Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making (Third Edition) Third Edition Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0393912722
ISBN-10: 0393912728
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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 + Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, Update Edition, with an Epilogue on Health Care (2nd Edition) (Longman Classics in Political Science)
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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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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: 6 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,634 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 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 Rishi Kumar on April 4, 2015
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This book is a classic for good reason. It lays out concepts clearly, intelligently, and convincingly, all while sounding conversational and not overly technical, as is a pitfall of many academic publications. Stone's frameworks are just that--frameworks--and are useful for structuring one's analysis of policy, while also recognizing that no real world situation fits the frameworks perfectly.

My one large critique of Stone is her extremely apparent liberal bias. While the ideas she presents are not inherently liberal or conservative (though one could certainly make the argument that the 'market model' she argues against is a conservative one and the 'polis model' she champions is a liberal one), the examples she draws to illustrate them are biased towards a liberal perspective. Whenever she presents something 'bad' done in a policy situation, it is almost always a Republican or conservative doing it, while liberal ideas and actions are almost always presented as the 'right thing' to do or a compassionate application of policy. Even as a liberal myself, it got a bit grating towards the end of the book. At times in certain chapters it seemed like Stone was soapboxing about an issue, even if that issue was only tangentially relevant to the topic at hand.

If you can get past the bias, and perhaps only skim the examples she uses, there is still a lot to get out of this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Briton on December 5, 2014
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I bought this for a class and looked forward to reading it. I'm not sure if it is because the textbook is not formatted in the traditional manner (lots of summaries of the main points, bullets, bold and italics) or the subject matter. But this is not an interesting book about the topic.
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Deborah Stone presents some clear logic in the community building approach to policy. The book is well written and unambiguous in its suggestions, and carries a common theme across the chapters, tying them together nicely. Understand, however, that this is not a policy process book without a political position: the perspective is undoubtedly leftist leaning towards socialist. There is nothing wrong with such a political perspective (agree or disagree), but it is vital to be clear that this is a politically motivated opinion. Use this book to expand your horizons and learn about one side of a complex issue, but be sure to consider alternative points of view when doing so. Similarly, if you are considering using this within the context of a course on policy making, be sure to leverage additional resources to balance the viewpoints.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CS on June 8, 2013
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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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt Ragon on November 28, 2014
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A theoretical model.
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1 of 2 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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Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making (Third Edition)
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