am 21. Juli 1997
This text offers an excellent approach to the study of the public policy-making process in the U.S. using an applied problem-solving model. It provides brief but insightful glimpses into the history of the field. It widely surveys current thinking and offers good syntheses of past work, e.g., Charles Jones' An Introduction to the Study of Public Policy, James Anderson's Public Policy-Making: An Introduction, and Thomas Dye's Understanding Public Policy. This text, however, goes beyond previous work to provide many helpful models for organizing a wide variety of approaches to the subject, including public choice, welfare economics, corporatism, pluralism, neo-institutionalism, and statism. These models, often displayed in the form of easily understood charts or tables, reveal the basic assumptions underlying the myriad of approaches to the subject, e.g., inductive versus deductive theory construction, and individual, group, or institutional level of analysis. This text offers a very useful taxonomy of typical policy styles with respect to specific areas of government activity to explain the differences between incremental and non-incremental policy change (the latter termed paradigm shifts). Finally, the authors recognize the complexity of both the policy-making process itself and the study of it
am 5. Mai 2007
Looking around for a book on policy studies for advanced and graduate students, I have carefully checked about two dozen popular works. This one by Howlett and Ramesh is by far the most stringently argued and best structured work on the policy process that I have come across. This book really is an eye-opener on the policy process. My students find it demanding but extremely instructive and stimulating in thinking about how policies are being made. Strong recommendation!