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Best Public Policy Books You Should Read

Looking for the best Public Policy books? Browse our list to find excellent book recommendations on the subject.

An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making (2019)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadNow in a thoroughly revised Fifth Edition, An Introduction to the Policy Process provides students at all levels with an accessible, readable, and affordable introduction to the field of public policy. In keeping with prior editions, author Tom Birkland conveys the best current thinking on the policy process in a clear, conversational style.
Author(s): Thomas A. Birkland

Public Policymaking: An Introduction (2010)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadTo explain the fundamentals of public policy, this best-selling text focuses on the process behind the crafting of legislation. By examining the individual steps–from identifying a problem, to agenda setting, to evaluation, revision, or termination of a policy–students are able to see how different factors influence the creation of policy. Each chapter features at least one case study that illustrates how general ideas are applied to specific policy issues.
Author(s): James E. Anderson

American Public Policy: Promise and Performance (2018)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadThis updated edition of American Public Policy by B. Guy Peters provides a comprehensive yet accessible overview of the policy-making process from procedural approaches and policy instruments to in-depth analysis of specific policy issues.
Author(s): B. Guy Peters

Writing Public Policy: A Practical Guide to Communicating in the Policy Making Process (2018)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadIn Writing Public Policy: A Practical Guide to Communicating in the Policy Making Process, Fifth Edition, Catherine F. Smith presents a general method for planning, producing, accessing, and critically analyzing communications in a variety of real-life public policy contexts and situations.
Author(s): Catherine F. Smith

Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives (2014)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadSince the first edition of Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives, Michael Kraft and Scott Furlong have taken a different tack. They want students to understand how and why policy analysis is used to assess policy alternatives―not only to question the assumptions of policy analysts, but also to recognize how analysis is used in support of political arguments.
Author(s): Michael E. Kraft, Scott R. Furlong

Public Policy: A Concise Introduction (2018)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadPublic Policy: A Concise Introduction, by Sara R. Rinfret, Denise Scheberle, and Michelle C. Pautz, is a student-friendly primer that quickly connects readers to the inner workings of public policy. The text condenses early chapters on theory and the policy-making process, allowing students to take up key policy challenges―such as immigration, education, and health care―much earlier in the semester.
Author(s): Sara R. (Rose) Rinfret, Denise L. Scheberle , et al.

The CQ Press Writing Guide for Public Policy (2018)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadThe CQ Press Writing Guide for Public Policy is loaded with rich real world examples that help you master the process of translating insightful policy analysis into clear policy recommendations.
Author(s): Andrew Pennock

Issues for Debate in American Public Policy: Selections from CQ Researcher (2019)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadWritten by award-winning CQ Researcher journalists, this annual collection of nonpartisan and thoroughly researched reports focuses on 16 hot-button policy issues. With reports ranging from racial profiling to prescription drug costs, the Twentieth Edition of Issues for Debate in American Public Policy promotes in-depth discussion, facilitates further research, and helps readers formulate their own positions on crucial policy issues.
Author(s): CQ Researcher

An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making (2015)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadThe fourth edition of this widely-used text relates theory to practice in the public policy process. In a clear, conversational style, author Tom Birkland conveys the best current thinking on the policy process with an emphasis on accessibility and synthesis. This new edition has been reorganized to better explain the role of policy analysis in the policy process.
Author(s): Thomas A. Birkland

Introduction to Public Policy (2010)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadThe first introductory public policy text with a strong economics perspective. A new textbook by Charles Wheelan, author of Naked Economics, Introduction to Public Policy uses economic principles to demonstrate that sound public policy occurs when unfettered private markets provide the greatest good for the greatest number. Only when it does not do this is government intervention needed.
Author(s): Charles Wheelan

Designing Public Policies (Routledge Textbooks in Policy Studies) (2019)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadThe second edition of this highly regarded book provides a concise and accessible introduction to the principles and elements of policy design in contemporary governance. It examines in detail the range of substantive and procedural policy instruments that together comprise the toolbox from which governments choose tools to resolve policy problems and the principles and practices that lead to their use.
Author(s): Michael Howlett

Understanding Public Policy (15th Edition) (2016)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadFor courses in Public Policy Understanding Public Policy provides an introduction to the study of public policy, as well as an overview of the models that political scientists use to describe and explain political life.
Author(s): Thomas R. Dye

Public Policy: The Essential Readings (2nd Edition) (2012)

 Best Public Policy Books You Should ReadUpdated in its 2nd edition,  Public Policy Analysis: The Essential Readings presents a collection of 67 key classic and contemporary readings on public policy and public policy issues.Spanning a wide range of topics and issues, this text aims to introduce readers to the underpinnings and current practices of the policymaking arena.
Author(s): Stella Z. Theodoulou, Matthew A. Cahn

Best Public Policy Books You Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some public policy books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Refounding political governance : the metaphysics of public administration

Author(s): Bruce Cutting; Alexander Kouzmin
ID: 1175876, Publisher: Bentham Science Publishers, Year: [2011], Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf

The Endangered Species Act : History, Conservation Biology, and Public Policy

Author(s): Brian Czech and Paul R. Krausman
ID: 2388517, Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press, NetLibrary, Inc., Year: May 2003, Size: 753 Kb, Format: pdf

Incarnating Feelings, Constructing Communities: Experiencing Emotions via Education, Violence, and Public Policy in the Americas

Author(s): Ana María Forero Angel, Catalina González Quintero, Allison B. Wolf
ID: 2814561, Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan, Year: 2021, Size: 4 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are truly hot items according to USA Today, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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