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Canadian Public Policy

Canadian Public Policy: Selected Studies in Process and Style

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 240
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  • Book Info
    Canadian Public Policy
    Book Description:

    Canadian Public Policy provides the first comprehensive, theoretically informed, empirical evaluation of the development of public policy in Canada.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9913-7
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xv-2)
  6. Part One: Introduction

    • 1 Introduction
      (pp. 5-11)

      Books on Canadian public policymaking as a subject of interest to scholars and practitioners of generic policy processes are few and far between. Some texts exist, of course, but most of these do not attempt to situate contemporary Canadian policymaking practices within the larger literature on policy processes developed over the last half century in the policy sciences and tend to be very descriptive and atheoretical. Many other works exist on the details of particular sectors or areas of interest (from forest policy to welfare, health, and others), but virtually all tend to focus on the idiosyncrasies of the Canadian...

    • 2 Policy Development as Decision-Making Process
      (pp. 12-34)

      The idea that policy development can be thought of as a series of decision-making processes was first broached systematically in the work of Harold Lasswell (Lasswell 1956, 1971). For Lasswell, the policy development process began with intelligence gathering, that is, the collection, processing, and dissemination of information for those who participate in the decision-making process. It then moved on to the promotion of particular options by those involved in the actual decision. The third stage was one in which those decision makers actually prescribed a course of action. In the fourth stage, the prescribed course of action was invoked; meaning...

  7. Part Two: The Policy Process in Canada

    • 3 Agenda Setting – Predictable and Unpredictable Policy Windows: Institutional and Exogenous Correlates of Canadian Federal Agenda Setting
      (pp. 37-64)

      Whether there is a systematic pattern through which issues become subjects for government action is of critical importance to students of the policy process and to policy actors both inside and outside government. Interest groups, think tanks, political parties, and other non-governmental actors must all operate and plan their activities in accordance with some notion of which issues are likely to emerge on government agendas and which are not. Governments at all levels, from the sub-national to the international, must also be able to recognize which issues are likely to move successfully from social to official agendas, and vice versa,...

    • 4 Policy Formulation: Do Networks Matter? Linking Policy Network Structure to Policy Outcomes: Evidence from Four Canadian Policy Sectors 1990–2000
      (pp. 65-90)

      Policy network theory has become a major approach to the study of public policymaking in Canada and elsewhere (Sabatier 1992; Lindquist 1996; Thatcher 1998). Thinking about policymaking as involving more or less fluid sets of state and societal actors linked together by specific interest and resource relationships has emerged as a powerful tool in policy analysis, both from a theoretical and a practical perspective. Conceptually, it has helped to address several important questions relating to the role of actors, ideas, and interests in policymaking processes. Organizing actors and institutions into identifiable sets of policy-relevant interactions has facilitated policy analysis by...

    • 5 Decision Making – Analysing Multi-Actor, Multi-Round Public Policy Decision-Making Processes in Government: Findings from Five Canadian Cases
      (pp. 91-117)

      Some public policy decisions made by governments are fairly simple. The parameters and outcomes of a decision may be well known, the number of actors involved quite small and hence the uncertainty and risk associated with different possible courses of action easily calculated (Morgan and Henrion 1990; Payne, Bettman, and Johnson 1993). Unfortunately these conditions, which may be present in many private and public management situations, rarely hold in practice when it comes to public policymaking (Jones 1994, 2002). Instead, public policymakers typically face situations in which decisions are taken in complex administrative and legislative settings involving multiple actors and...

    • 6 Policy Implementation: Managing the “Hollow State”: Procedural Policy Instruments and Modern Governance
      (pp. 118-132)

      Contemporary governance takes place within a very different context from that of past decades. Government capacity in terms of human and organizational resources remains high by historical standards, but the autonomy or ability of governments to independently affect change has been eroded by such factors as the growth of powerful international actors and systems of exchange (Cerny 1996). Moreover, at the domestic level, modern societies have developed increasingly complex networks of interorganizational actors whose coordination and management are increasingly problematic. Many states have undergone a kind of “hollowing out,” as various functions and activities traditionally undertaken by governments–from highway...

    • 7 Policy Evaluation – Policy Advice in Multilevel Governance Systems: Sub-National Policy Analysts and Analysis
      (pp. 133-150)

      Policy analysis is a subject that has not suffered from a dearth of attention. Many journals and specialized publications exist on the subject and specialized graduate schools operate in many countries, states, and provinces (Jann 1991; Geva-May and Maslove 2007). Studies have examined many hundreds of case studies of policymaking in numerous countries, and many texts describe in detail both the various analytical techniques expected to be used in public policy analysis (Weimer and Vining 2004) and the nuances of the policymaking processes(Howlett, Perl, and Ramesh 2009).

      However, works examining the supply and demand for policy analysis in government are...

  8. Part Three: Conclusion

    • 8 Conclusion – Policy Analytical Capacity and Evidence-Based Policy-Making: Lessons from Canada
      (pp. 153-170)

      Policy analysis is a relatively recent movement, dating back to the 1960s and the U.S. experience with large-scale planning processes in areas such as defence, urban redevelopment, and budgeting (Lindblom 1958; Wildavsky 1969; Behn 1981; MacRae and Wilde 1985; Garson 1986). Seen as a social movement, it represents the efforts of actors inside and outside formal political decision-making processes to improve policy outcomes by applying systematic evaluative rationality to public problems and concerns (Aberbach and Rockman 1989; Mintrom 2007). There have been debates about whether policy analysis has improved on the outcomes associated with processes such as bargaining, compromise, negotiation,...

  9. Notes
    (pp. 171-178)
  10. References
    (pp. 179-220)
  11. Permission Credits
    (pp. 221-222)