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Public policy has developed into a broad and interdisciplinary area of study. Research in the field tends to reflect this wide-ranging nature, with scholarly activity focusing on policy process, policy design, program evaluation, specific policy issues, and research classified simply as "policy studies." Yet for those teaching and studying in the field, the disjointed nature of the field can be confusing and cumbersome. This text provides a reasoned and structured framework for the field of public policy. Authors Kevin B. Smith and Christopher W. Larimer not only discuss several major theories but also offer a consistent and coherent framework for uniting the field. This organized and comprehensive approach addresses core questions and concepts, major theoretical frameworks, primary methodological approaches, and key controversies and debates. In the second edition, the authors cover new approaches to typologies, behavioral economics and decision making, social media and social network analysis, updates on social construction theory, and many other new themes in each of the book's ten chapters. The Public Policy Theory Primeris an indispensable text for the systematic study of public policy.