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Public Policy
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Public Policy
Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:


May 2017 | 584 pages | CQ Press
In Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives, students come to understand how and why policy analysis is used to assess policy alternatives. They learn not only to question the assumptions of policy analysts, but also to recognize how different kinds of analysis are used in support of political arguments. To encourage critical and creative thinking on issues ranging from the federal deficit to health care reform to climate change, authors Michael Kraft and Scott Furlong introduce and fully integrate an evaluative approach to policy.

The Sixth Edition of Public Policy offers a fully revised, concise review of institutions, policy actors, and major theoretical models as well as a discussion of the nature of policy analysis and its practice. Both the exposition and data have been updated to reflect major policy controversies and developments through the end of 2016, including new priorities of the Donald Trump administration. The text shows students how to employ evaluative criteria in six substantive policy areas, arming them with the analytic tools they need to understand the motivations of policy actors—both within and outside of government—and to influence a complex and evolving, yet comprehensible, policy agenda.

 
Boxes, Figures, and Tables
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
PART I THE STUDY OF PUBLIC POLICY
 
1 Public Policy and Politics
What Is Public Policy?

 
Defining Basic Concepts

 
Why Study Public Policy?

 
The Contexts of Public Policy

 
The Reasons for Government Involvement

 
The Practice of Policy Analysis

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
2 Government Institutions and Policy Actors
Growth of Government

 
Government Institutions and Policy Capacity

 
Federalism

 
Separation of Powers

 
Informal Policy Actors and Policy Capacity

 
Improving Policy Capacity

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
3 Understanding Public Policymaking
Theories of Politics and Public Policy

 
The Policy Process Model

 
Instruments of Public Policy

 
Policy Typologies

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
PART II ANALYZING PUBLIC POLICY
 
4 Policy Analysis: An Introduction
The Nature of Policy Analysis

 
Steps in the Policy Analysis Process

 
Types of Policy Analysis

 
What Kind of Analysis Is Needed?

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Leading General Journals of Public Policy

 
Major Professional Newsweeklies with Policy Coverage

 
Notes

 
 
5 Public Problems and Policy Alternatives
Problem Analysis

 
How to Find Information

 
Constructing Alternatives

 
Thinking Creatively about Policy Action

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
6 Assessing Policy Alternatives
Evaluative Criteria for Judging Policy Proposals

 
Using the Methods of Policy Analysis

 
Economic Approaches

 
Decision Making and Impacts

 
Political and Institutional Approaches

 
Ethical Analysis

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
PART III ISSUES AND CONTROVERSIES IN PUBLIC POLICY
 
7 Economic and Budgetary Policy
Background

 
Goals of Economic Policy

 
Tools of Economic Policy

 
The Budget Process and Its Effect on Economic Policy

 
Economic Policy: Successes and Failures

 
Economic Issues and Challenges

 
Focused Discussion: How to Address the Budgetary Shortfall

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
8 Health Care Policy
Background

 
Major Government Health Care Programs

 
Other Health Care Policy Issues

 
Rising Health Care Costs

 
Managed Care Organizations

 
Reducing Health Care Costs

 
Quality of Care

 
Focused Discussion: Should There Be Greater Emphasis on Preventive Health Care?

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
9 Welfare and Social Security Policy
Background

 
Social Security

 
Welfare

 
Focused Discussion: Can We Do Better? Addressing Poverty

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
10 Education Policy
Background

 
Problems Facing Education

 
Education Policy Reforms

 
Higher Education Issues

 
Focused Discussion: Higher Education Affordability, Cost, and Value

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
11 Environmental and Energy Policy
Background

 
The Evolution of Environmental and Energy Policy

 
From Consensus to Conflict in Environmental Policy

 
Major Federal Environmental Policies

 
Energy Policy

 
Focused Discussion: Climate Change and Energy Policy Alternatives

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
12 Foreign Policy and Homeland Security
Background and Policy Evolution

 
Selected Issues in Homeland Security

 
Focused Discussion: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
PART IV CONCLUSIONS
 
13 Politics, Analysis, and Policy Choice
Policy Analysis, Citizen Participation, and Policy Change

 
Public Policies and Their Impacts

 
Policy Analysis and Policy Choices

 
Citizen Participation in Decision Making

 
Conclusions

 
Discussion Questions

 
Keywords

 
Major Legislation

 
Suggested Readings

 
Suggested Websites

 
Notes

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • A  customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material
Instructor Site

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Instructor's Manual summarizes key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.
  • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
  • Lively and stimulating chapter activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
  • Video and Multimedia content includes videos and web links that appeal to students with different learning styles.

"Public Policy:  Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives by Kraft and Furlong is a fresh and comprehensive text on American public policy.  The text is concisely written and the content easily promotes engagement and student interest.  Strong organizational structure which readily lends to a precise understanding of the dynamics and nature of public policy, analyses and assessment. The substantive analyses of public policies contained in the book contributes to the richness of the text.  Excellent academic work which fuses theory and practice in American public policy."

Dr. Linda Trautman
Ohio University-Lancaster

Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives does a nice job of laying out the different competing models of public policy and then goes on and tackles topics in public policy one-by-one using whatever tools work best to make sense of the topic. The writing in this book is better than in most textbooks my students have, and students like to use this book.”

Steven Maloney
University of Saint Thomas

Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives is a good introductory policy text that balances theory and issues, depth and breadth. I tried a number of other texts before landing on Kraft and Furlong. I wanted a text that balanced theory/process chapters and chapters on specific issues and that could be used by students with very little policy background. What I like best are the balance between theory and issues, and the accessible writing. The size and price are ideal for introductory students as well.”

Bruce Nesmith
Coe College

Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives provides the most comprehensive coverage of the field of American public policy, including not just policy analysis, but also in-depth chapters on a variety of policy areas. It is very readable, and the terms are explained quite well.”

Philip Nicholas
Bloomsburg University

“The strength of Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives is that it is a very well organized book that covers many different aspects of public policy, the policy process and policy analysis.  It takes a very rational approach to the policy process, which it might be argued is often very irrational.  This is a good introduction which provides a solid foundation.  It covers all aspects from policy process to policy analysis.  The chapters on the policy areas provide to students both historical insight and an understanding of current challenges in public policy.”

Ellen Rogers
Washington State University

Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives is a great intro to public policy book that has a heavy focus on environmental policy and does an excellent job covering market failures and reasons for government intervention. The thematic approach is great for an academic class that stresses objective research into public problems and their possible solutions. There is considerable emphasis on critically thinking about sources and the policy actors involved in the process. This book does a good job of taking some of the controversy out of politics by being very fact based and evidence driven while also encouraging analysis.”

Katrina Taylor
Central New Mexico Community College
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • All chapters and case studies have been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect the latest developments and to appeal more to students.
  • Steps-to-analysis, and working-with-sources exercises have been updated.
  • All figures, tables, and photos have been updated and clarified.
  • Text revisions include major policy controversies and developments through the end of 2016, including new priorities of the Donald Trump administration.
KEY FEATURES:
  • Chapter objectives call out key topics for close, focused reading.
  • Working with Sources and Steps to Analysis features help students investigate sources of information and apply evaluative criteria.
  • Chapter-opening vignettes draw in students while effectively pointing to a chapter’s main themes.
  • New research and studies are incorporated into every chapter where appropriate.
  • All chapters end with discussion questions, suggested readings, and suggested web sites.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 4

Chapter 8


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