Politics and Policymaking

Politics and Policymaking : In Search of Simplicity

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Social scientists have constructed elaborate theories involving policymakers as rational actors and purporting to predict and explain policy outcomes. In contrast, this provocative book paints a picture of policymakers who - coping with the uncertainty of constantly changing constraints - must simplify, taking shortcuts rather than surveying all of their options and pursuing carefully thought-out plans. Sharkansky draws on wide-ranging examples to illustrate the conditions that make simplification the necessary constituent of political life, as well as the various ways in which policymakers navigate the maze of possibilities they confront. While acknowledging the shortcomings of the approach, he demonstrates that, considered in context, simplifications may in fact be more rational and effective than traditional rational models of decisionmaking.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 225 pages
  • 147.3 x 231.1 x 17.8mm | 453.6g
  • Lynne Rienner Publishers Inc
  • Boulder, CO, United States
  • English
  • 1588260844
  • 9781588260840

Table of contents

On Simplicity, Politics, and Policymaking. The Mysteries of Agenda-Setting, Policymaking, and Implementation. Organizations Designed Not To Be Governed. Choosing Simple Solutions for the Problems of Politics and Policymaking. Intelligence, Cunning and Wisdom in Politics and Policymaking.show more

Review quote

"Sharkansky has produced a useful and perceptive book, examining the search for simplicity in politics, and providing an empirical challenge to those who argue that more information is always desirable. It is stimulating, informative, and a delight to read." - James Andersonshow more