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Public Policy

The Essential Readings
2nd Edition

Stella Theodoulou, Matthew Cahn

Apr 2012, Paperback, 384 pages
ISBN13: 9780205856336
ISBN10: 0205856330
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Updated in its 2nd edition, Public Policy Analysis: The Essential Readings presents a collection of 67 key classic and contemporary readings on public policy and public policy issues.Spanning a wide range of topics and issues, this text aims to introduce readers to the underpinnings and current practices of the policymaking arena. Selected readings are viewed as “essential” by the authors, in that some of them are generally argued to be among the most influential in the field, or among the most frequently cited.


1. The Contemporary Language of Public Policy: Starting to Understand,
Stella Z. Theodoulou

2. Enduring Political Questions and Public Policy, James J. Gosling

3. Political Science and Public Policy, Paul A. Sabatier

4. Bounded Rationality and Rational Choice Theory, Bryan D. Jones, Graeme Boushey,
and Samuel Workman

5. Still Muddling, Not Yet Through, Charles E. Lindblom

6. Group Politics and Representative Democracy, David B. Truman

7. Neo Pluralism, Andrew S. McFarland

8. Imperfect Competition, Ralph Miliband

9. Issue Networks and the Executive Establishment, Hugh Heclo

10. Who Benefits, Who Governs, Who Wins, G. William Domhoff


11. Rules, Strategies, Resources, and Culture, Matthew A. Cahn

12. The Federalist Papers: #1, #10, #15, #78, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison

13. The Anti-Federalist Papers

14. Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman

15. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups, Mancur Olsen

16. Constructing the Political Spectacle, Murray Edelman

17. A Preface to Economic Democracy, Robert Dahl

18. The Semisovereign People, E. Schattschneider

19. Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life, Robert N. Bellah, Richard Madsen, William M. Sullivan, Ann Swidler, and Steven M. Tipton


20. In Search of a Framework to Understand the Policy Process, Stella Z. Theodoulou

21. Theories Of and In the Policy Process, David L. Weimer

22. The Stages Approach to the Policy Process, Peter DeLeon

23. Typologies of Public Policy, Peter J. Steinberger

24. Agendas and Instability, Frank R. Baumgartner and Bryan D. Jones

25. Why Some Issues Rise and Others are Negated, John Kingdon

26. Policy Entrepreneurship, Michael Mintrom and Phillipa Norman

27. Background on the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework, Elinor Ostrom

28. The Mechanism of Policy Diffusion, Charles R. Shipan and Craig Volden

29. Advocacy Coalition Framework, Social Construction and Policy Design and Emerging Trends, Matthew Nowlin


30. Institutional and Noninstitutional Actors in the Policy Process, Matthew A. Cahn

31. Congress: Keystone of the Washington Establishment, Morris Fiorina

32. Congress: The Electoral Connection, David Mayhew

33. Presidential Power, Richard Neustadt

34. The Presidential Policy Stream, Paul Light

35. The Rise of the Bureaucratic State, James Q. Wilson

36. Regulation: Politics, Bureaucracy, and Economics, Kenneth J. Meier

37. Appellate Courts as Policy Makers, Lawrence Baum

38. The Hollow Hope: Can Courts Bring About Social Change? Gerald N. Rosenberg

39. Parties, the Government, and the Policy Process, Samuel J. Eldersveld.

40. The Advocacy Explosion, Jeffrey M. Berry.

41. The Consultant Corps, Larry Sabato.

42. News That Matters, Shanto Iyengar and Donald Kinder

43. Processing Politics: Learning from Television in the Internet Age, Doris Graber


44. The Structure and Context of Policy Making, Stella Z. Theodoulou

45. Causal Stories as Problem Definition, Deborah A. Stone

46. Issues and Agendas, Roger W. Cobb and Charles D. Elder

47. New Research on Agendas in the Policy Process, Barry Pump

48. Policy Analysis - A Multidisciplinary Framework, William N. Dunn

49. Synthesizing the Implementation Literature, Richard E. Matland

50. The Assessment of Executed Policy Solutions, Stella Z. Theodoulou and C. Kofinis

51. Policy Change and Termination, Stella Z. Theodoulou and C. Kofinis

  • Each section begins with an introductory essay by the authors that introduces different aspects of the policy subfield while referring to the included readings. (ex. p. 123)
  • A separate section of readings is devoted to theories on the policy process—preparing students for a future career in policy making. (ex. p. 123)
  • A wide range of policy coverage allows this text to be used for both introductory and advanced classes in policy and public administration. (ex. p. ix)
  • Readings from every major theorist within the policy subfield are included, giving students varying perspectives on public policy. (ex. p. ix)
  • Modeled after policy textbooks on the market, this reader can be used as a standalone teaching tool, as it mirrors the typical policy course curriculum. (ex. p. ix)
  • The text is an excellent reference handbook to the subfield of public policy that students can utilize throughout their academic study and into their careers in public policy. (ex. p. ix)