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In direct, jargon-free prose, this brief text identifies the issues, resources, actors, and institutions involved in public policy making and traces the dynamics of the policy-making process:
the triggering of concern about an issue;
the emergence of that issue on the public agenda;
the activities of policy makers;
the implementation process that translates policy commitments into practice;
the evaluation of results.
Bringing the analysis to life and helping to demystify the process are discussions of recent and historic cases of policy making. Updated for this edition, these examples illustrate the diverse pressures, conflicting values, and competing political objectives that are at play in actual policymaking situations and that often produce what seem to be unnecessarily complicated outcomes.
Throughout the text, well-chosen references place policy analysis in the context of political science and deftly orient readers to the classics of public policy studies. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading.
Preface to the Third Edition
Chapter 1 The Context of Public Policy 3
Chapter 2 Triggering Mechanisms: Catalysts for Public Policies 22
Chapter 3 The Public Agenda: Focal Point for Policy Decisions 48
Chapter 4 The Policy Makers: Roles and Realities 70
Chapter 5 Implementation: Converting Policy Commitments into Practice 90
Chapter 6 Evaluation: Assessments and Directions 112
Chapter 7 Public Policy Making in an Evolutionary Context 127
About the Author 161