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Public policy has developed into a broad and interdisciplinary area of study. Research in the field tends to reflect this wide-ranging nature, with scholarly activity focusing on policy process, policy design, program evaluation, specific policy issues, and research classified simply as policy studies.” Yet for those teaching and studying in the field, the disjointed nature of the field can be confusing and cumbersome.
In this newly revised and updated edition of The Public Policy Theory Primer, authors Kevin B. Smith and Christopher W. Larimer provide a reasoned and structured framework for the field of public policy, not only discussing several major theories but also offering a consistent and coherent framework for uniting the field. This organized and comprehensive approach addresses core questions and concepts, major theoretical frameworks, primary methodological approaches, and key controversies and debates. In the second edition, the authors cover new approaches to subsystems theory, policy narratives, behavioral economics and policymaking, implementation theory, and many other new themes in each of the book's ten chapters. The Public Policy Theory Primer is an indispensable text for the systematic study of public policy.
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Kevin B. Smith is professor of political science at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
Christopher W. Larimer is associate professor of political science at the University of Northern Iowa.
"There simply is nothing better than Smith and Larimer's The Public Policy Theory Primer, Second Edition for a broad, thought-provoking, and politically attuned review of the theories and findings that constitute the field. If you want to refresh your own perspective, you'll benefit from reading it; if you take your students seriously, you'll want to assign it."
—Jeffrey Henig, Columbia University
"Much more than a primer, this comprehensive second edition recognizes the changing dynamics of policy science, emphasizing the latest research in implementation studies. Perfect for graduate seminars and students studying for comprehensive examinations, just about everything you need to know about the field of policy science is in this book."
—Jacqueline Vaughn, Northern Arizona University
Praise from First Edition:
"Smith and Larimer's tour de force provides both summary and serious critique of the field of policy studies. It will contribute to the future development of the field by presenting both students and their professors the first serious holistic evaluation of the entire field, rather than the partial views usually addressed in texts. It will be the standard reference for years to come."
—Bryan D. Jones, University of Texas at Austin
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