Applied Policy Research

Concepts and Cases, 2nd Edition

By J. Fred Springer, Peter J. Haas, Allan Porowski

© 2011 – Routledge

368 pages

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Paperback: 9780415805087
pub: 2016-10-15
Hardback: 9780415805070
pub: 2016-10-15

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About the Book

Many textbooks on policy research focus on methodological and statistical theories, while leaving students little indication of how they will actually apply them to their future policy positions. Moreover, the theories they do teach are often not practical for the research that students will do upon entering the workforce.

This book 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. Divided into two parts, the book begins with an orientation and overview of policy theory, outlining the processes of policy analysis and evaluation from start to finish. The second part offers actual case studies of how these theories play out in real policy situations. Each chapter is presented in a uniform format allowing students to see in detail how each step is carried out: introducing the agency and research needs; identifying the research problem, the decision context and challenges presented by this problem; describing the policy research techniques used; and summarizing the outcomes of this research, drawing conclusions on its efficacy and placing it in the broader context of general research. Illustrative figures help students understand the stages of policy research. And end-of-chapter tools such as discussion questions, assignments and activities, and the case study at a glance, help students master not only the particulars of each case but the broader skills needed in future research.

In this new edition, a new chapter has been added to reflect current trends in research such as:

  • evidence-based policies, programs, and practices
  • performance monitoring and quality control
  • cost effectiveness
  • new systems to inform the need and status of social, health, education, and economic conditions.

New cases capture these current approaches and are now grouped according to types of policy research. Ideal for masters programs in public administration and public policy, Applied Policy Research is critical for preparing students for their future policy analysis and program evaluation positions.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Principles of Policy Research 1. Introduction to Policy Research 2. Strategies for Policy Research in Context 3. Research Methods and Techniques in Practice 4. Policy Research and the Policy Process 5. How to Design and Conduct Policy Research: A Practical Approach Part 2: Case Studies in Policy Research II.1. Needs Assessment and Planning--Behavioral Health Needs and Planning Services in Tennesse II.2. Performance Monitoring and Quality Improvement--The CDC-INFO Performance Scorecard II.3. Identifying Evidence-based Policies Programs and Practices--Principles of Effective Youth Interventions II.4. Program evaluation II.5. Cost and Cost-Effectiveness--The Cost of Substance Use in San Diego County II.6 Policy Choice Analysis--Bikes and Trains: A Policy Comparison.

About the Authors

J. Fred Springer is Research Director for EMT Associates, Inc., and Professor Emeritus in Policy Analysis at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Peter Haas has been an active contributor and principle investigator for a number of primarily transportation-related research projects, including work sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the California Department of Transportation, and the Mineta Transportation Institute. Each of these projects will provide additional perspective for the text, as well as case study material.

Subject Categories

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