Welcome to the British Politics and Policy blog

BPP is a multidisciplinary academic blog run by the London School of Economics and Political Science. Our central aim is to increase the public understanding of British politics and policy by providing accessible academic commentary and research. We have no editorial ‘line’ beyond a commitment to communicating social science research and commentary in ways that enhance public debate and understanding.

About BPP

Comments Policy
We welcome comments on all blogs and will accept any reasonable or constructive comment that contributes to debate, including strong criticisms. We operate a propriety filter, so comments are routed to the Blog Team and not posted for public view until they have been checked. There will be a brief delay in posting overnight, at weekends and when we are very busy. Please note that we operate our comments system under the following guidelines:

  • Email Privacy: Email addresses are required for commenting, and they are not published on the blog, nor shared. They may be used by the blog committee to privately contact the commenter.
  • Language and Manners: This blog is for a wide audience, and comments which include offensive or inappropriate language, or considered by the blog committee and to be rude and offensive, will be edited or deleted.
  • No Personal Attack Comments Permitted: No personal attacks are permitted in this blog’s comments. You may question or argue the content, but not attack the blogger, nor any other commenters.
  • A Comment is Conversation: A comment which does not add to the conversation, runs off on an inappropriate tangent, or kills the conversation may be edited, or deleted.
  • Limit Links: This blog is setup to automatically hold any blog comment with more than two links in moderation, which may delay your comment from appearing on this blog. Any blog comment with more than four links could be marked as comment spam.
  • What To Do If Your Comment Does Not Appear: If you leave a comment on this blog and it does not appear in a reasonable time period, and you know that it does not violate these Comment Policies, contact the blog committee.
  • Commenters Blocked: Anyone who violates this Comments Policy may be blocked from commenting on this blog.
  • All Rights Reserved: The blog committee reserves the right to edit, delete, move, or mark as spam any and all comments. They also have the right to block access to any individual or group of people from commenting, or from the entire blog.
Notes for contributors
We encourage submissions of posts from 750 to 1,250 words that are communicated in an accessible way. Our remit covers all aspects of British government and politics (including historical issues of contemporary relevance) and all aspects of British public policy (including theoretical issues and international/comparative aspects). We are keen to include tables, charts, and relevant figures where appropriate.

Authors of material relating to overseas countries or international issues should ensure that their blog relates substantively to our remit. Our Blog Team would be happy to advise and help, so you are welcome to propose ideas informally to them. To submit an article for consideration, please e-mail it in a Word file to the Managing Editor, Joel Suss at the following address: j.suss@lse.ac.uk Please also include Excel files for figures and charts so that these can be modified.

Style guide

To help authors with the submission process, we’ve compiled a list of some of the main style issues to keep in mind when drafting an article for BPP.

Length and format

  • In order to increase readability and accessibility, we aim for our articles to be between 750 and 1,250 words.

  • We are also happy to post longer essays of over 2,000 words if appropriate for the topic. If you are interested, please discuss this with the blog team.

  • Please send us your draft article in Word format, with your name at the top.

Audience, writing style and language

  • Our main aim is to increase the public understanding of the social sciences. With this in mind, your article should be written with a relatively wide audience in mind, including policy-makers and other non-academics.

  • Our most widely read blog articles are written in a more natural style, so we recommend that you avoid overusing acronyms and academic terms, such as Latin words, or specific terminology that may not be well known outside disciplinary circles. Also avoid introductory phrases like “In this paper I will…”, or “This paper aims to…”, and go straight into your discussion of the topic.

  • Use short paragraphs made up of four or five sentences

  • If possible, convert numbered lists and bullet points into full paragraphs.

  • As with journalistic pieces ‘lead with the best.’ Don’t save your main argument or analysis for the end of the post.

  • Write your article as a standalone piece, even if it summarises material in a longer paper or journal article. Try to present all of your argument and evidence within the text and avoid relying too heavily on information contained in external sources. Avoid phrases such as “In my recent paper, I have shown that the House of Lords should be reformed…” and simply say “The House of Lords should be reformed for these reasons…” Remember that many journal articles are behind a paywall and not all readers will have access to them.

Referencing

  • We use links rather than citations for references. Links should direct readers to more detailed reports or other pieces of research, news items or other blog posts. Open access sources are preferable compared to those behind paywalls.

  • Please insert a hyperlink at the relevant point of your argument that you’d like to reference (using ctrl-K in Word) or simply place the URL in parentheses where you would like it to be placed and we will link it ourselves: e.g. “Joe Bloggs has said…”

  • Please try to avoid using footnotes wherever possible and integrate material directly into the text.

Titles

  • We use narrative titles, i.e a single sentence that sums up the main argument of the article. The more descriptive and catchy the title, the more likely the article is to be read. Try to avoid questions (How can the UK solve the housing crisis?) or general topics (Devolution in the UK). Some examples of good titles::

    • Better Together’s campaign creates strategic dilemmas for Scottish Labour

    • The UK’s fading influence over Europe is weakening the country’s global clout

  • Try and keep titles to twenty words or less, if possible

Graphs and Charts

  • We encourage the use of charts and figures. Graphs and charts are preferable to tables, as they are easier for readers to interpret quickly. In all cases, please send us the raw data of your chart, table, or figure in Excel format.

  • Each chart needs a clearly labelled heading, labels for the X and Y axes or histogram bars, including units of measurement and a readable scale or background grid.

  • There should be a clear legend distinguishing multiple data series from each other and a brief note on sources. Lines must be thick enough and distinctively coloured. Charts should use a numerical progression to make comparisons more visible

Biography and contributor photo

  • We’re proud of our contributors, so we like to give them full attribution. Please send us a three to four line biographical note, with your academic position, research interests, and details of your two most recent books.

  • Please also send us a small colour photo headshot. Our preference is for a more formal portrait style, rather than a photo taken from an event.

Our editing process

  • In most cases submitted articles will be reviewed speedily by the Blog Team, who will edit the piece to enhance readability to the blog’s wider audience. Once these edits are complete, we will send you the final version of the article, and give you an opportunity to make final edits.

  • All articles on the British Politics and Policy blog should be evidence based. With this in mind, editors may double-check the factual accuracy of certain points, or ask you for links to supporting information.

BPP house style

  • Minimise use of bold, underlining, and italics for emphasis.

  • We use British spelling – e.g. “organisation” instead of “organization”.

  • Use ‘per cent’ instead of %.

  • We spell “euro” without a capital, but “Eurosceptic” and “Eurozone” with a capital.
Editorial Policy
All contributions that are submitted will be acknowledged by the Managing Editor or an Assistant Blog Editor as soon as possible. Occasionally, an article may not fit our remit; in that case we will advise authors on how best to rewrite articles so that we are able to publish them.

In most cases, submitted articles will be reviewed speedily by at least two members of the Blog Team, who will edit the piece to enhance readability and maintain a consistent style. These edits may include:

  • Shortening of text if the article is above our stated 1,250 word limit
  • The addition of a narrative-style title to sum up the post’s main findings
  • The addition of a short introductory paragraph outlining the article’s author, their main arguments and findings, and any relevant background information for readers.

Once these edits and revisions are complete, we will send the final version of the blog article to the author with an estimated date and time of publication, and give the author an opportunity to make any further edits if necessary. Please note that owing to events and other circumstances beyond our control, we may have to change our posting order at very short notice.

Unfortunately, due to time pressures, authors may have less than 24 hours to approve our edits. However, once articles are published, we are very happy to make further edits afterwards.

Creative Commons

All of our articles are published under a Creative Commons licence, (CC-BY-SA-3.0) and other blogs and publications are free to use them, with attribution.

If you do not wish for your article to be republished anywhere else, please let us know, otherwise, we will assume that you are happy for us to do this. Additionally, if you find your work posted on any site that is not listed above, please let us know by emailing our Managing Editor at: j.suss@lse.ac.uk

Role of the General Editor

The blog team may refer the following types of articles to the General Editor (which may cause your blog’s publication to be delayed):

  • Articles that are potentially libellous or defamatory
  • Articles where the blog team has concerns about potential conflicts of interest regarding the author
  • Articles that are insufficiently evidence based or lacking in academic rigour
  • Any other articles that may impact on the reputation of the author, the LSE, or the LSE Public Policy Group

In the rare cases where the General Editor cannot accept a blog, authors can appeal to our Advisory Board and we will ask two members to adjudicate the issue.

If you have any questions about our policy, please let us know by emailing the Managing Editor at: j.suss@lse.ac.uk

How to cite our articles
For those wishing to cite our articles we recommend the following format:

All of our URLs are permanent, so they’ll never change and you’ll always be able to find the content that you’re looking for. Our content is also stored permanently in LSE Research Online, so you could also choose to link to it that way.

Our blog family
In addition to BPP, a wider LSE Public Policy Group team runs four other blogs on behalf of the LSE. Our sister blogs are:

EUROPP - European Politics and Policy at LSE

EUROPP aims to increase the public understanding of the social sciences in the context of European government; facilitate the exchange of knowledge between experts within and outside universities; and open up academic research to increase its impact. We draw primarily on the community of academics and researchers at the London School of Economics, but we welcome contributions from other universities and research organisations. We encourage the submission of material that focuses on substantive insights or research as it pertains to any aspect of European politics and policy.Read more

USAPP - American Politics and Policy

USAPP’s central mission is to increase the public understanding of social science in the context of American politics and policymaking. Our focus is broad-based and multidisciplinary, covering all aspects of governance, economics, politics, culture and society in the United States, and in its continental neighbours, Canada and Mexico. We seek to achieve a qualitative improvement in the British, European and rest of the world’s understanding of domestic politics in the United States at the level of states and major cities, and encompassing the full range of American social, urban and regional issues.Read more

Impact of Social Sciences

The Impact of Social Sciences blog is a hub for researchers, administrative staff, librarians, students, think-tanks, government, and anyone else interested in maximising the impact of academic work in the social sciences and other disciplines. We hope to encourage debate, share best practice and keep the impact community up to date with news, events and the latest research.Read more

LSE Review of Books

LSE Review of Books publishes reviews of the latest releases from across the social sciences, providing readers with informative, well written, and timely reviews. We believe academic communication is becoming faster, more interactive, and more open, and that book reviews shouldn’t be confined to the shelves in lonely journals or stuck behind expensive paywalls.Read more
Contact us
For any further questions about the site, please contact the BPP team at: E-mail: Politicsandpolicy@lse.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)207 955 6919
Address: BPP, LSE Public Policy Group, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK 

The BPP team

Joel Suss

Joel SussManaging Editor

Joel Suss is the Managing Editor of BPP. Joel joined the Public Policy Group in 2012 and graduated with a Masters degree in Public Administration from the LSE in 2013. Email: j.suss@lse.ac.uk

Patrick Dunleavy

Patrick DunleavyGeneral Editor

Patrick Dunleavy is the General Editor. Patrick is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at LSE, where he has worked since 1979. He has published numerous books and over 50 journal articles on political science theory, British politics and urban politics. Email: Politicsandpolicy@lse.ac.uk

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