New book

Interpreting Hashtag Politics is a new book by Dr Stephen Jeffares exploring how and why policy actors coin branded policy ideas and explores the challenges and opportunities of researching public policy in an era of social media and big data.

“To understand the dynamics of policy making, take social media seriously. Nice work by Stephen Jeffares illustrating how a new generation of policy scholars will redraw the boundaries of a discipline. – Professor Maarten Hajer, Department of Political Science, University of Amsterdam and PBL Netherlands Environmental Agency, the Netherlands.

“Interpreting Hashtag Politics is topical, lively and very well written. It fully engages the reader and raises important issues in the study of public policy ” – Professor Peter John, School of Public Policy, University College London, UK

Jeffares’ book fills a huge void in social science theory and research in a digital era. He thoughtfully draws from policy and political science theory, to construct a conceptual framework for understanding, researching, and interpreting the deluge of social media posts that discuss or aim to change public policy. – Dr Sherry Emery, Institute for Health Research and Policy, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA

“Interpreting Hashtag politics fills a really important gap in the literature and is comprehensive in the way that it pulls together a range of different ideas and synthesises them in an accessible and relevant way” – Dr. Helen Dickinson, Melbourne School of Government, University of Melbourne, Australia

 Published 14 May 2014 by Palgrave Macmillan, available at Amazon

Follow @SRJeffares #HashtagPoliticsBook

Add Hashtag Politics on Facebook 


Why do policy actors create branded terms like Big Society and does launching such policy ideas on Twitter extend or curtail their life? This book argues that the practice of hashtag politics has evolved in response to an increasingly congested and mediatised environment, with the recent and rapid growth of high speed internet connections, smart phones and social media. It examines how policy analysis can adapt to offer interpretive insights into the life and death of policy ideas in an era of hashtag politics.

This text reveals that policy ideas can at the same time be ideas, instruments, visions, containers and brands, and advises readers how to tell if a policy idea is dead or dying, how to map the diversity of viewpoints, how to capture the debate, when to engage and when to walk away. Each chapter showcases innovative analytic techniques, illustrated by application to contemporary policy ideas.


1. Policy Ideas and Hashtag Politics

2. Theorising Policy Ideas

3. The Lifecycle of Policy Ideas

4. Identifying Policy Viewpoints

5. Social Media and Policy Practices

6. Capturing the Digital Footprint of Policy Discussion

7. Interpreting Social Media Data

8. The Future of Hashtag Politics

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s