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The Art of Policymaking
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The Art of Policymaking
Tools, Techniques and Processes in the Modern Executive Branch

Second Edition


January 2016 | 312 pages | CQ Press
The Art of Policymaking: Tools, Techniques and Processes in the Modern Executive Branch, Second Edition is a practical introduction to the specific tools, techniques, and processes used to create policy in the executive branch of the U.S. government.  George E. Shambaugh, IV and Paul Weinstein, Jr. explain how government officials develop policy, manage the policymaking process, and communicate those policies to stakeholders and the public at large.  The authors draw on both their academic and government experience to provide real-world advice on writing policy decision memos, preparing polling questions, and navigating the clearance process.  An abundance of case studies show how actual policies are developed and how and why policies and processes differ across administrations. Finally, practice scenarios allow students to apply the tools and techniques they have learned by working through both domestic and foreign policy situations.
 
CHAPTER 1: WHY THE POLICYMAKING PROCESS MATTERS
Objective  
Situating the Tools, Techniques and Processes in the Existing Literature  
Promoting Presidential Leadership and Management through the Policymaking Process  
The Importance of Procedural Legitimacy in Building Policy Support  
Conclusion  
 
PART I. THE POLICYMAKERS
 
CHAPTER 2: THE WHITE HOUSE POLICY COUNCILS
The Policy Councils and the Structure of The Executive Branch  
How the Policy Councils Operate and Why They Are Important  
The White House Policy Councils  
Key Agencies Within the Executive Office of the President  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 3: THE WHITE HOUSE STAFF
Working on the White House Staff  
Other Key Players in the White House  
Interaction with the Media  
White House Gatekeepers  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 4: AGENCIES AND POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
Executive Agencies and Departments and Executive Branch Policymaking  
The Role of Agencies  
Implementing Policy Decisions  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 5: POLICY MANAGEMENT
Policy Management and Procedural Legitimacy  
Models of Policy Management  
Policy Czars and War Rooms  
Conclusion  
 
PART II. TOOLS OF THE TRADE
 
CHAPTER 6: POLICYMAKING MEMORANDA
Tools of the Trade  
The Role of the Memorandum  
The Decision-making Memorandum  
The Information Memorandum  
The Weekly Report  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 7: THE STATE OF THE UNION AND THE BUDGET PROCESS
Timing Your Swing: Understanding Internal Workflows in the Executive Branch  
State of the Union  
The Budget  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 8: POLICY IMPLEMENTATION TOOLS
Implementation Tools  
Authorizing Tools  
Recommending the Right Policy Tool  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 9: LEGISLATIVE CLEARANCE AND COORDINATION: SAPS, LRMS, AND OTHER POLICY ACRONYMS
Legislative Clearance and Coordination  
Legislative Responsibility in the Executive Branch  
The Clearance Process  
Clearance of Agency Testimony and Reports on Pending Legislation  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 10: POLLING AND THE POLICYMAKING PROCESS
Polling and Policymaking: Myths and Realities  
Rebuttals to Common Criticisms  
Polling Basics  
Who Polls for the White House?  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 11: COMMUNICATING AND MARKETING POLICY
The Importance of Communicating and Marketing Policy  
Speechwriting  
Communications  
Press Office  
Conclusion  
 
PART III. CASE STUDIES
 
CHAPTER 12: SOCIAL POLICYMAKING: WELFARE REFORM DURING THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION
Welfare Reform and the Political Process  
The Early Phase: Decentralization, Debate, and Deadlock  
Phase II: Action, Response, and Resolution  
Conclusion: Making the Process Work  
 
CHAPTER 13: ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING I: THE CLINTON ECONOMIC PLAN
The Economic Plan and the Political Process  
Phase I: The Economic Plan and the NEC  
Establishing the Management Role of the NEC  
The NEC Process  
Communicating and Marketing the Economic Plan  
Securing Passage of the Bill  
Conclusion and Lessons Learned  
 
CHAPTER 14: ECONOMIC POLICYMAKING II: THE SIMPSON-BOWLES COMMISSION UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA
Introduction  
Using the Process to Overcome a Stacked Deck  
Representative Membership  
Outreach  
Assigning Accountability and Putting Issues on the Table  
The Outcome  
Conclusions and Lessons for the Policymaking Process  
 
CHAPTER 15: SECURITY POLICYMAKING I: DESERT SHIELD AND DESERT STORM UNDER GEORGE H. W. BUSH
Security Crises and the Political Process  
Responding to the Crisis  
The Initial Response  
Containment and the Decision to Double U.S. Ground Forces  
Conclusion  
 
CHAPTER 16: SECURITY POLICYMAKING II: THE SURGE AND IRAQ WAR UNDER GEORGE W. BUSH
Changing Policy  
The Unpredictability of Being an Honest Broker  
Sparking Debate and Incubating Ideas  
Breaking Some China  
Presenting New Ideas  
Promoting the President’s Agenda  
Conclusion  
 
PART IV. SCENARIOS
 
CHAPTER 17: PRACTICE SCENARIOS
Practice Scenarios  
 
GLOSSARY
 
INDEX

“I have used Shambaugh’s text every year since 2006 because of its unique approach among policy textbooks.  It is the only one that centers on the White House and the only one written by a person who has actually worked there. The argument for this book has only grown in importance since its original publication and will continue to increase for the foreseeable future.”

Robert S. Wood
University of North Dakota
Key features

NEW TO THIS EDITION:

  • New chapter on the budget process and the State of the Union and their role in the policy process
  • New chapter on policy management systems, and how these systems have been utilized by presidential administrations
  • Updated examples and case studies throughout 
  • Expanded discussion of prominent theories of policymaking, the role of the policymaking process in promoting presidential leadership, and the dynamic nature of being an honest broker and incubator of ideas

KEY FEATURES:

  • Case Studies involving policymaking in five different issue areas during five administrations demonstrate and evaluate the material presented in the earlier chapters, helping students apply those concepts to real-world situations.
  • Practice Scenarios in three different policy areas enable readers to practice creating a policy process and apply the tools and techniques presented in the book.
  • Real examples of memorandums, briefing materials, and other official documents show students the specific format of policymaking documents and how the tools and techniques described are actually applied.  

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1


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