The Public Policy Process is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the process by which public policy is made. Explaining clearly the importance of the relationship between theoretical and practical aspects of policymaking, the book gives a thorough overview of the people and organisations involved in the process.
Fully revised and updated for an eighth edition, The Public Policy Process provides:
- Clear exploration, using many illustrations, of how policy is made and implemented;
- Examines challenges to effective policy making in critical areas – such as inequality and climate change – including the influence of powerful interests and the Covid-19 pandemic;
- New material on unequal democracies, interest groups influence, behavioural policy analysis, global policies and evidence-based decision making;
- Additional European and comparative international examples.
This text is essential reading for students of public policy, public administration and management, as well as more broadly highly relevant to related courses in health and nursing, social welfare, environment, development and local government.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Policy Theories
1. Studying the policy process
2. Theories of power and the policy process
3. Interests and groups
4. Institutional theory
5. Comparative policy process studies
6. Integrating theoretical approaches
Part 2: Analysis of the Policy Process
7. Policy and politics
8. Agenda setting
9. Policy formulation
10. Implementation: an overview
11. Bureaucracy: organisational structures and processes
12. Discretion, rules and street-level bureaucracy
13. The policy process in the age of governance
14. Conclusion: evaluation and accountability
Michael Hill is Emeritus Professor of Social Policy at the University of Newcastle, UK. Since leaving Newcastle, he has held visiting appointments in London University, at Goldsmiths College, Queen Mary College and the London School of Economics, and at Brighton University.
Frédéric Varone is Professor of Political Science at the University of Geneva, Switzerland, and an elected member of the Geneva Court of Audit.
'The Public Policy Process is an indispensable book for anyone who wants to understand policies. It provides a complete overview of policy theories and analytical approaches for researchers, students, and practitioners. It guides readers to the whole field of studies, providing them with different possibilities of analysis and research. During the last years, the book has been an essential material in places where the field of study and the state itself are still under construction, as is the case in many countries in the global south. This new edition proves how, updated, and connected to the changes in the field, the book remains a fundamental reference to understand the policy process.'
Gabriela Lotta, Getulio Vargas Foundation, Brazil
'A fresh edition of a classic textbook. It provides an even-handed, concise and considerate overview of a range of theories and approaches in the study of the policy process.'
Mark Bovens, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
'In the 8th Edition of The Public Policy Process, Hill and Varone continue and expand on one of the best introductory books on policy process research. This book excels in making the complexities inherent in policy processes more understandable without reverting to overly simplified and distorted depictions. This latest edition brings in needed work on inequality, power, and democracy, which connects it to the most pressing challenges in society. Based on crisp conceptualizations and comprehensive theoretical foundations, this book offers a firm foundation for new students and experienced scholars for understanding, studying, and influencing policy processes.'
Christopher M. Weible, University of Colorado Denver, USA
'This new edition of the very successful textbook is an essential guide to the study of the policy process. It stands out for its clarity of prose, concise outline of key concepts, as well as a comprehensive synthesis of where we are right now within this rapidly moving area of policy analysis. I recommend this book to every student and researcher interested in understanding policy processes and in applying theories to empirical phenomena.'
Sabine Kuhlmann, University of Potsdam, Germany