A Modern Guide to Public Policy


A Modern Guide to Public Policy

9781789904970 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Giliberto Capano, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy and Michael Howlett, Burnaby Mountain Professor and Canada Research Chair, Department of Political Science, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Publication Date: 2020 ISBN: 978 1 78990 497 0 Extent: 288 pp
A Modern Guide to Public Policy explores the many approaches and methodologies in the study of policy making that have appeared over recent decades, ranging from the examination of micro level of human behaviour to the impact of global political systems on policies and policy-making. This expertly curated and accessible Elgar Modern Guide is a valuable resource for both graduate and undergraduate students and for practitioners seeking an introduction to public policy and public management and a concise guide to research in the discipline.

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This expertly curated and accessible Elgar Modern Guide is dedicated to aiding our understanding of the large corpus of studies and concepts in public policy developed using many multi-disciplinary frameworks and approaches.

Bringing together a wide range of specialist contributors, this Modern Guide explores these approaches and methodologies, ranging from the examinaion of the micro level of human behaviour to the impact of the nature of global political systems on domestic policy-making. Scholars and practitioners use many frameworks and methods in order to explore these complex government and policy processes and dynamics and this book provides a handy guide to their origins, applications, and strengths and weaknesses. Chapters address the manner in which policies develop, the mechanisms activated in order to achieve policy goals, and the general patterns through which policies evolve and change.

Featuring coverage of both classic and contemporary work in the field, A Modern Guide to Public Policy is an invaluable resource for both graduate and undergraduate students and for practitioners seeking an introduction to public policy and public management. It serves as an entry point into current research findings and methods for both researchers and practitioners alike and is essential reading for those wishing to enhance their understanding of public policy-making as a supplement to their other areas of interest.
Critical Acclaim
‘This timely contribution gathers the rich body of literature in policy studies within a comprehensive framework. Edited by two of the world’s leading scholars in the field, the volume builds on the contribution of both prominent and emerging scholars to make a critical presentation and examination of the state of the art in public policy analysis. The book successfully combines the theoretical milestones of policy studies and the empirical reality of public policymaking to become an indispensable guide for students, academics and practitioners interested in the question of how to make policies work.’
– Giulia Bazzan, International Review of Public Policy

‘A Modern Guide to Public Policy provides a commendable overview of the field’s literature and implications for practice. I was impressed with the breadth of coverage and the quality of content from the assembled author team. The book will be most useful for graduate-level courses in public policy, possibly as a central text for such a course within a public administration program, given the chapters’ frequent attention to practitioner perspectives.’
– Christopher L Atkinson, International Journal of Public Administration

‘Those new to the study of public policy, as well as those who have long made its practice and study their work, will welcome this volume. Edited by two of the world’s leading scholars of public policy, its sixteen chapters, written by prominent and emerging European, Asian and North American scholars, succeed where few edited volumes do. They introduce readers to the foundational works in public policy even while providing state of the art theorizing regarding such topics as the dynamics of public policy, mechanistic underpinnings of policy design, and the effect of policy tools and policy mixes on policy outcomes.’
– Grace Skogstad, University of Toronto, Canada

‘The theory and practice of public policy has shifted considerably in response to ongoing crises, challenges and institutional reform. Capano and Howlett have assembled a great line-up of scholars, bringing fresh insights to understanding these changes. The authors take seriously the importance of historical context and institutional capacity, in order to explain the politics of policy debate, including policy instruments, processes, learning and policy evaluation. As a guide to key themes in policy theory and practice, this book provides authoritative coverage.’
– Brian Head, University of Queensland, Australia

Contributors: C. Adam, D. Béland, S. Busetti, G. Capano, B. Cashore, C.A. Dunlop, N. Goyal, L. Haelg, M. Howlett, S. Hurka, C. Knill, M. Maor, I. Mukherjee, S. Nair, A. Perl, C.M. Radaelli, M. Ramesh, S. Sewerin, Y. Steinebach, X. Wu

1. Introduction
Capano and Howlett

2. Public Policy: Definitions & Approaches
Howlett and Cashore

3. Studying Policy Dynamics: Policy Cycles and Regimes

4. Mapping Policy Agents: policy entrepreneurs, advocacy coalitions, epistemic communities, instrument constituencies
Beland and Haelg

5. Addressing Uncertainty and Ambiguity in policymaking: advancements and dilemmas

6. Making sense of the babble of policy-making: A general framework of the policy process
Goyal and Howlett

7. Policy Over- and Underreaction: From Unintentional Error to Deliberate Policy Response

8. Studying Public Policy: A Mechanistic Perspective

9. Types of Policy Mechanisms: 1st- and 2nd Order Mechanisms. A case study application
Busetti and Capano

10. Understanding Policy Target Behaviour: Compliance Problems & the Limitations of the Utility Paradigm

11. Policy Instruments: Definitions & Approaches

12. Policy Resources, Capacities and Capabilities
Wu, Ramesh and Howlett

13. Understanding Complex Policy Mixes: Conceptual and Empirical Challenges

14. Policy Design and Non-Design: Discerning the Content of Policy Packaging, Patching, Stretching and Layering
Capano and Mukherjee

15. The lessons of policy learning: types, triggers, hindrances and pathologies
Dunlop and Radaelli

16. Policy Dismantling, Accumulation & Performance
Knill, Steinebach, Adam and Hurka


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