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Understanding Public Policy

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Understanding Public Policy



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Understanding Public Policy by Thomas R. Dye
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For undergraduate-level courses in Public Policy. Understanding Public Policy is not only an introduction to the study of public policy, but also an introduction to the models that political scientists use to describe and explain political life. This market-leading introduction to public policy is designed to provide undergraduate and graduate students with concrete tools for not only understanding public policy in general, but for analyzing specific public policies. It focuses on what policies governments pursue, why governments pursue the policies they do, and what the consequences of these policies are. Very contemporary in perspective, it introduces eight analytical models currently used by political scientists to describe and explain political life and then, using these various analytical models--singly and in combination--explores specific public policies in a variety of key domestic policy areas.

Table of Contents

1. Policy Analysis: What Governments Do, Why They Do It, and What Difference it Makes. 2. Models of Politics: Some Help in Thinking about Public Policy. 3. The Policymaking Process: Decision-Making Activities. 4. Criminal Justice: Rationality and Irrationality in Public Policy. 5. Health and Welfare: The Search for Rational Strategies. 6. Education: The Group Struggle. 7. Economic Policy: Incrementalism at Work. 8. Tax Policy: Battling the Special Interests. 9. International Trade and Immigration: Elite-Mass Conflict. 10. Environmental Policy: Externalities and Interests. 11. Civil Rights: Elite and Mass Interaction. 12. American Federalism: Institutional Arrangements and Public Policy. 13. Defense Policy: Strategies for Serious Games. 14. Homeland Security: Terrorism and Non-Deterable Threats. 15. Policy Evaluation: Finding Out What Happens after a Law Is Passed. Index.

Author Biography

Formerly Professor of Government at Florida State University, Thomas Dye is President of the Lincoln Center for Public Service. He was University Teacher of the Year in 1987. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. Dye is the author of numerous books and articles on American government and public policy. He has served as president of the Southern Political Science Association, president of the Policy Studies Organization, and secretary of the American Political Science Association. Additional information is available at
Release date NZ
January 3rd, 2007
Country of Publication
United States
12th Revised edition
Prentice Hall
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