author: John Breuilly
Publication date: 19 May 2011
Group Agency: The Possibility, Design and Status of Corporate Agents
Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. Christian List and Philip Pettit argue that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper approach to the social sciences, law, morality, and politics must take account of this fact. Unlike some earlier defences of group agency, their account is entirely unmysterious in character and, despite not being technically difficult, is grounded in cutting-edge work in social choice theory, economics, and philosophy.
Author: Christian List and Philip Pettit
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Legislatures and the Budget Process: The Myth of Fiscal Control
The legislative 'power of the purse' is an important constitutional principle across contemporary democracies. Yet, national legislatures differ in their approach to fiscal control. What is the role of legislatures in the budget process? Why does this role vary across democratic countries? Are powerful assemblies a threat to the prudent management of public finances? This unprecedented survey of legislative budgeting tackles these questions using quantitative data and case studies.
Author: Joachim Wehner
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Gender and Culture
This text sees Phillips reject the notion that "culture" justifies the oppression of women, and she questions the stereotypes that represent people from ethno-cultural minorities as being peculiarly resistant to accepting the idea of gender equality.
Author: Anne Phillips
Year: 16 April 2010