Most helpful positive review
62 of 64 people found the following review helpful
A good overview of an exciting field
on September 19, 2000
Tired of trying to keep up with the pace in public policy research? Ta-da! Theories of the Policy Process offers some nice introductory essays on current public policy research, with a focus on (guess what...) theoretical developments. Each major theory is given a chapter of its own, written by distinguished scholars, often the actual parents of the theories. Among the theories covered are Institutional Rational Choice (by Ostrom), Multiple Streams and Garbage Can (by Zahariadis - not Kingdon), Advocacy Coalitions (by Sabatier and Jenkins-Smith) and Punctuated Equilibrium (by True, Baumgartner and Jones). The collection ends with a very good synthesizing chapter by Schlager, where the theories are compared and essential diffrences are higlighted.
This collection is extremely useful to get updated on the latest developments in Public Policy. Lots of good, fresh references, and very accessible and authoritative introductions to the field. Yet, since the collection does not offer anything substantially new, a fifth star is not motivated. Still a very good buy.
I would not recommend it for use in introductory public policy-courses, though. Too abstract and theoretical for that. This is for people already familiar with the field.