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Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making (Third Edition) Paperback – December 16, 2011

ISBN-13: 978-0393912722 ISBN-10: 0393912728 Edition: Third Edition

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Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making (Third Edition) + A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving, 4th Edition + An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making, 3rd
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Third Edition edition (December 16, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393912728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393912722
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,485 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Deborah Stone holds appointments as Research Professor of Government at Dartmouth College and Honorary Professor of Political Science at Aarhus University in Denmark. She has taught in undergraduate and graduate programs at Brandeis, MIT, Yale, Tulane, and Duke, as well as in universities worldwide where Policy Paradox is used.

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Customer Reviews

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This easy-to-read book is packed with anecdotes to illustrates her points.
An Iowan
Having read several economics books and having heard analysis of policies with regard to economic models, it's good to have this as an alternative framework.
Warren Jeckovich
This is a textbook on policy and it's really interesting...almost enjoyable to read.
jsbrns

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Wronka on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I noticed that Dr. Stone's latest work was what can be called a "best seller" in the Policy arena on Amazon, since its debut December 2011 (roughly number 1 for nearly a month, then at least the top 20 thereafter). I was surprised that as of July 3, 2012 not even one person reviewed the book. Perhaps everyone is speechless. But, it really is a good book. Simply put, this third edition of Policy Paradox is an excellent work for anyone seriously wanting to change the world for the better by understanding the political arguments that undergird social policies, which often, and erroneously appear rationally constructed. By understanding how policy can be a struggle for ideas and the control of ambiguity in communities, which she refers to as the "polis," the policy analyst/advocate will be better prepared to jump into the debates by posing alternative viewpoints that ought to more closely adhere to fundamental humanistic principles of social justice and human rights. Having used the previous editions of her book for roughly fifteen years in my policy classes, I must say, that this book with its updated examples and now a new addition of "welfare" ( in addition to liberty, security, equity, and efficiency) as worthwhile goals for policy, which she says unite us as they divide us, is a must read for those from a variety of disciplines, who wish to engage in policy analysis and implementation. It is also extremely well written as the previous editions, with boxes that adequately summarize major points. Interspersed also with amusing anecdotes and even cartoons, I am sure that the reader will not be disappointed with her lively, yet serious style, for as she reminds us, when it comes to policy, the stakes are high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sheri A. Smith on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
The author breaks down complex political theories into their basic building blocks:security, freedom, liberty, equity, efficiency and new in this addition:welfare. By doing this Professor Stone illuminates the philosophies and world views behind public policy choices. So much is made clearer. Including the reader's own political values. The author writes in an engaging, knowledgeable and very assessable style. No one will be threaten by the questions posed in this book. Only absorbed. Very useful. I was assigned this book in a graduate class. I learned much. So much so that I looked for and read other books by Professor Stone.
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A lot of useful information on the challenges and politics involved in policy analysis. The author provides wonderful metaphors as examples to illustrate the paradoxes embedded in our policy process. I bought this book as a required text for a policy analysis class, but found that it is useful in so many other facets beyond an academic environment. Despite how familiar people are with policy making, this book is extremely friendly to read and easy to follow. People inside and outside the political sphere can benefit from this book. Great read.
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Format: Paperback
Every idealist who wants to change the world should read this book. Everyone who is pissed off at their leaders should read this book. It won't save you heartaches from how policy is made or what policies are made, but you'll expect those disappointments and compromised decision-making by politicians and policy wonks. Maybe you won't get as crushed by the machine. No...I'm not bitter.
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I read this book for a Public Administration course in my Master's program and I am very thankful for the professor who assigned this text. Having read several economics books and having heard analysis of policies with regard to economic models, it's good to have this as an alternative framework.
For me Stone's perspective seems intrinsic, She holds that interpersonal connections within a society drive the dynamics and perspectives within, rather than the informed self interest of individual actors. This comes off as a much more realistic portrayal of how individuals view choices. We are not able to balance every action as to pick and choose what is solely advantageous to our being, we do with what we have and we try to accommodate for those around us and those that we love.
Using this premise she guides us through the different dilemmas perceived regarding policy interpretation. She first explores the different aims of policies and how they may be seen as being in conflict, like liberty and welfare. She elaborates that these goals are at times irreconcilably at odds and administrators have to do the best they can with what they have, with any social dilemma there is never any clean, utilitarian solution. However, she argues too that there may be a perceived problem yet multiple aims may be achieved, one does not have to forgo a goal [equity] for another [efficiency] or one demographic for another.
From this she discusses the manner in which policies are framed and how the very framework one poses an issue may slight it to a particular stance. Such as calling medicaid welfare or help to the poor during a debate or a stump speech.
At end Stone discusses the different ways in which policies are enacted and the intrinsic difficulties with each process of implementation.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CS on June 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book for an introduction to Policy/Politics and thinking about what motivates people. The author, Deobrah Stone, critques rational choice theory by emphasizing the other things that cause people to make decisions. I like it for the same reason I don't like it. It's very basic. It is a fantastic overview of these ideas and the chapters are very clear and easy to read and very accessible but it is just a primer, which is what I needed. We're using it in relation to other theories and I think that is the best way to use this book, as a foundation.
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