Studying Public Policy: Policy Cycles and Policy Subsystems
Studies of public policymaking all to often apply general assumptions about political life to specific case studies. In Studying Public Policy, Michael Howlett and M. Ramesh argue that this approach does not do justice to the wealth of empirical studies pointing to a different set of factors responsible for general patterns of policymaking.
Following a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the existing approaches, the authors inventory current British, American and Canadian literature on policy actors, institutions, and instruments, and derive from that inventory the elements of an inductive, middle-range theory of public policymaking. The model developed in the book not only helps to unify theoretical and empirical studies, but identifies critical elements of the process of policy change of interest not only to specialists but also to practitioners in the field.