Policy Making in the Public Interest : A Text and Workbook for Local Government book cover
1st Edition

Policy Making in the Public Interest
A Text and Workbook for Local Government

ISBN 9781138064812
Published September 26, 2017 by Routledge
136 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Policy Making in the Public Interest is the first text and workbook to provide a short and firmly focused introduction to local government policy making techniques. Each chapter introduces core policy concepts and competencies and concludes with exercises that encourage the reader to apply the theme of the chapter to a practical policy issue in local government, such as city-planning, community-economic development, public safety programming, utility planning, developing regional partnerships, and sustainable growth and development.

The exercises explore issues students are likely to analyze as interns or observe in a service learning assignment with local government. For practitioners and elected officials, the exercises focus on issues commonly confronted on the job. This unique approach is designed specifically to lead the reader to a complete and multi-dimensional understanding of ‘the public interest’ and to provide tools for identifying and adopting local government policies that will support it. An accompanying eResource page contains grading forms to evaluate verbal presentations and analytical work, PowerPoint slides, downloadable forms for students and practitioners, as well as links and resources. Policy Making in the Public Interest is an essential text and workbook for classes in public policy or local government operations, a vital self-guided handbook for managers and elected officials, and a useful resource and instructional guide for workshops.

Table of Contents

Section 1. Public Interest and Trends for the Future


1. Serving the Public Interest

2. Trends Impacting Local Government Policy

Section 2. Identifying the Community Public Interest

3. Recognizing the Community Interest Through Strategic Planning

Section 3. Tools for Policy Analysis

4. Policy through Sustainability Analysis

5. Comparative Analysis for Multiple Alternatives

6. Moving from Analysis to Recommendation

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Michael L. Abels served as Lecturer and Undergraduate Program Director in the School of Public Administration, University of Central Florida, USA from 2008 to 2016. Prior to 2008 he served for approximately 35 years in city management and as the chief executive officer for several non-profit organizations. He is an ICMA credentialed manager.


"Abels brings his experience as a city manager and as an academic together to better prepare students for the real world of public policy as they craft policy informed by public dialogue and deliberations. This is the real deal!" – Robert Denhardt, University of Southern California, USA

"Abels understands the intricacies of policy making from both the practical and theoretical perspectives. This book is an excellent source to help policy makers better develop sound public policy." – Robert F. Apgar, Mayor of City of DeLand, FL USA

"What a refreshing book! Dr. Abels focuses on local government policy making in an era when most academics and media outlets are consumed with federal sausage making. Dr. Abels clearly defines important terms relative to policy making and walks the reader through multiple processes to succeed in policy making with a priority on public interest and citizen engagement. His exercises at the end of each chapter are relevant, practical and open ended and will be relevant for many years to come." – Robert E. Lee, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA