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PUBLIC POLICY: AN EVOLUTIONARY APPROACH, 3e, examines how the substance and process of public policy and our understanding of that have evolved in America. After providing the reader with an analytic, historic and contextual framework for viewing public policy in the U.S., the authors offer a comprehensive look at the various elements of the governing process including agenda setting and problem definition, policy formation, implementation, program evaluation, and policy change and termination. In doing that the authors pay particular attention to the range of theories that have been offered to explain how, why, and with what effects governments act. The authors then look at three critical policy areas – environment, education, and welfare – to furher illustrate how governing proceeds in the U.S. Thoroughout the text the authors draw extensively on actual policy examples including recent efforts to reform education and welfare and the war in Iraq.
- Extensive reorganization of the opening (chapters one and two) and closing (chapter 14) chapters.
- Addition of recent policy examples to illustrate important concepts including the war in Iraq, FEMA and hurricane Katrina, immigration, and global warming.
- Substantive policy examples have been fully updated to include the most recent policy developments and the available evidence concerning the impact of those policies.
- Added an additional section on the critical issues for government in chapter two and the closing chapter to help organize discussions of the American political context and changes in the policy process.
- Inclusion of additional theories of decision making and policy change including groupthink, the garbage can model of decision making, and the punctuated-equilibrium model of policy change.
- Extensive use of policy examples, both new and old, to illustrate key concepts.
- The text provides the most exhaustive discussion of the various approaches, theories and models that scholars and practitioners use to analyze public policies and the policy process of any policy text currently on the market (see, in particular, chapters 3,4,5,6,7,8,9, and 13) and how those models have changed in the last several decades.
- Careful and thorough discussion of how the substance and process of public policy have evolved over both the long and short terms of American history.
- Discussion questions at end of each chapter frequently challenge students to think about the material and apply it to the world in which they live.
- Provides a balance between conservative and liberal approaches to public policy.
PART I: THE CONTEXT OF PUBLIC POLICY STUDIES.
1. The Nature of Public Policy.
2. The Evolution of Public Policy and Politics in America.
3. Approaches to Public Analysis.
4. Models and Public Policy Studies.
PART II: ANALYSIS IN THE POLICY PROCESS.
5. Agenda Setting.
6. Policy Formulation.
7. Policy Implementation.
8. Policy Evaluation.
9. Policy Change and Termination.
PART III: ANALYZING PUBLIC POLICY CHOICES.
10. Educational Policy.
11. Welfare Policy.
12. Environmental Policy.
PART IV: CONCLUSIONS.
13. Utilizing Policy Analysis.
14. Taking Stock: The Evolution of Public Policy in America.
"The feedback I get from students has always been very positive for this text. It is an approach that public administration students and professionals are often very comfortable with."
"The Lester and Stewart text provides an excellent overview of the policy process giving public administrators a balanced and detailed perspective of their special roles and responsibilities."
"Three strengths of the text: Excellent overview of the policy process, including a good discussion of policy learning and change; very good examples of several policy domains, and an excellent introduction to policy science."