In this textbook, Grant Jordan discusses the basic principles and concepts that are used to discuss policy making and public administration, showing that there is a great and growing divide between theory and practice. The book looks at the roots of administrative theory, which instead of being based on observation comes from ideas inherited from thinkers such as Weber and Victorian constitutional lawyers. These conventional and fairly simple ideas translate into chaotic practice: the author argues that British public administration is characterized by uncertainty, inconsistency and disorder. He also suggest that theoretical discussions of organizational change are fallacious in a system which seems to thrive while out of step with the available principles. Teachers and students of public policy and public administration should find this new approach useful, as it combines an analysis of theory and practice and discusses many recent developments, including next steps. The author has also published "British Politics and the Policy Process", with J. Richardson (Unwin Hyman, 1987); and "Commercial Lobbyists: Politics for Profit in Britain" (Aberdeen UP, 1990).