This book reviews some of the most challenging developments in British society as they are understood by policy-makers and by academics. The key point is that academic debates identify a range of ways in which issues can be understood and tackled, but policy is typically based on a narrow subset of possible approaches. This is illustrated by discussion of climate change, demographic shifts, the response to greater ethnic and religious diversity, the debate about community and local area politics, democratisation, nudge, the international financial crisis, and the growth of popular disillusion with politics and politicians. These areas range across economic, social and political issues. This book will contribute to our understanding of governance and particularly of how the ideas that lead the policy agenda emerge and are reinforced. It will also be valuable in academic study of policy debate and help develop understanding of the policy issues which it examines. It is written by leading academics from the fields under discussion and draws on the most recent research.
Peter Taylor-Gooby FBA, AcSS, FRSA is Professor of Social Policy at the University of Kent. He directed the ESRC Economic Beliefs and Behaviour, and Social Contexts and Responses to Risk, the EU Welfare Reform and the Management of Societal Change and Globalization and Welfare Reform and the British Academy New Paradigms in Public Policy programmes. He has published 22 books and more than 250 academic articles and chapters. He is and Director of the ESRC Social Contexts and Responses to Risk Programme. He is a State-appointed Visiting Foreign Expert to China 2008-11, Distinguished Visitor and Central Policy Unit Special Advisor to the Hong Kong Government and has advised the UK government on a number of occasions. He chaired the subject panel for the RAE and REF.
1. Introduction: Public Policy at a Cross-Roads ; 2. Economic Futures ; 3. Squaring the Public Policy Circle: Managing a Mismatch Between Demand and Resources ; 4. Climate Change and Public Policy Futures ; 5. Citizenship in a Diverse and Multi-Cultural Society ; 6. Demographic Futures: Addressing Inequality and Diversity Among Older People ; 7. The Big Society and Concentrated Neighbourhood Problems ; 8. Building a New Politics ; 9. How Social Science Can Contribute to Public Policy: the Case for a Design Arm