Designing Public Policies : Principles and Instruments book cover
2nd Edition

Designing Public Policies
Principles and Instruments

ISBN 9781138293649
Published January 14, 2019 by Routledge
428 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The second edition of this highly regarded book provides a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and elements of policy design in contemporary governance. It examines in detail the range of substantive and procedural policy instruments that together comprise the toolbox from which governments choose tools to resolve policy problems and the principles and practices that lead to their use.

Guiding readers through the study of the many different kinds of instruments used by governments in carrying out their tasks, adapting to, and altering, their environments, this book:

  • Discusses current trends in instrument use linked to factors such as globalization and the increasingly networked, digital and collaborative nature of modern society;
  • Considers the principles and practices behind the selection and use of specific types of instruments in contemporary government and the future research agenda of policy design studies and practices;
  • Evaluates in detail the merits, demerits and rationales for the use of specific organization, regulatory, financial and information-based tools and the trends visible in their use including recent efforts to develop and deploy new tools such as nudges and choice architectures, co-production and crowd-sourcing;
  • Addresses the issues surrounding not only individual tools but also concerning the evolution and development of instrument mixes, their relationship to policy styles and the challenges involved in their (re)design.

Providing a comprehensive overview of this essential component of modern governance and featuring helpful definitions of key concepts and further reading, this book is essential reading for all students of public policy, administration and management.

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction: Policy Design and Governance in the Modern State

1. Understanding the Role of Policy Design in Contemporary Policy Making

2. Policy Design in the Contemporary Era: Beyong Globalization and Governance

Part II: Systematically Studying Policy Design

3. What is Policy Design?: Key Definitions and Concepts in the Study of Policy Design

4. Why Policy Design?: Tools, Mechanisms, Behaviours and the Logic of Policy Compliance 

Part III: Policy Designing: Process, Principles and Practices

5. When Does Policy Design Occur?: Policy Designing as Policy Formulation

6. Who are the Policy Designers and Where do they Work?: Policy Advice, Policy Advisors and Policy Advisory Systems 

Part IV: The Elements of Policy Design: Policy Instruments and Instruments Mixes 

7. How do Policy Designs Work?: Policy Designs as Implementation Tool Mixes

8. Organizational Implementation Tools

9. Authoritative Implementation Tools

10. Financial Implementation Tools

11. Information-based Implementation Tools

12. Traditional Policy Styles and Contemporary Design Trends

Part V: Conclusion: Lessons for Policy Designs and Designers

13. How to Assemble and Evaluate a Policy Design: Character and Context in Policy Designs

14. Conclusion: The Capacity Challenges and Policy Design over Space and Time

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Michael Howlett is Burnaby Mountain Professor and Canada Research Chair (Tier 1) in the Department of Political Science at Simon Fraser University specializing in public policy analysis, political economy and resource and environmental policy.


Praise for the 1st edition:

"Michael Howlett’s book is an important integration of various strands of the public policy literature. By focusing on the design of public policies he provides an innovative discussion of the policy process and also means of analyzing policies." - B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, USA.

"Some policy books are indeed coherent though they funnel the reader into a narrower scope; some inspire a widening of views, but lack perspective. This excellent volume Designing Public Policies however combines both a wide and a coherent treatment of relevant literature." - Hans Th. A Bressers, University of Twente, Netherlands.

Praise for this edition:

"A unique and valuable synthesis of key literatures on policy design and implementation. Essential reading for the researcher and student." - Peter John, King’s College London, UK.

"This is a welcome update to an invaluable source for scholars and students of public policy and governance. The book rightly highlights the importance of policy design and tools in the analysis and understanding of policy." - Bruce Stafford, University of Nottingham, UK.