Applied Policy Research

Concepts and Cases, 2nd Edition

Edited by J. Fred Springer, Peter J. Haas, Allan Porowski

© 2011 – Routledge

494 pages | 31 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2017-07-10
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About the Book

Where many textbooks on policy research focus on methodological and statistical theories, leaving students to wonder how they will apply those theories to their future policy positions, this innovative textbook takes theories of policy research and puts them into practice, demystifying the subject by translating it into real world situations in which students can actively engage. Beginning with an orientation and overview of policy research, outlining the processes of policy analysis and evaluation from start to finish, Applied Policy Research, 2e then walks students through an examination of case studies to demonstrate how these theories play out in real policy situations. New to this edition:

  • A completely rewritten Part I including several new chapters to incorporate the latest developments in applicable policy research design, implementation, and products that convey a useful framework for understanding the perspectives and skills necessary to conduct useful policy research.
  • A matrix at the start of Part II to easily identify how each of the fifteen case study chapters correspond with concepts and topics presented in Part I, providing a guide on where to look for a specific real-life example of a given topic or concept. Each case is drawn from real instances of policy research, that provide students with the opportunity to consider and learn how to grapple with the challenges posed by the needs of public programs and agencies. Cases include local, state, and nonprofit agencies as well as federal-state-local intergovernmental ‘hybrids.’
  • Each chapter is presented in a uniform format allowing students to see in detail how each step in the process is carried out: (1) a detailed description of a policy research problem; (2) a discussion of the unique challenges posed by the problem; (3) a description of the policy research techniques used; (4) a summary of the outcomes or conclusions associated with the research as it was conducted; and (5) conclusions about the implications or lessons for policy research.

Illustrative figures help students understand the stages of policy research, and end-of-chapter tools such as discussion questions, assignments and activities, and case studies ‘at a glance’ help students master not only the particulars of each case but the broader skills needed in future research. This book will be essential reading in all policy research courses with a focus on practical outcomes and student preparation for public service. 

Table of Contents

Part 1: Principles of Policy Research

Chapter 1: Introduction to Policy Research

Chapter 2: Be Real: Navigating the Policy Research Terrain

Chapter 3: Be Creative: Policy Research with the Artisan’s Touch

Chapter 4: Be Credible: Using the Policy Research Toolbox

Chapter 5: Be Useful: Developing and Delivering Actionable Information

Part 2: Cases in Policy Research

Part 2 Introduction

Chapter 6: Using Research to Refine Quality Standards: The Evolution of Communities in Schools’ Total Quality System (TQS)

Chapter 7: The Dropout Prevention Mentor Project: Delivering Unexpected Messages Through Policy Research

Chapter 8: The Use of Applied Policy Research to Inform and Reform Statewide Dropout Policies

Chapter 9: Political Statement or Effective Policy? Comparing Implementation of State Bullying Laws

Chapter 10: Intervention Effectiveness in Real World Settings: The National Cross-Site Evaluation of High Risk Youth Programs

Chapter 11: What to Do about Scrap Tires? Options for Productive Waste Management

Chapter 12: Keys to Success for Transit Tax Initiatives: Repeated Research for Policy Learning

Chapter 13: High-Speed Rail Workforce Development: An Estimation Problem

Chapter 14: Climate Change Adaption: An Assessment of Accomplishments at the Community Level

Chapter 15: Housing Sales in Urban Neighborhoods: Using Policy Research to Inform Planning

Chapter 16: Evaluation of the California Ignition Interlock Pilot Program: A Policy Experiment

Chapter 17: Information for Community Policing: Cops on the Beat in the 21st Century

Chapter 18: When the Process is the Question: Resource Family Recruitment in Los Angeles, CA

Chapter 19: Debt Burdens of California State and Local Governments: Are They Too Large?

Chapter 20: Deinstitutionalization and Community Services in Virginia: A Policy Assessment

Chapter 21: Case Study Lessons

About the Editors

Fred Springer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

Peter J. Haas is currently Education Director at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University, California, USA.

Allan Porowski is a Principal Associate in the Social and Economic Policy Division at Abt Associates.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / General