You are here

Public Policy

Public Policy
Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives

Eighth Edition

February 2024 | 496 pages | CQ Press
With the right information, we can develop public policies that work better. Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives, Eighth Edition, helps students understand how and why policy analysis is used to assess policy alternatives. The text encourages them to not only question the assumptions of policy analysts, but also recognize how these strategies are used to support political arguments. The authors integrate an evaluative approach to six substantive policy areas to encourage critical and creative thinking on issues ranging from health care to climate change. Students come away with the analytic tools they need to understand that the motivations of policy actors—both within and outside of government—influence a complex yet comprehensible policy agenda.

Part I: The Study of Public Policy
Chapter 1: Public Policy and Politics
Chapter 2: Government Institutions and Policy Actors
Chapter 3: Understanding Public Policymaking
Part II: Analyzing Public Policy
Chapter 4: Policy Analysis: An Introduction
Chapter 5: Public Problems and Policy Alternatives
Chapter 6: Assessing Policy Alternatives
Part III: Issues and Controversies in Public Policy
Chapter 7: Economic and Budgetary Policy
Chapter 8: Health Care Policy
Chapter 9: Welfare and Social Security Policy
Chapter 10: Education Policy
Chapter 11: Environmental and Energy Policy
Chapter 12: Foreign Policy and Homeland Security
Part IV: Conclusions
Chapter 13: Politics, Analysis, and Policy Choice

This text provides a succinct and logically streamlined survey of introductory public policy material, equipping students with a knowledge base of the policymaking and policy analysis process."

Benjamin Melusky
Old Dominion University
Key features


  • Updated case studies on topics like the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration, and gun violence
  • Expanded discussion and case studies regarding election integrity and government legitimacy, in light of the disputes surrounding the 2020 presidential election
  • Updated discussion of health care policy needs following the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Assessment of the transition between the Trump and Biden administrations
  • Updated data, descriptions, and analyses


  • 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.
  • All chapters end with discussion questions, suggested readings, and suggested web sites.

For instructors

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781071858394