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January 2000
256 pages  

5 1/2 x 8 1/2
9780822953920
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Policy Analysis by Design
Bobrow, Davis, Dryzek , John
Policy Analysis by Design examines the approaches to public policy taken by those who try to teach it, write about it, and influence it through major analysis. Bobrow and Dryzek systematically compare the five major contending analytical frames of reference: welfare economics, public choice, social structure, information processing, and political philosophy. The workings of each frame are illustrated by means of a common, if imaginary, policy case - air pollution in the hypothetical Smoke Valley.

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Davis B. Bobrow is professor (emeritus) of public and international affairs and political science at the University of Pittsburgh. He is coauthor of Defensive Internationalism, Policy Analysis by Design, and Understanding Foreign Policy Decisions.Bobrow has served as president of the International Studies Association and is a former member of the U.S. Defense Science Board.
Davis B. Bobrow is Professor of Government and Politics at the University of Maryland.
“Will be . . . particularly welcomed by teachers of public policy, because it contains a concise, well-ballanced and readable exposition of the major competing approaches to policy analysis today, a range of approaches that often bewilders the novice and is rarely well-understood even by experts within each school of analysis.”—Christopher Hood

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Political Science/Policy, Theory, Law
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Policy analysts currently have available to them a cafeteria menu of analytical approaches, from welfare economics to political philosophy. Davis B. Bobrow and John S. Dryzek believe that now more than ever a clear understanding of the approaches available - the assumptions consciously or unconsciously adopted by their practitioners - is crucial to the practice of intellectually defensible and socially responsible analysis of public policy. Policy Analysis by Design examines the approaches to public policy taken by those who try to teach it, write about it, and influence it through major analysis. Bobrow and Dryzek systematically compare the five major contending analytical frames of reference: welfare economics, public choice, social structure, information processing, and political philosophy. The workings of each frame are illustrated by means of a common, if imaginary, policy case - air pollution in the hypothetical Smoke Valley. Bobrow and Dryzek discover that many important distinctions emerge among the major frames of reference, differences which should help to determine when to choose what approach. The authors conclude by suggesting how policy analysis should be conducted, and how policy analysts should be trained, in the face of such diversity. The concerns of Policy Analysis by Design are deeper and broader than most books in the field, breaking new ground. Bobrow and Dryzek make the case that policy analysts should balance their attention to technique with an understanding of the rationales underlying their interventions in policy processes. Policy Analysis by Design, based on this fundamental principle, should stimulate debate about basic choices that policy analysts must make.
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