The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy
The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science is a ten-volume set of reference books offering authoritative and engaging critical overviews of the state of political science. Each volume focuses on a particular part of the discipline, with volumes on Public Policy, Political Theory, Political Economy, Contextual Political Analysis, Comparative Politics, International Relations, Law and Politics, Political Behavior, Political Institutions, and Political Methodology. The project as a whole is under the General Editorship of Robert E. Goodin, with each volume being edited by a distinguished international group of specialists in their respective fields. The books set out not just to report on the discipline, but to shape it. The series will be an indispensable point of reference for anyone working in political science and adjacent disciplines. Public policy is the business end of political science. It is where theory meets practice in the pursuit of the public good. Political scientists approach public policy in myriad ways. Some approach the policy process descriptively, asking how the need for public intervention comes to be perceived, a policy response formulated, enacted, implemented, and, all too often, subverted, perverted, altered, or abandoned. Others approach public policy more prescriptively, offering politically-informed suggestions for how normatively valued goals can and should be pursued, either through particular policies or through alternative processes for making policy. Some offer their advice from the Olympian heights of detached academic observers, others as 'engaged scholars' cum advocates, while still others seek to instil more reflective attitudes among policy practitioners themselves toward their own practices. The Oxford Handbook of Public Policy mines all these traditions, using an innovative structure that responds to the very latest scholarship. Its chapters touch upon institutional and historical sources and analytical methods, how policy is made, how it is evaluated and how it is constrained. In these ways, the Handbook shows how the combined wisdom of political science as a whole can be brought to bear on political attempts to improve the human condition.
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