Introduction to the Policy Process

M.E. Sharpe
5
Free sample

Thoroughly revised, reorganized, updated, and expanded, this widely-used text sets the balance and fills the gap between theory and practice in public policy studies. In a clear, conversational style, the author conveys the best current thinking on the policy process with an emphasis on accessibility and synthesis rather than novelty or abstraction. A newly added chapter surveys the social, economic, and demographic trends that are transforming the policy environment.
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About the author

Thomas A. Birkland is the William T. Kretzer Professor of Public Policy in the Graduate School of Public Affairs at North Carolina State University.
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Additional Information

Publisher
M.E. Sharpe
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Published on
May 18, 2015
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Pages
339
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ISBN
9780765627315
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Public Policy Analysis, the most widely cited book on the subject, provides students with a comprehensive methodology of policy analysis. It starts from the premise that policy analysis is an applied social science discipline designed for solving practical problems facing public and nonprofit organizations. This thoroughly revised sixth edition contains a number of important updates:

Each chapter includes an all-new "big ideas" case study in policy analysis to stimulate student interest in timely and important problems.

The dedicated chapter on evidence-based policy and the role of field experiments has been thoroughly rewritten and expanded.

New sections on important developments in the field have been added, including using scientific evidence in public policymaking, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, and "big data."

Data sets to apply analytical techniques are included online as IBM SPSS 23.0 files and are convertible to Excel, Stata, and R statistical software programs to suit a variety of course needs and teaching styles.

All-new PowerPoint slides are included to make instructor preparation easier than ever before.

Designed to prepare students from a variety of academic backgrounds to conduct policy analysis on their own, without requiring a background in microeconomics, Public Policy Analysis, Sixth Edition helps students develop the practical skills needed to communicate findings through memos, position papers, and other forms of structured analytical writing. The text engages students by challenging them to critically analyze the arguments of policy practitioners as well as political scientists, economists, and political philosophers.

First published in 1980, Street-Level Bureaucracy received critical acclaim for its insightful study of how public service workers, in effect, function as policy decision makers, as they wield their considerable discretion in the day-to-day implementation of public programs. Three decades later, the need to bolster the availability and effectiveness of healthcare, social services, education, and law enforcement is as urgent as ever. In this thirtieth anniversary expanded edition, Michael Lipsky revisits the territory he mapped out in the first edition to reflect on significant policy developments over the last several decades. Despite the difficulties of managing these front-line workers, he shows how street-level bureaucracies can be and regularly are brought into line with public purposes. Street-level bureaucrats—from teachers and police officers to social workers and legal-aid lawyers—interact directly with the public and so represent the frontlines of government policy. In Street-Level Bureaucracy, Lipsky argues that these relatively low-level public service employees labor under huge caseloads, ambiguous agency goals, and inadequate resources. When combined with substantial discretionary authority and the requirement to interpret policy on a case-by-case basis, the difference between government policy in theory and policy in practice can be substantial and troubling. The core dilemma of street-level bureaucrats is that they are supposed to help people or make decisions about them on the basis of individual cases, yet the structure of their jobs makes this impossible. Instead, they are forced to adopt practices such as rationing resources, screening applicants for qualities their organizations favor, "rubberstamping" applications, and routinizing client interactions by imposing the uniformities of mass processing on situations requiring human responsiveness. Occasionally, such strategies work out in favor of the client. But the cumulative effect of street-level decisions made on the basis of routines and simplifications about clients can reroute the intended direction of policy, undermining citizens' expectations of evenhanded treatment. This seminal, award-winning study tells a cautionary tale of how decisions made by overburdened workers translate into ad-hoc policy adaptations that impact peoples' lives and life opportunities. Lipsky maintains, however, that these problems are not insurmountable. Over the years, public managers have developed ways to bring street-level performance more in line with agency goals. This expanded edition of Street-Level Bureaucracy underscores that, despite its challenging nature, street-level work can be made to conform to higher expectations of public service.
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