This latest volume of the Policy Studies Review Annual series brings together leading policy scientists in a comprehensive review of the field's achievements since its professionalization some forty years ago. If an advance is defined as an improvement in theory, methodology, information, or practice, how does the field measure up? And what should its next goals be? This unusual compendium of entirely new essays and articles helps to answer such questions.
On balance, the contributors show, the record is mixed. Policy sciences draw on the theoretical foundations of many disciplines, but have not themselves contributed theoretical advances. We have more information, but information in itself does not constitute an advance. Despite improved interaction between academia and government, it is difficult to identify new or better policies that have resulted. On the other hand, there have been impressive advances in methodology: procedures for conducting inquiry that yield reliable and relevant policy knowledge. In its candid assessment of trends, controversies, and unsolved problems, this volume charts new directions for the policy sciences.