Once found largely in the United States, policy analysis has become global, and Radin discusses the field’s new paradigms, methodologies and concepts of success. This new edition considers changes in expertise, controversies in the field, today’s career prospects, and the impact of 9/11 on the field. She profiles three additional policy analysis organizations and updates the profiles of the organizations in the first edition. Continuing the trajectory of the fictional characters from the first edition, Radin adds a character representing the new generation just entering the field. The book discusses the shifts in society’s attitudes toward public action, the availability of resources to meet public needs, and the dimensions of policymaking.
Written for students, faculty, and practitioners, the book concludes with a look at the possible dimensions of the policy analysis field and profession as it moves into the future.
To spur new thinking about this problem, Radin examines three basic sets of contradictions between the strategies of the reformers and the reality of the US federal system: contradictions in the shared powers structure, contradictions in values, and contradictions between politics and administration. She then explores six types of reform efforts and the core beliefs that guided them. The six reform areas are contracting out, personnel policy, agency reorganization, budgeting, federalism policies and procedures, and performance management. The book shows how too often these prescriptions for reform have tried to apply techniques from the private sector or a parliamentary system that do not transfer well to the structure of the US federal system and its democratic and political traditions.
Mindful of the ineffectiveness of a “one-size-fits–all” approach, Radin does not propose a single path for reform, but calls instead for a truly honest assessment of past efforts as today’s reformers design a new conceptual and strategic roadmap for the future.
In this thought-provoking book, government and public administration scholar Beryl Radin takes on many of the assumptions of the performance movement, arguing that evaluation relies too often on simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions that are not always effective for dynamic organizations. Drawing on a wide range of ideas, including theories of intelligence and modes of thought, assumptions about numbers and information, and the nature of professionalism, Radin sheds light on the hidden complexities of creating standards to evaluate performance. She illustrates these problems by discussing a range of program areas, including health efforts as well as the education program, "No Child Left Behind."
Throughout, the author devotes particular attention to concerns about government standards, from accounting for issues of equity to allowing for complicated intergovernmental relationships and fragmentation of powers. She explores in detail how recent performance measurement efforts in the U.S. government have fared, and analyzes efforts by nongovernmental organizations both inside and outside of the United States to impose standards of integrity and equity on their governments. The examination concludes with alternative assumptions and lessons for those embarking on performance measurement activities.