5th Edition

Theories Of The Policy Process

Edited By Christopher M. Weible Copyright 2023
    410 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    410 Pages 19 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Theories of the Policy Process provides a forum for the experts in policy process research to present the basic propositions, empirical evidence, latest updates, and the promising future research opportunities of each policy process theory.

    In this thoroughly revised fifth edition, each chapter has been updated to reflect recent empirical work, innovative theorizing, and a world facing challenges of historic proportions with climate change, social and political inequities, and pandemics, among recent events. Updated and revised chapters include Punctuated Equilibrium Theory, Multiple Streams Framework, Policy Feedback Theory, Advocacy Coalition Framework, Narrative Policy Framework, Institutional and Analysis and Development Framework, and Diffusion and Innovation. This fifth edition includes an entirely new chapter on the Ecology of Games Framework. New authors have been added to most chapters to diversify perspectives and make this latest edition the most internationalized yet. Across the chapters, revisions have clarified concepts and theoretical arguments, expanded and extended the theories’ scope, summarized lessons learned and knowledge gained, and addressed the relevancy of policy process theories.

    Theories of the Policy Process has been, and remains, the quintessential gateway to the field of policy process research for students, scholars, and practitioners. It’s ideal for those enrolled in policy process courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, and those conducting research or undertaking practice in the subject.

    Introduction: The Scope and Focus of Policy Process Research and Theories 

    Christopher M. Weible 

    Part I: Theoretical Approaches to Policy Process Research 

    1. The Multiple Streams Framework: Foundations, Refinements, and Empirical Applications 
    2. Nicole Herweg, Nikolaos Zahariadis, and Reimut Zohlnhöfer 

    3. Punctuated Equilibrium Theory: Explaining Stability and Change in Public Policymaking 
    4. Frank R. Baumgartner, Bryan D. Jones, and Peter B. Mortensen 

    5. Policy Feedback Theory 
    6. Suzanne Mettler and Mallory E. Sorelle 

    7. The Advocacy Coalition Framework: Progress and Emerging Areas 
    8. Daniel Nohrstedt, Karin Ingold, Christopher M. Weible, Elizabeth A. Koebele, Kristin L. Olofsson, Keiichi Satoh, and Hank C. Jenkins-Smith 

    9. The Narrative Policy Framework 
    10. Michael D. Jones, Aaron Smith-Walter, Mark K. McBeth, and Elizabeth A. Shanahan 

    11. The IAD Framework and Its Tools for Policy and Institutional Analysis 
    12. Edella Schlager and Sergio Villamayor-Tomas 

    13. Policy Diffusion and Innovation 
    14. Osmany Porto de Oliveira, Giulia C. Romano, Craig Volden, and Andrew Karch 

    15. The Ecology of Games Framework: Complexity in Polycentric Governance 
    16. Mark Lubell, Jack Mewhirter, and Matthew Robbins 

      Part II: Comparisons and Conclusions 

    17. How Should We Compare Theories of the Policy Process? 
    18. Paul Cairney and Tanya Heikkila 

    19. Struggle and Triumph in Fusing Policy Process and Comparative Research 
    20. Jale Tosun and Samuel Workman 

    21. Advancing Policy Process Research and Theories 

    Christopher M. Weible 


    Christopher M. Weible is a Professor in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. His research focuses on policy process theories, contentious politics, and environmental policy. He is the Editor of Theories of the Policy Process (Routledge, 2023), Co-Editor of Methods of the Policy Process (with Samuel Workman, Routledge, 2022), Co-Editor of Policy & Politics, and Co-Director of the Center for Policy and Democracy.

    "Theories of the Policy Process, Fifth Edition continues to define public policy scholarship more than two decades after the first edition was published. The authors, under the editorial guidance of Chris Weible, deliver theoretically innovative material through the circumspect curation of updated chapters, a feat not insignificant for the fifth edition of an edited volume. Moreover, Theories of the Policy Process is most empirically relevant in substance and form: the expanding geographical scope of the theories’ practical applications renders the material spatially aware whereas the author teams are diverse, producing polyphonic scholarship. Theories of the Policy Process charted my own career path almost two decades ago—the fifth edition is a compass every student and researcher must possess in order to navigate the complex public policy questions of our time."

    Evangelia Petridou, Mid Sweden University, Sweden and NTNU Social Research, Norway

    "Theories of the Policy Process, Fifth Edition provides the most comprehensive set of theoretical lenses, including comparative lens, to observe complex policy processes. Each lens offered within this book is clear, unique and up to date. It is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the policy process quickly and conduct policy process research better."

    Fang Chen, School of Public Affairs, Xiamen University, China

    "The study of public policy processes is fundamental to our understanding of how governments, organizations and individuals interact over time. In this Fifth edition of the famous Theories of the Policy Process book, Christopher Weible manages to give readers a new and improved set of theories and concepts of the policy process. From Punctuated Equilibrium Theory to Narrative Policy Framework to Institutional Analysis and Development, chapter authors (all of them experienced policy process scholars) offer excellent and accessible theoretical insight into how public policy works as well as diverse frameworks and theories to understand it. Keeping Paul Sabatier’s legacy alive, Christopher Weible’s Theories of the Policy Process book is, and will remain, an indispensable source for policy scholars, practitioners and government officials worldwide."

    Raul Pacheco-Vega, Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) Sede México, Mexico