Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues

Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues


By (author) Paul Cairney

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  • Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 232mm x 20mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 22 November 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Basingstoke
  • ISBN 10: 0230229719
  • ISBN 13: 9780230229716
  • Illustrations note: 4 figures, 5 black & white tables
  • Sales rank: 88,894

Product description

This book is a new introduction to theories of public policy. The author provides an accessible assessment of a wide range of theories and models from policy cycles, policy transfer, rational choice and socio-economic explanations to multi-level governance, advocacy coalitions and punctuated equilibrium and of their value to policy analysis.

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Author information

PAUL CAIRNEY is Senior Lecturer and Head of Department, Politics and International Relations, University of Aberdeen, UK.

Review quote

'This important and even-handed new text will be very useful not only in teaching students but also to advanced scholars. Rather than review individual policies, Cairney focuses his attention on the theoretical approaches that allow us to make sense of the confusing relations among citizens and elites that produce government action. The result is the best available synthesis and a strong argument for cross-fertilization and the use of multiple approaches.' - Frank R. Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA 'A unique text. Its great asset is to take an analytic approach in a field where most introductory volumes are descriptive. Well pitched for undergraduate teaching, it nevertheless addresses the cutting-edge debates on theory and models in policy analysis and highlights their key and vibrant contribution to political and social science.' - Claudio Radaelli, University of Exeter 'This welcome book provides an excellent balance between explaining the major theories of public policy and applying them in a comparative manner. Paul Cairney has a unique talent for connecting the different perspectives on public policy, which makes the book suitable for both undergraduates and graduates.' - Donley T. Studlar, West Virginia University, USA

Table of contents

Introduction: Theories and Issues What is Public Policy? How Should We Study It? Power and Public Policy Institutions and 'New Institutionalism' Rationality and Incrementalism Structural Explanations Rational Choice Theory Multi-Level Governance Punctuated Equilibrium The Advocacy Coalition Framework The Role of Ideas Policy Transfer Conclusion