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Making Policy Work

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Pages: 252

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:2/1/2010 - Routledge

By: Peter John

This book is an overview and review of the empirical literature about the effectiveness of the tools of government. These are the choices that are on offer to politicians and other policy-makers when they want to change policy outcomes, whether it is economic growth, environmental degradation, or poverty. The idea is that politicians can choose to concentrate on one set of tools, partly out of convenience and fashion, but may fail to see the costs as well as the benefits – and may not know the research evidence about their effectiveness. It divides the tools into eight and each one forms a chapter of the book: Finance (more money to address problems) Law and Regulation (the use of rules to regulate behaviour) Information and Symbols (ideas and information to inspire changes in behaviour) Public Management (reforming the organisations of government) Decentralisation and Markets (offloading problems onto other actors) Networks and Governance (using nodality and coordination to address collective action problems) Social Capital (tapping and encouraging the use of social resources). Each chapter pays particular attention to robust research evidence, particularly quantitative studies (these methods are explained in an easy-to-read appendix). Several policy areas are compared and the evidence mainly comes from the US, the UK and other European countries. The conclusion addresses the strengths and weaknesses of these approaches, suggesting that particular combinations may be effective in certain circumstances.  

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