Department of Social & Policy Sciences

Governance and policy design

Research under this theme explores key relationships between society, politics and the state in an increasingly complex and uncertain world. Questions of interest include how policy is made, who helps to make it, and with what implications in different social and political contexts.

Our research moves from the local practices of NGOs and community organisations in Africa and Asia, to regional and global public policy governance. We explain and evaluate the ethical and normative frameworks that shape public policy, and the processes of innovation and change management. We also develop frameworks and ‘toolkits’ for the design and assessment of policy and practice.



Recent publications


Brown, L. and Osborne, S. P., 2013. Risk and innovation: towards a framework for risk governance in public services. Public Management Review, 15 (2), pp. 186-208.

Brown, L. , 2013. Forthcoming. Living with uncertainty? The challenge to innovate in an 'evidence-based' context. Policy and Politics

Gadd, M., Corr, M. L., Fox, C. and Butler, I., 2013. Forthcoming.This is abuse… or is it? Domestic abuse perpetrators’ responses to anti-domestic violence publicity. Crime Media Culture, n/a, n/a.

Copestake, J., 2013. Research on microfinance in India: combining impact assessment with a broader development perspective. Oxford Development Studies, 41 (Suppl 1), S17-S34.

Fouillet, C., Hudon, M., Harriss-White, B. and Copestake, J. G., 2013. Microfinance studies: introduction and overview. Oxford Development Studies, 41 (S1), S1-S16.

Johnson, S., 2013. From microfinance to inclusive financial markets : the challenge of social regulation. Oxford Development Studies, 41 (S1), S35-S52.

Papadopoulos, T. and Roumpakis, A., 2013. Forthcoming. The meta-regulation of European industrial relations : power shifts, institutional dynamics and the emergence of regulatory competition among member states. International Labour Review

Room, G., 2013. Evidence for agile policy makers : The contribution of transformative realism. Evidence & Policy, 9 (2), pp. 225-244.

Valentine, C. and Woodthorpe, K., 2013. Forthcoming. From the cradle to the grave : funeral welfare from an international perspective. Social Policy & Administration.

Woodthorpe, K., Rumble, H. and Valentine, C., 2013. Putting ‘the grave’ into social policy : state support for funerals in contemporary UK society. Journal of Social Policy, 42 (3), pp. 605-622.

Woodthorpe, K., and Foster, L. 2013. What cost the price of a good send off? The challenges for British state funeral policy. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 21 (1), pp. 77-89.

Carmel, E., 2012. Migration governance in the European Union: a theme and its variations. Journal of Poverty and Social Justice, 20 (1), pp. 31-39.

Dixon, J., 2012. Mentally disordered offenders' views of 'their' risk assessment and management plans: perceptions of health risks. Health Risk & Society, 14 (7-8), pp. 667-680.

Dinan, W. and Miller, D., 2012. Sledgehammers, nuts and rotten apples: Reassessing the case for lobbying self-regulation in the United Kingdom. Interest Groups & Advocacy, 1 (1), pp. 105-114.

Ozieranski, P., McKee, M. and King, L., 2012. The politics of health technology assessment in Poland. Health Policy, 108 (2-3), pp. 178-193.

Room, G., 2012. Evolution and the arts of civilisation. Policy & Politics, 40 (4), pp. 453-471.

Copestake, J. G., 2011. Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference 2010: Heralding a new era of microfinance innovation and research? Enterprise Development and Microfinance, 22 (1), pp. 17-29.

Copestake, J., 2011. Well-being in development: Comparing global designs with local views in Peru. European Journal of Development Research, 23 (1), pp. 94-110.

Deneulin, S., 2011. Development and the limits of Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice. Third World Quarterly, 32 (4), pp. 787-797.

Hart, J., Paludan, M. B., Steffen, L. and O'Donoghue, G., 2011. Working with children as stakeholders in development: the challenges of organisational change. Development in Practice, 21 (3), pp. 330-342.

Osbourne, S. P. and Brown, L., 2011.Innovation, public policy and public services delivery in the UK. The word that would be king? Public Administration, 89 (4), pp. 1335-1350.

Woodthorpe, K., 2011. Sustaining the contemporary cemetery: implementing policy alongside conflicting perspectives and purpose. Mortality, 16 (3), pp. 259-276.


Dinerstein, A. C. , Deledicque, M., Ferrero, J. P., Pascual, R. and Contartese, D., 2013. Movimientos Sociales y Autonomia Colectiva : La politica de la Esperanza en America Latina. Buenos Aires: Capital Intelectual. (Claves del Siglo XXI)

Charles, A. , 2012. Exchange entitlement mapping: theory and evidence. New York, U. S. A.: Palgrave Macmillan. (Perspectives from Social Economics)

Room, G. , 2011. Complexity, Institutions and Public Policy : Agile Decision-Making in a Turbulent World. Cheltenham, U. K.: Edward Elgar.

Book Sections

Jawad, R., 2012. Social Policy in Middle Eastern Societies. In: Alcock, P., May, M. and Wright, S., eds. The Student’s Companion to Social Policy Companion, 4th ed. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 477-454.

Jawad, R., 2012. A secular response to social solidarity? Social capital, religion and the implications for social policy. In: O'Sullivan, M. and Flanagan, B., eds. Spiritual capital: spirituality in practice in Christian perspective. Farnham: Ashgate.

Jawad, R., 2012. Forthcoming. Beyond Revolutions and Social Welfare as Women’s Work: The Coming of Age of Social Policy in the Middle East? In: Ellison, M., ed. Defining and Reinventing Social Solidarity and Sustainability Across the Mediterranean. Bristol: Policy Press.

Carmel, E., 2011. EU migration governance: utility, security and integration. In: Carmel, E. K., Cerami, A. and Papadopoulos, T., eds. Migration and Welfare in the 'New' Europe: Social Protection and the Challenges of Integration. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 49-66.

Carmel, E. and Cerami, A., 2011. Governing migration and welfare: institutions and emotions in the production of differential inclusion. In: Carmel, E. K., Cerami, A. and Papadopoulos, T., eds. Migration and Welfare in the 'New' Europe: Social Protection and the Challenges of Integration. Bristol: Policy Press, pp. 1-22.