3rd Edition

Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society A Guide to Civic Engagement

By Larry N. Gerston Copyright 2022
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    While some people profess a disdain for politics, in a democracy politics is the primary vehicle for citizens to influence the decisions and decision makers that shape public policy at every level. This widely acclaimed book provides a clear and concise overview of public policymaking, designed to equip citizens to participate more effectively in the policymaking process. It gently introduces the reader to the players and institutions that comprise the public policymaking process of American society, and it demonstrates the many access points in the public policymaking process where one can participate. 


    This fully updated third edition includes: 

    • A discussion of growing modes of public policymaking participation, including social media and voting by mail.
    • An evaluation of the impediments to participation, including voter suppression.
    • An examination of the role of whistleblowers as part of bureaucratic responsibility.
    • All new case studies throughout the book on topics of interest to students and citizens alike, such as the policy response to COVID-19, George Floyd and police reform, homelessness, and the Affordable Care Act. 
    • Student projects throughout the text, along with a glossary, and extensive coverage on Project Citizen, a format that provides students with hands-on tools for participating in the policymaking process. 


    Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society, Third Edition may be used in introductory courses on public policy, internships, or service-learning programs. It equally serves as an invaluable resource for any organized effort to involve citizens in community service and the exercise of civic responsibility.

    1. The Public Policymaking Process and How it Relates to our Lives 2. Identifying Public Policy Issues 3. Developing a Public Policy Proposal 4. Taking Action in the Political World 5. Implementation 6. Evaluation 7. Participation, Politics, and Policymaking


    Larry N. Gerston is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at San Jose State University, USA. He is the author or co-author of 12 academic books, including three on public policymaking. Professor Gerston has written more than 150 op-ed pieces for major newspapers that focus on public policy issues, and since 1980, he has been the on-air political analyst at NBC Bay Area television, where he appears weekly to explain complex political themes to the viewing audience in understandable terms. He also serves as the political analyst for KCBS radio, an all-news radio station in San Francisco.

    "Professor Gerston has brilliantly identified and explained the key role that civic engagement plays in our constitutional democracy. By both identifying and explaining how to make a real difference in our communities, he has made an invaluable contribution to the field of civic and constitutional education. I highly recommend that anyone who wants to help strengthen their own piece of America read this book!"

    Christopher R. Riano, Columbia University, USA