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Public Policy
A Concise Introduction

Experience with SAGE edge


July 2018 | 352 pages | CQ Press
“A comprehensive textbook consisting of both historical and contemporary information and data about American public policy. The format and approach of the text are ideal for undergraduate students because they provide concrete examples of public policy in a way that relates to everyday life.”
  —Linda Trautman, Ohio University


Public Policy: A Concise Introduction is a student-friendly primer that quickly connects readers to the inner workings of public policy. The text condenses early chapters on theory and the policy-making process, allowing students to take up key policy challenges—such as immigration, education, and health care—much earlier in the semester. Structured chapter layouts of substantive policy areas allow instructors to supplement with their own examples seamlessly. The book’s emphasis on policy choices asks students to look beyond simple pros and cons to examine the multifaceted dimensions of decision making and the complexities inherent in real-world problem solving. Not every student starts out engaged in public policy, so place your students—both majors and non-majors alike—in the driver’s seat by fostering their analytical skills early, and spend the rest of the semester discussing policy issues, examining data, and debating current policy examples that matter most to them.

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List of Figures and Tables
 
Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Authors
 
SECTION I: DEFINING U.S. PUBLIC POLICYMAKING
 
CHAPTER ONE: The Foundation
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Public Policy and Our Everyday Lives  
Starting with a Definition  
Power and Politics  
A Federal System  
Categories of Public Policy  
The Process  
A Motley Crew: Institutional and Noninstitutional Actors  
The Three Branches of Government  
The Implementers  
The Media, Interest Groups, and Us  
Shaping Policy  
What about Us?  
Policy Analysis  
Policy Evaluation  
Why Studying Public Policy Matters  
Plan of the Book  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
Notes  
 
CHAPTER TWO: The Policy Process and Policy Theories
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Policy Rhetoric and Reality  
What Really Is Policy?  
Understanding the Context of Public Policy  
The Political Environment  
The Economic Environment  
The Social and Cultural Environment  
The Administrative Environment  
The Quest for Public Policy Theory  
The Stages Heuristic Model of Public Policymaking  
Sugary Drinks  
Stage 1: Problem Identification and Definition  
Stage 2: Agenda Setting  
Stage 3: Policy Formulation  
Stage 4: Policy Legitimation  
Stage 5: Policy Implementation  
Stage 6: Policy Evaluation  
Assessing the Stages Model  
Alternative Policy Process Models  
Multiple Streams Framework  
Pros and Cons of the MSF  
Punctuated Equilibrium  
Actors in the Policy Process  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
SECTION II: THE PRACTICE OF PUBLIC POLICY
 
CHAPTER THREE: Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Up in Smoke: Federal and State Marijuana Policies Collide  
Telling Stories with Data: Using Gallup Polling Data to Detect Trends  
Overview of Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations  
National Policymaking Constrained under the Articles of Confederation  
Constitutional Foundation of Federalism  
Intergovernmental Relations  
Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Evolve  
Dual Federalism  
Cooperative Federalism  
Creative Federalism  
Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Today  
Underfunded and Unfunded Mandates  
Building Picket Fences  
Increasing Capacity of State and Local Governments  
Differences in State Cultures, Politics, Economies, and Events  
Enduring Virtues of a Federal System  
Safeguards Individual Rights and Democracy  
Promotes Responsibility  
Stimulates Innovation  
Increases Efficiency and Effectiveness in Policy Implementation  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CHAPTER FOUR: Rulemaking and Regulations
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: From Peanuts on a Plane to the Future of E-Cigarettes  
Understanding the Context of U.S. Regulations  
Defining Regulatory Policy  
Delegation of Authority  
Why Delegate?  
Congress and Accountability  
The President and Accountability  
The Supreme Court and Accountability  
Understanding Regulatory Processes  
State Rulemaking  
Influence and Participation  
After a Rule Becomes a Law  
Regulating Your Local Dry Cleaner  
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly  
The Future of Regulatory Policy  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
Notes  
 
SECTION III: UNDERSTANDING KEY PUBLIC POLICY ISSUES
 
CHAPTER FIVE: Economic Policy and Public Budgeting
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Green Eggs and Ham and the Federal Government Shutdown in 2013  
Overview of Economic Policy and Public Budgeting  
Types of Economies and Economic Policy Definition Economic Theories  
Size and Scope of the U.S. Economy  
Public Opinion and the Economy  
Telling Stories with Data: Using The Bureau of Labor Statistics to Explore Regional Economic Data  
Monetary and Fiscal Policy  
The Federal Budget  
Budget Process  
Government Revenues and Expenditures  
Revenues  
Expenditures  
Debt and Deficit  
History and Development of Economic Policy  
Founding Period  
Growth of Government Spending  
Great Recession and Government Response  
Major Economic Policy and Budgeting Statutes  
Major Actors in Economic Policy  
Congress  
President  
Government Agencies  
Issues and Challenges  
Political Polarization  
Debts and Deficits  
Global Markets and Free Trade  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Policy Choices: The Federal Tax System  
Policy Choices: Federal Tax Policy  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CHAPTER SIX: Crime and Public Policy
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Guns on Campus: Safety or Risk?  
Overview of Crime in America  
Types of Crime  
The U.S. Crime Rate  
Explaining Decreases in the U.S. Crime Rate  
Public Perceptions about Crime  
The U.S. Incarceration Rate  
History and Development  
Federalizing Crime  
Public Attitudes about the Incidence of Crime  
Media and Crime  
Actors in Criminal Justice Policy  
Federal Law Enforcement Agencies  
State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies  
Federal and State Courts  
Crime Victims  
Probation Officers and Parole Officers  
Major U.S. Criminal Justice and Crime Policy Statutes  
Capital Punishment  
Issues and Challenges  
Deterrence and Recidivism  
Telling Stories with Data: The Death Penalty  
Crime and Race  
Juvenile Crime  
Mass Shootings  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Policy Choices: Gun Control  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CHAPTER SEVEN: Education Policy
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Behind the Curtain of a Public Education  
Overview of U.S. Education Policy  
Understanding the Structure of a U.S. Education Status and Scope  
Telling Stories with Data: Using Maps to Explore Education Funding  
History and Development of the U.S. Education System  
Colonialism and Mann  
Challenges and Change  
Choice and a Digital Revolution  
Major Education Policy Statutes  
Major U.S. Education Laws  
Major Actors in U.S. Education Policy  
President  
Congress  
Courts  
Bureaucracy  
State Actors and Vested Interests  
Governors and State Legislatures  
State Expertise  
Mayors, Superintendents, and Teachers  
Interest Groups  
What’s for Lunch?  
Issues and Challenges  
Paradigm Shift  
Curriculum and Technology  
Connecting the Dots  
New Narrative  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Policy Choices: Student Evaluation  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CHAPTER EIGHT: Civil Rights and Immigration Policy
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: The Desert and an Elusive Cat  
Overview of Civil Rights  
Civil Rights and Immigration  
Status and Scope  
Longitudinal Trends  
Public Opinion Research  
Immigration Sentiments  
Telling Stories with Data: Using Gallup Polling Data to Detect Trends  
History and Development of U.S. Immigration Policy  
National Origin Quotas  
Civil Rights, Amnesty, and Enforcement  
9/11, Dreamers, and Deportation  
Major U.S. Immigration Policy Statutes  
Select Major U.S. Immigration Laws  
The Actors in Immigration Policy  
President  
Congress  
Courts  
Bureaucracy  
Unofficial Actors in Immigration Policy  
States  
The Immigration Posse and the ACLU  
Issues and Challenges  
Security and Crime  
Sanctuary Cities and Refugees  
Small Town USA  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Policy Choices: Immigration Reform  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
Notes  
 
CHAPTER NINE: Social Welfare and Health Care Policy
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: Living on $2 a Day  
Overview of Social Welfare Policy  
Defining Poverty  
Who Is Poor?  
Telling Stories with Data: Using Census Data  
Public Values and Types of Social Welfare Programs  
Public Support for Social Welfare Programs  
History and Development of U.S. Social Welfare Policy  
Poor Houses and “Outdoor Relief”  
The New Deal and Social Security  
Unemployment Insurance and AFDC  
The Great Society and Connecting Health Care to Social Welfare  
Welfare Reform through TANF  
Overview of Health Care Policy  
Government-Run Insurance Programs: Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP  
The Affordable Care Act and Beyond  
Key Provisions of the ACA  
History and Development of U.S. Health Care Policy  
Early Efforts to Establish Health Care  
Health Reform Efforts after the Great Depression  
The 1960s through 2017: Government Steps In  
ACA Repeal Attempts under President Trump  
Major U.S. Social Welfare and Health Care Statutes  
Select Major U.S. Social Welfare and Health Care Laws  
Major Actors in Social Welfare and Health Care Policy  
The President  
Congress  
Courts  
Federal Bureaucracies  
State Governments  
Unofficial Actors  
Issues and Challenges  
Income Inequality  
The High Health Cost of Being Poor  
Universal Health Care Coverage and Single-Payer Health Care  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Policy Choices: Social and Welfare Policy—Family Leave  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CHAPTER TEN: Environmental and Energy Policy
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: A Web of Actors When Disaster Strikes  
Overview of Environmental and Energy Policy  
Understanding U.S. Environmental Policy  
Status and Scope  
Telling Stories with Data: Using U.S. Epa Air Quality Trends Data  
History and Development of Environmental Policy  
Birth of the Modern Environmental Movement (1960s and 1970s)  
Changing Course (1980s)  
Diffused Attention in the 1990s and Early 2000s  
Executive Action in the 2010s  
Understanding U.S. Energy Policy  
Status and Scope  
History and Development of Energy Policy  
Crisis in the 1970s  
Deregulation in the 1980s  
Toward a Comprehensive Energy Policy in the 1990s  
Energy and National Security Concerns in the 2000s  
Major Environmental and Energy Policy Statutes  
Major Actors in Environmental and Energy Policy  
Congress  
President  
Federal Courts  
Executive Agencies  
Interest Groups and Lobbyists  
Greenhouse Gases Go to Court  
Issues and Challenges  
Lack of a Coherent, Cohesive Policy  
Politicization  
Role of Science in Policy Debates  
Trade-offs between the Environment and the Economy  
The Commons  
Everyday Citizen Connection  
Concluding Thoughts  
Policy Choices: Nonpoint Source Pollution  
Policy Choices Reflection Questions  
Policy Choices: Nonpoint Source Water Pollution  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
 
CONCLUSION: Public Policy: A Concise Introduction
Learning Objectives  
Opening Vignette: On the Front Lines  
Putting the Pieces Together  
A Dynamic Enterprise  
Why Public Policy Matters  
Public Problems and Solutions  
Finding the Facts  
Consensus and Public Policy  
Concluding Thoughts  
Glossary Terms  
Discussion Questions  
Suggested Resources  
Glossary  
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Student Resource Site
  • 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
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically
  • Video and multimedia links that appeal to students with different learning styles
Instructor Resource Site
  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to help you prepare for lectures and class discussions.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • 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.
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically
  • Video and multimedia links that appeal to students with different learning styles

“I like the progression of practical examples, public policy issues, and dynamics that position students to conceptualize both intellectually and academically. To be specific, Chapter 1 has established a foundation to enable the student to not just regurgitate facts but to invoke public policy facts to advance vibrant policy positions of their own.”

Mary D. Bruce
Governors State University

“A comprehensive textbook consisting of both historical and contemporary information and data about American public policy. The format and approach of the text are ideal for undergraduate students because they provide concrete examples of public policy in a way that relates to everyday life.”

Linda Trautman
Ohio University

“I think the features are fantastic and well placed in this textbook. I particularly like the chapter-opening vignettes, Everyday Citizen Connections, and Policy Choices feature. I think these make the text more accessible to students and generate more real student learning than a text that just presents the material in a static manner.” 

Laura Fidelie
Midwestern State University
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • Chapter-opening vignettes consider current examples of public policy in action, such as what life is like living on less than $2 a day in America, the legalization of marijuana by several states, and gun violence on campus, and connect readers to broader concepts. 
  • Learning Objectives preview the key points students need to learn in each chapter. 
  • Telling Stories with Data boxes invite students to evaluate data in order to decipher their impact on a particular policy issue or dilemma. 
  • Policy Choices sections challenge students to think about the policy alternatives available— beyond the simplistic for-or-against approach so often conveyed in the media and public dialogue—encouraging them to think about potential remedies to important policy questions and the consequences of those choices. 
  • Everyday Citizen Connection features that link theory to practice illustrate how people are affected by public policy and show students how they can engage in policy issues that matter to them.
 

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