Theories of the Policy Process  book cover
4th Edition

Theories of the Policy Process

ISBN 9780813350523
Published July 25, 2017 by Routledge
416 Pages

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Book Description

Theories of the Policy Process provides a forum for the experts in the most established and widely used theoretical frameworks in policy process research to present the basic propositions, empirical evidence, latest updates, and the promising future research opportunities of each framework. This well-regarded volume covers such enduring classics as Multiple Streams (Zahariadis et al.), Punctuated Equilibrium (Jones et al.), Advocacy Coalition Framework (Jenkins-Smith et al.), Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (Schlager and Cox), and Policy Diffusion (Berry and Berry), as well as two newer theories—Policy Feedback (Mettler and SoRelle) and Narrative Policy Framework (McBeth et al.).

The fourth edition now includes a discussion of global and comparative perspectives in each theoretical chapter and a brand-new chapter that explores how these theories have been adapted for, and employed in, non-American and non-Western contexts. An expanded introduction and revised conclusion fully examines and contextualizes the history, trajectories and functions of public policy research. Since its first publication in 1999, Theories of the Policy Process has been, and remains, the quintessential gateway to the field of policy process research for students, scholars and practitioners.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Scope and Focus of Policy Process Research and Theory, Christopher M. Weible

Part I: Theoretical Approaches to Policy Process Research

Chapter 1: Ambiguity and Multiple Streams, Nicole Herweg, Nikolaos Zahariadis, and Reimut Zohlnhoefer

Chapter 2: Punctuated Equilibrium Theory: Explaining Stability and Change in Public Policymaking, Frank R. Baumgartner, Bryan D. Jones, and Peter B. Mortensen

Chapter 3: Policy Feedback Theory, Suzanne Mettler and Mallory SoRelle

Chapter 4: Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Overview of the Research Program, Hank Jenkins-Smith, Daniel Nohrstedt, Christopher M. Weible, and Karin Ingold

Chapter 5: The Narrative Policy Framework, Elizabeth A. Shanahan, Michael D. Jones, Mark K. McBeth, and Claudio Radaelli

Chapter 6: The IAD Framework and the SES Framework: An Introduction and Assessment of the Ostrom Workshop Frameworks, Edella Schlager and Michael Cox

Chapter 7: Innovations and Diffusion Models in Policy Research, Frances Stokes Berry and William D. Berry

Part II: Comparisons and Conclusions

Chapter 8: Comparison of Theories of the Policy Process, Tanya Heikkila and Paul Cairney

Chapter 9: Struggle and Triumph in Fusing Policy Process and Comparative Research, Jale Tosun and Samuel Workman

Chapter 10: Moving Forward and Climbing Upward: Advancing Policy Process Research, Christopher M. Weible

About the Contributors


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Christopher M. Weible is professor at the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver. He is co-editor of Policy Debates in Hydraulic Fracking (2016).

Paul A. Sabatier was political scientist and professor of environmental studies at the University of California, Davis.


Praise for Previous Editions:

"Theories of the Policy Process simultaneously achieves two important goals: It engages policy process researchers in a discourse about the status and future direction of the field and provides students with a detailed overview of the leading policy process models, theories, and frameworks. It appeals as a research guide and as a course text." -- Saba Siddiki, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

"Theories of the Policy Process is a unique resource that brings clarity to our collective understanding of the policy process. The contributors are first rate, the writing is clear and concise, and there is no other place where all of the major academic approaches to the policymaking process can be found." -- Steven Stehr, Washington State University