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With the right information we can develop public policies that work better.
All too often, public policy textbooks offer a basic grounding in the policy process without the benefit of integrating the use of policy analysis. Since the first edition of Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives, Michael Kraft and Scott Furlong have taken a different tack. They want students to understand how and why policy analysis is used to assess policy alternatives—not only to question the assumptions of policy analysts, but also to recognize how analysis is used in support of political arguments. To encourage critical and creative thinking on issues ranging from the federal deficit to health care reform to climate change, the authors introduce and fully integrate an evaluative approach to policy.
The authors begin the fifth edition of Public Policy with a concise review of institutions, policy actors, and major theoretical models. Then, they discuss the nature of policy analysis and its practice and show students how to employ evaluative criteria in six substantive policy areas. The text arms students with the analytic tools they need to understand the motivations of policy actors—both within and outside of government—and to influence a complex, yet comprehensible, policy agenda.
We gratefully acknowledge Michael E. Kraft and Scott R. Furlong for writing an excellent text. Special thanks are also due to Lora Warner for developing the ancillaries on this site.
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