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Classics of Public Policy

Classics of Public Policy

Jay Shafritz, Karen Layne, Christopher Borick

Dec 2004, Paperback, 432 pages
ISBN13: 9780321089892
ISBN10: 0321089898
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Following in the tradition of his other, best-selling “classics” readers, Jay Shafritz now launches Classics of Public Policy, a supplementary reader that compiles the most important writings in public policy in one place.

Organized to match the table of contents of the best-selling policy textbooks and lauded by reviewers for filling a large gap in the field, this supplementary reader brings in one place the most important writings in public policy. Following in the bestselling tradition he established with other “Classics” readers (Public Administration, Organizational Theory, International Relations, and American Government), Shafritz offers an edited collection of the very best work in the interdisciplinary field of public policy.

Note: "Review Questions" conclude each chapter.


1. The Context of Public Policy.
Jeremy Bentham, Of the Principle of Utility (1780). David Easton, The Political System Under Stress (1965). Thomas S. Kuhn, The Nature and Necessity of Scientific Revolutions (1970).

2. Decision Making in Support of Policy Making.

Charles E. Lindblom, The Science of “Muddling Through” (1959).

Amital Etzioni, Mixed Scanning: “Third” Approach to Decision Making (1967). Michael Lipsky, Street-Level Bureaucrats as Policy Makers (1980). Deborah Stone, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making, (1997).

3. Interest Groups and Public Policy.
James Madison, The Federalist No. 10 (1787). David Truman, The Governmental Process (1951). C. Wright Mills, The Power Elite (1957). Robert A. Dahl, Who Governs? (1961). Theodore J. Lowi, American Business, Public Policy, Case-Studies, and Political Theory (1963-1964).

4. Agenda Setting for Policy Making.
Roger W. Cobb and Charles D. Elder, The Dynamics of Agenda-Building (1972). Anthony Downs, Up and Down with Ecology–The Issue-Attention Cycle (1972). John W. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives and Public Policies (1995).

5. The Political Economy of Public Policy.
Charles A. Beard, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution (1913). F. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (1944). John Kenneth Galbraith, The Affluent Society (1958). Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom (1962). Lester Thurow, The Zero-Sum Society (1980).

6. Policy Making by Legislatures.
Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol (1774). Woodrow Wilson, Congressional Government (1885). Glenn R. Parker and Roger H. Davidson, Popular Congressmen and Unpopular Congress (1979).

7. Policy Implementation by the Executive.
Louis Brownlow, Charles E. Merriam and Luther Gulick, Report of the President's Committee on Administrative Management (1937). Richard E. Neustadt, Presidential Power: The Power to Persuade (1959). Aaron Wildavsky, The Two Presidencies (1966). Graham T. Allison, Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis (1969).

8. Policy Reviewing by the Judiciary.
Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist No. 78 (1778). Marbury v. Madison (1803).Brown v. Board of Education (1954). Griswold v. Connecticut (1965). Miranda v. Arizona (1966). Roe v. Wade (1973).

9. Foreign Policy.
Thucydides, Reflections on the Peloponnesian War: The Melian Debate (5th century B.C.E.). Carl von Clausewitz, On War: War as an Instrument of Policy (1832). X (George F. Kennon) The Sources of Soviet Conduct (1947). Samuel P. Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations (1993).

10. Public Policy as Public Relations.
George Orwell, Politics and the English Language (1945). Daniel J. Boorstin, The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America (1961). Murray Edelman,Symbols and Political Quiescence (1964).

11. Policy Analysis.
Garrett Hardin, The Tragedy of the Commons (1968). Arnold J. Meltsner, The Seven Deadly Sins of Policy Analysts (1976). Aaron Wildavsky, The Art of Policy Analysis (1979).

  • Each chapter, reprinted book excerpt, or article is prefaced by an introductory essay by the editors that provides the student with context, connections to other readings and their textbook, and a sense of the most important points to be drawn from the selection.
  • Selections have been carefully edited to make each reading as accessible, engaging, and understandable as possible.
  • Review questions at the end of each chapter help students understand and retain the most important points and concepts.
  • The table of contents is organized to match the tables of content of the most popular policy texts to make assigning the readings as straightforward as possible.