Prof Paul Cairney
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Contact Information
Pathfoot A95
University of Stirling
United Kingdom

Mobile: 07502081411

Overview (3)
Projects (1)
Publications (68)
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My name is Paul Cairney and my title is Professor of Politics and Public Policy in the Department of History and Politics at the University of Stirling. I am also a Fellow of the Academy of Social Science.

My blog on public policy is here -  - and twitter is @Cairneypaul or @undpublicpolicy.

A longer CV and full list of my academic publications can also be found here:

I am a specialist in British politics and public policy, currently focusing on the ways in which policy studies can explain the use of evidence in politics and policy, and how policymakers translate broad long term aims into evidence-informed objectives (The Politics of Evidence-Based Policymaking, 2016).

As part of the ESRC Centre on Constitutional Change (CCC, led by Professors Michael Keating and Nicola McEwev), I was funded from 2013-15 to examine the policy capacity of Scottish institutions in the lead up to the referendum on Scottish independence. The CCC was at the heart of academic-driven discussions to provide relatively impartial evidence to voters in Scotland.

As part of the Horizon2020 funded IMAJINE centre on territorial inequalities across Europe, I will be funded from 2016-21 to examine the ways in which governments can, and should, use evidence to learn from the success and failure of other government strategies.

You can find an introductory blog post here:

Research Interests:

My research and teaching interests are in comparative public policy. You can find a full list of publications here:

My research includes:

  •  comparisons of policy theories (e.g. Understanding Public Policy, 2012)
  •  applications of policy theory to live topics (The Politics of Evidence-Based Policy Making, 2016)
  • policy outcomes in different countries (Global Tobacco Control, 2012 (with Donley Studlar and Hadii Mamudu)
  • Scottish politics and policy (The Scottish Political System Since Devolution, 2011 and Scottish Politics 2nd ed, 2013 with Neil McGarvey)
  • comparisons of UK and devolved government policymaking (‘Has Devolution Changed the British Policy Style?', British Politics, 3, 3, 350-72)
  • comparisons of policy outcomes across the UK (‘Policy Convergence, Transfer and Learning in the UK under Devolution', Regional and Federal Studies, 22, 3, 289-307 with Michael Keating and Eve Hepburn).

I was funded (October 2013-15) by the Economic and Social Research Council to research the policymaking process in Scotland, focusing on areas such as preventative spending.

I am now funded (2016-21) by EU Horizon2020 (IMAJINE centre on territorial inequalities across Europe) to examine the ways in which governments can, and should, use evidence to learn from the success and failure of other government strategies to reduce territorial inequalities.

Employment History:

Activities :
Teaching: POL9SP
Teaching: POL9PP
Teaching personal statement: Teaching public policy