The Public Policy Theory Primer

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Overview

Public policy has developed into a broad and interdisciplinary area of study. Research in the field tends to reflect this wide-ranging nature, with scholarly activity focusing on policy process, policy design, program evaluation, specific policy issues, and research classified simply as "policy studies." Yet for those teaching and studying in the field, this disjointedness can be confusing and cumbersome.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There simply is nothing better than Smith and Larimer’s The Public Policy Theory Primer, Second Edition for a broad, thought-provoking, and politically attuned review of the theories and findings that constitute the field. If you want to refresh your own perspective, you’ll benefit from reading it; if you take your students seriously, you’ll want to assign it."
Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University

"Much more than a primer, this comprehensive second edition recognizes the changing dynamics of policy science, emphasizing the latest research in implementation studies. Perfect for graduate seminars and students studying for comprehensive examinations, just about everything you need to know about the field of policy science is in this book."
Jacqueline Vaughn, Northern Arizona University

Praise from First Edition:
"Smith and Larimer’s tour de force provides both summary and serious critique of the field of policy studies. It will contribute to the future development of the field by presenting both students and their professors the first serious holistic evaluation of the entire field, rather than the partial views usually addressed in texts. It will be the standard reference for years to come."
Bryan D. Jones, University of Texas at Austin

"Smith and Larimer’s classification system is sensible and comprehensive, arguably the best scheme for organizing the field of policy studies in print…I expect that over the next decade, nearly every graduate student in political science and public affairs will be introduced to the field of public policy through the book under review."
Perspectives on Politics

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813343815
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Kevin B. Smith is professor of political science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Christopher W. Larimer is associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa.

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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Public Policy as a Concept and a Field (or Fields) of Study 1

2 Does Politics Cause Policy? Does Policy Cause Politics? 27

3 Who Makes Decisions? How Do They Make Decisions? Actors and Institutions 49

4 Where Does Policy Come From? The Policy Process 75

5 What Should We Do? The Field of Policy Analysis 101

6 What Have We Done? Impact Analysis and Program Evaluation 129

7 How Does It Work? Policy Implementation 155

8 Whose Values? Policy Design 181

9 New Directions in Policy Research 209

10 Do the Policy Sciences Exist? 231

References 249

Index 269

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Customer Reviews

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