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To explain the fundamentals of public policy, this best-selling text focuses on the process behind the crafting of legislation. By examining the individual steps-from identifying a problem, to agenda setting, to evaluation, revision, or termination of a policy-students are able to see how different factors influence the creation of policy. Each chapter features at least one case study that illustrates how general ideas are applied to specific policy issues. This new Eighth Edition provides thoughtful updates based on the 2012 election and completely revised case studies.

James E. Anderson, Texas A&M University

James Anderson (Texas A&M University) is the former President of the Policy Studies Organization and Secretary of the American Political Science Association. He has served as both President and Vice-President/Program Chair of the Southern Political Science Association and as President of the Southwestern Political Science Association.
  • Thoroughly updated to reflect new developments in policymaking, particularly at the national level.
  • The Eighth Edition addresses the ethics of policy making, the debt ceiling debate, and the fiscal cliff.
  • Up-to-date examples - including coverage of the 2012 Election - help students make sense of difficult topics.
1. The Study of Public Policy.
2. The Policy-Makers and Their Environment.
3. Policy Formation: Problems, Agendas, and Formulation.
4. Policy Adoption.
5. Budgeting and Public Policy.
6. Policy Implementation.
7. Policy Impact, Evaluation, and Change.
8. Concluding Comments.

Textbook Only Options

Traditional eBook and Print Options

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  • ISBN-10: 1305190114
  • ISBN-13: 9781305190115
  • STARTING AT $22.99

  • STARTING AT $31.49

  • ISBN-10: 1285735285
  • ISBN-13: 9781285735283
  • Bookstore Wholesale Price $150.00
  • RETAIL $199.95

"This text is balanced, objective and at times, scientific, while also providing a realistic summary of how politics factors into decision-making. I particularly like the case studies that are included in each chapter—they are more than cursory and perfectly chosen to help make chapter concepts concrete in the minds of students… I find the writing quite engaging and logical." -Shankar Prasad, NYU Wagner

"I have yet to see any book that does a better job with the concepts than Anderson does. It is a classic introduction to public policy. The text is concise and focuses on all the necessary concepts in understanding the field of public policy." -Jeffrey Brauer,

Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.


Online Instructor's Manual

ISBN: 9781285771076
The Instructor's Manual contains for each chapter: an outline and summary; critical thinking questions; in-class activities; lecture launching suggestions; a list of key terms with definitions; and suggested readings and Web resources.