The Routledge Handbook of Policy Styles  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Policy Styles

ISBN 9780367251437
Published March 25, 2021 by Routledge
464 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This Handbook provides a systematic overview of the study of policy styles provided by leading experts in the field. 

The book unites theoretical bases and advancements in practice, ranging from the fundamentals of policy styles to its place in greater policy studies, and responds to new questions regarding policy style dynamics across a range of government levels and activities, including contemporary trends affecting styles such as the use of digital tools and big data in government. It is a comprehensive reference for students and scholars of public policy. 

Key features:

  • consolidates and advances the contemporary body of knowledge on policy styles and defines its distinctiveness within broader policy studies; 
  • provides a detailed picture of national policy styles in a wide range of countries as well as insights concerning sectoral and other kinds of styles within countries, including executive styles and styles of policy advice; 
  • systematically explores questions dealing with how policy styles impact policy goals, and the realization of policies, including how styles affect instruments choices and impact;
  • provides a guide to future comparative research pathways and cross-sectoral dialogue on the concept and practice of policy styles.

The Routledge Handbook Policy Styles is essential reading and an authoritative reference for scholars, students, researchers and practitioners of public policy, public administration, public management as well as for comparative politics and government, public organizations and individual policy areas such as health policy, welfare policy, industrial policy, environmental policy, among others.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Studying Policy Styles at the National Level and Beyond

Michael Howlett and Jale Tosun

Section 1: Institutional Styles

Part 1: National Policy Styles: Concepts and Cases

2. National Policy Styles in Theory and Practice

Michael Howlett and Jale Tosun

3. Adversarial Legalism and the American Style of Policymaking

Jeb Barnes

4. Experimentalism as a Policy Style: The Case of China

Jiwei Qian

5. From the ‘Rationalist Consensus’ to ‘Exclusive Incrementalism’: The ‘New’ German Policy Style

Reimut Zohlnhöfer and Jale Tosun

6. Authoritarism as a Policy Style

Aziz Burkhanov

Part 2: Sectoral Policy Styles: Concepts and Cases

7. The Concept of a Sectoral Policy Style

Paul Cairney

8. Three Worlds of Social Policy Styles: Lasting Legacies or a Thing of the Past?

Alexander Horn and Jennifer Shore

9. Policy Styles in Healthcare: Understanding Variations in Health Systems

Azad Singh Bali and Adam Hannah

10. Operationalising and Explaining Environmental Policy Styles

Jale Tosun and Marc Debus

11. Finance and Monetary Policy Styles

Caner Bakir and M. Kerem Coban

Part 3: Administrative and Governance Styles

12. The Concept of Administrative Styles

Louisa Bayerlein, Christoph Knill and Dionys Zink

13. The Styles of Civil Service Systems

John Halligan

14. Empirically Assessing Administrative Styles as Bureaucratic Routines

Louisa Bayerlein, Christoph Knill, Yves Steinebach and Dionys Zink

15. Convergence in Administrative Implementation Styles in the European Union?

Mark Wiering and Tetty Havinga

16. Governance Styles: Re-thinking Governance and Public Policy

Michael Howlett, Giliberto Capano and M. Ramesh

Section 2: Process Styles

Part 4: Agenda-Setting Styles

17. Media-driven Agenda-setting Styles

Max Grömping

18. Interest Groups and Agenda Setting Styles

Darren R. Halpin and Bert Fraussen

19. The Politics of Parliamentary Agenda-Setting Styles

Shaun Bevan, Enrico Borghetto and Henrik Seeberg

Part 5: Formulation, Advisory and Design Styles

20. Policy Formulation Styles: Policy Design and Non-Design

Michael Howlett and Ishani Mukherjee

21. Policy Over- and Underreaction as Policy Style

Moshe Maor

22. Styles of Policy Advice: A Typology for Comparing the Standard Operating Procedures for the Provision of Policy Advice

David Aubin and Marleen Brans

Part 6: Executive and Leadership Decision-Making Styles

23. Executive Policy Styles

Christopher A. Cooper and Patrik Marier

24. Leaders’ and Managers’ Decision-making Styles

Maria Tullia Galanti

25. Varieties of Executive Styles

Kai Wegrich

Part 7: Implementation Styles

26. Instruments and Implementation Styles

Michael Howlett, Anthony Perl and M. Ramesh

27. Regulatory Styles and Their Implications

Christian Adam and Steffen Hurka

28. Implementation Style Dynamics: Changing Patterns of Instrument Choice over Time?

Michael Howlett

Part 8: Evaluation Styles

29. When Policy Learning meets Policy Styles

Claire A. Dunlop and Claudio M. Radaelli

30. Participatory vs Expert Evaluation Styles

Fritz Sager and Céline Mavrot

31. Policy Evaluation Styles

Fabrizio De Francesco and Valérie Pattyn


32. Institutional and Process Dimensions of Policy Styles: Key Insights

Michael Howlett and Jale Tosun

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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, Canada.

Jale Tosun is Professor at the Institute of Political Science, Heidelberg University, Germany.


"Howlett and Tosun have brought together a leading collection of internationally renowned scholars to produce the definitive compendium on comparative policy styles. The volume provides a rich series of case studies and contrasting approaches to the way governments around the world identify policy options, articulate policy pathways and enact public policy to address vexed and complex policy problems."

Darryl S.L. Jarvis, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.

"The concept of policy styles is an important approach to understanding public policies, especially from a comparative perspective. The concept has been used primarily to understand differences among countries, but this book extends the use of the concept to policy domains and to the policy process. This Handbook makes a major contribution to understanding how and why policies differ across countries and across policy areas."

B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, USA.