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    Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes

Brexit psychology: cognitive styles and their relationship to nationalistic attitudes

Leor Zmigrod looks at the cognitive underpinnings of nationalistic ideology in the context of Brexit. She writes that those with strongly nationalistic attitudes tend to process information in a more categorical manner, and this relationship manifests itself through a tendency to support authoritarian and conservative ideologies.

The failure of political polling in the recent elections of Europe and North America […]

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    How cultural theory can help us to better design and implement social impact bonds

How cultural theory can help us to better design and implement social impact bonds

Social impact bonds – arrangements that bring together the public, private and voluntary sectors in order to address complex social issues – are often characterised by tensions. Ruth Dixon explains how cultural theory can be used to explain the dynamics between the various partners in order to improve this useful policy tool.

During a recent conference on outcomes-based commissioning and […]

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    What are the implications of complex systems thinking for policy?

What are the implications of complex systems thinking for policy?

Can a concept derived from the natural sciences be applicable to the political and social sciences? Sarah Quarmby looks at some key questions surrounding complex systems approaches, and considers what these can and can’t add to our understanding of policy.

Complex systems thinking is experiencing a moment of popularity within the worlds of policy research and practice. It’s an intuitively […]

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    British policy and Qaddafi’s Libya: Landmark victory in the battle for information rights

British policy and Qaddafi’s Libya: Landmark victory in the battle for information rights

Following the end of a long-running Freedom of Information battle with the Cabinet Office over the release of files relating to UK policymaking and the Qaddafi regime between 1988 and 2011, Nigel Ashton reflects on the process and its importance for information rights.

‘Freedom of Information. Three harmless words. I look at those words as I write them, and I […]

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    In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

In-work conditionality is based on weak evidence – but will the policy sink or swim?

The public seem to be unaware of the poor evidence underpinning in-work conditionality, write Jo Abbas and Katy Jones. But research suggests that this policy is unfair and ineffective, and so once Universal Credit is rolled out, it could face resistance both from claimants and the wider public.

The government’s flagship benefit, Universal Credit (UC), sees the introduction of ‘in-work […]

Shallow, hostile, toxic: Corbynism’s social media problem

Social media creates a bubble in which Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters validate each other but convince few others, writes Andrew S. Crines. At the same time, debates on Labour’s future currently lack the intellectual justification which writers of the left previously enjoyed. This combination renders Labour unable to articulate a clear message about its vision for the country.

The Labour Party […]

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    Disciplinary neoliberalism: coercive commodification and the post-crisis welfare state

Disciplinary neoliberalism: coercive commodification and the post-crisis welfare state

Fiona Dukelow and Patricia Kennett examine the post-2008 welfare states in Ireland, Britain, and the US. They explain how each of these countries experienced an acceleration in the operation of disciplinary neoliberalism – through punitive regimes of surveillance and sanctions – and consider the implications of these contemporary welfare policies.

The Great Recession saw the unravelling of a financialised […]

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    Lessons from Ireland’s recent referendums: how deliberation helps inform voters

Lessons from Ireland’s recent referendums: how deliberation helps inform voters

Ireland’s 2015 referendum on equal marriage and its 2018 one on abortion both had their origins in deliberative assemblies. But did such processes influence the result? The evidence suggests that the information and debate that came with these assemblies had an impact both on vote choice and turnout, writes Jane Suiter.

Ireland has made history in recent years with two […]