Public Policy: Preferences and Outcomes, 3rd Edition (e-Book) book cover

Public Policy

Preferences and Outcomes, 3rd Edition

By Christopher A. Simon


384 pages | 62 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138202214
pub: 2017-08-22
Hardback: 9781138202238
pub: 2017-08-10
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315474458
pub: 2017-08-15
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Now in a thoroughly revised third edition, Public Policy: Preferences and Outcomes is designed to help students enrolled in a public policy course discuss policy issues and understand the ways in which public policy is grounded in normative theory. This approachable book examines the role of political theory in the governance process and the effect of public opinion on policy priorities and government. It introduces students to the tools of policy analysis and the most up to date policy theories in conceptualizing public policy in several major policy areas. New to this edition:

  • A thoroughly revised and updated chapter on public policy models, including new sections on the importance of science, pluralism, institutional analysis and development, multiple streams, the advocacy coalition framework, the punctuated equilibrium framework, policy diffusion, and the constructivist approach.
  • New sections on health policy, welfare economics and the public good, the nuclear arms race, the War on Terrorism, the Quadrennial Defense Review, contemporary policing techniques and issues, and renewable energy. 
  • Restructured and rewritten sections on social policy and equality that includes sections on employment, LGBTQ rights and same sex marriage, the legalization of marijuana, and income inequality. 

Assuming no prior knowledge of the subject, and offering instructors a variety of ways to tailor the book to their classroom setting and course priorities, Public Policy: Preferences and Outcomes, 3e is a highly flexible and effective teaching resource for introductory public policy courses at the undergraduate level and also serves as an ideal refresher book for students at the graduate level.


"An excellent guidebook for students that teaches them both the analytical and normative skills to understand, assess, and even implement public policies. In an age where the underlying democratic principles of reasoned, net beneficial public policy are under attack, this book is more important than ever." – Benjamin K. Sovacool, University of Sussex, UK

"Simon’s 3rd edition features three qualities which fit the times perfectly: (1) due consideration of both the normative and empirical (scientific) aspects of public policy; (2) equal attention to both the classical and modern versions of liberal political philosophy for the student’s development of a critical normative grounding; and, (3) sufficient attention to social science’s "policy process model" to understand the dynamics of policy formation. In combination these qualities provide the millennial era readers with a framework for understanding and developing informed preferences on the public policy choices they will face as citizens. Simon’s 3rd edition features its characteristic balance and neutral assessment of policy options being considered, and now contains up-to-date treatment of the major policy arenas -- once more providing an excellent resource for student learning." – Nicholas P. Lovrich, Jr., Washington State University, USA

"This book provides students with the tools needed to cultivate the critical skills to make their own sound policy arguments showing us there is indeed a thoughtful and moderate way to approach difficult issues and debates found in public policy arenas. It is an excellent resource for anyone who seeks to understand the complex world of public policy." – Maria Chávez, Pacific Lutheran University, USA

Table of Contents

Part 1. Introduction to Public Policy

1. Policy and Visions of Governance

2. Thinking About Public Policy: How Choices Are Made

3. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations (IGR)

4. Policy Analysis

Part 2. Dimensions of Public Policy

5. Agenda Setting

6. Policy Formation

7. Policy Implementation

8. Policy Evaluation

9. Policy Termination

Part 3. Major Public Policies

10. Defense Policy

11. Public Health Policy

12. General Social Policy

13. Education Policy

14. Criminal Justice Policy

15. Green Policy

16. Cost of Policy

Conclusion. Future of Public Policy

About the Author

Christopher A. Simon is Professor of Political Science, Interim Director of the MPP Program, and a former Director of the MPA Program at The University of Utah, USA.. He conducts research in alternative energy policy; civic community and volunteerism; education policy; criminal justice policy; Homeland Security policy; land use policy; public administration; and military sociology. He is co-author (with David Bernell) of The Energy Security Dilemma (Routledge, 2016) and co-author (with Brent Steel and Nicholas Lovrich) of State and Local Government (2011).

Subject Categories

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