American Public Policy: Promise and Performance

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  • Edition: 9th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-10-16
  • Publisher: CQ PRESS
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Voting and elections may often be cited as the most entertaining aspect of political theatre, however, it is the arena of public policy that has the most direct impact on the lives of the citizenry. And as we have seen played out in recent debates over healthcare reform, policy changes can be dramatic, sweeping, and often hotly contested. Known for providing a trusted and comprehensive overview of the policy process, B. Guy Peters returns with the ninth edition of American Public Policy: Promise and Performance. Beyond walking students through the governmental structures and policy-making procedures, Peters efficiently covers a wide swath of policy areas, and then concludes with a look at both cost-benefit analysis and ethical analysis. Framed in context of the aftermath of the financial crisis and Great Recession, the ninth edition considers how policy has been impacted by persistent unemployment and growing income inequality. In addition, Peters discusses the strain on education budgets, increased oversight of financial activities, fiscal policies meant to stimulate the economy, and the political challenge of balancing the budget in light of increased public spending.

Author Biography

B. Guy Peters is Maurice Falk Professor of American Government at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also professor of Comparative Governance at Zeppelin University in Germany. He is currently coeditor of the European Political Science Review and on the editorial boards of a number of other journals. His recent publications include Institutional Theory in Political Science, third edition and Interactive Governance: Advancing the Paradigm, with Jacob Torfing, Jon Pierre, and Eva Sorensen.

Table of Contents

Tables and Figuresp. xiii
Prefacep. xv
The Nature of Public Policy
What Is Public Policy?p. 3
Defining Public Policyp. 4
The Instruments of Public Policyp. 6
Lawp. 7
Servicesp. 8
Moneyp. 9
Taxesp. 10
Other Economic Instrumentsp. 11
Suasionp. 11
The Effects of Toolsp. 13
The Environment of Public Policyp. 13
Conservatismp. 14
Participationp. 15
Pragmatismp. 17
Wealthp. 19
Diversityp. 20
World Leadershipp. 21
Summaryp. 21
The Structure of Policymaking in American Governmentp. 23
Federalismp. 24
Separation of Powersp. 29
Subgovernmentsp. 31
Public and Privatep. 38
The Size and Shape of the Public Sectorp. 40
Summaryp. 44
Explaining Policy Choicesp. 47
Power and Public Policyp. 47
The Policy Process-The Stages Modelp. 48
Institutional Models of Policyp. 50
Advocacy-Coalition Frameworkp. 52
Policy Causes Politicsp. 53
Policy Stylesp. 54
Policy Instrumentsp. 55
Bounded Rationality, Multiple Streams, and Incrementalismp. 56
The Private Sector, Iron Triangles, and Networksp. 58
Optimal Decision Makingp. 59
Constructivist Modelsp. 60
Summaryp. 62
The Making of Public Policy
Agenda Setting and Public Policyp. 65
Agenda Settingp. 65
Kinds of Agendasp. 68
Who Sets Agendas?p. 70
Pluralist Approachesp. 70
Elitist Approachesp. 71
State-Centric Approachesp. 72
From Problem to Issue: How to Get Problems on the Agendap. 75
The Effects of the Problemp. 75
Analogous and Spillover Agenda Settingp. 76
Relationship to Symbolsp. 77
The Absence of Private Meansp. 78
The Availability of Technologyp. 79
Policy Formulationp. 81
Who Formulates Policy?p. 82
How to Formulate Policyp. 87
Aids for Policy Formulationp. 89
Policy Designp. 92
Summaryp. 93
Legitimating Policy Choicesp. 95
Legislative Legitimationp. 99
Regulations and the Administrative Processp. 104
Public Access to the Regulatory Processp. 106
The Processes of Writing Regulationsp. 107
The Courtsp. 111
Popular Legitimationp. 113
Summaryp. 114
Organizations and Implementationp. 117
Dramatis Personaep. 118
Implementationp. 125
The Legislationp. 126
Policy Issuesp. 126
Political Settingp. 128
Interest Group Liberalismp. 130
The Organizational Settingp. 130
Organizational Disunityp. 131
Standard Operating Proceduresp. 132
Organizational Communicationp. 134
Time Problemsp. 136
Horseshoe-Nail Problems and Public Planningp. 137
Interorganizational Politicsp. 138
Vertical Implementation Structuresp. 140
Horizontal Implementation Structuresp. 141
From the Bottom Up?p. 143
The Third Generation?p. 144
Summaryp. 144
Budgeting: Allocation and Public Policyp. 147
Characteristics of the Federal Budgetp. 148
An Executive Budgetp. 148
The Line Itemp. 149
An Annual Budgetp. 150
The Budget Cyclep. 150
Setting the Parameters: The President and His Friendsp. 151
Agency Requestsp. 153
Executive Reviewp. 154
Congressional Actionp. 156
Budget Executionp. 158
Budget Controlp. 160
Problems in the Budget Processp. 160
The Deficitp. 161
Uncontrollable Expendituresp. 163
Backdoor Spendingp. 164
The Overhangp. 166
Intergovernmental Budget Controlp. 167
Reprogramming and Transfersp. 167
The Defense Budgetp. 168
Supplemental Appropriationsp. 169
Earmarksp. 170
Assessing the Outcomes: Incrementalism or What?p. 170
Critiques of Incrementalismp. 172
Reforming Budgeting: Large-Scale Approaches in the 1960s and 1970sp. 174
Program Budgetingp. 174
Zero-Base Budgetingp. 177
From Scalpels to Axes: Budget Reform from the 1980s to the 2000sp. 179
Gramm-Rudman-Hollingsp. 180
The Balanced Budget Amendmentp. 182
The Line-Item Vetop. 183
Decrementalismp. 185
Summaryp. 186
Evaluation and Policy Changep. 189
Problems in Evaluating Public Programsp. 189
Goal Specification and Goal Changep. 190
Measurementp. 192
Targetsp. 197
Efficiency and Effectivenessp. 199
Values and Evaluationp. 200
Politicsp. 200
Increasing Requirements for Evaluationp. 201
Summaryp. 202
Policy Changep. 203
Summaryp. 208
Substantive Policy Issues
Economic Policyp. 213
Backgroundp. 213
The Goals of Economic Policyp. 214
Economic Growthp. 215
Full Employmentp. 217
Stable Pricesp. 221
A Positive Balance of Paymentsp. 222
Structural Changep. 225
The Instruments of Economic Policyp. 226
Fiscal Policyp. 227
Monetary Policyp. 233
Regulations and Controlp. 236
Public Support for Businessp. 239
Public Ownershipp. 242
Public Support for Laborp. 243
Incentivesp. 244
Moral Suasionp. 245
Summaryp. 245
Tax Policyp. 247
Backgroundp. 247
Public Opinion and Taxationp. 253
Fairnessp. 253
Value for Moneyp. 256
Choices in Tax Policyp. 259
Collectibilityp. 259
Fiscal Neutralityp. 260
Buoyancyp. 261
Distributive Effectsp. 262
Visibilityp. 263
The Politics of Tax Reformp. 264
The Tax Reform Act of 1986p. 265
Tax Reform in the 1990sp. 265
Tax Reform in the George W. Bush Administrationp. 267
Tax Reform in the Obama Administrationp. 268
Proposals for Further Fundamental Tax Reformp. 268
Summaryp. 271
Health Care Policiesp. 273
Problems in Health Carep. 277
Access to Medical Carep. 278
Costp. 283
Qualityp. 288
The Affordable Care Act of 2010p. 290
Public Programs in Health Carep. 292
Medicarep. 292
Medicaidp. 295
Health Maintenance Organizations: Managing Managed Carep. 297
Health Care Regulationp. 299
Hospital and Physician Costsp. 299
Health Care Qualityp. 300
Drug Regulationp. 301
The Pursuit of National Health Insurancep. 304
"Play or Pay"p. 305
Canadian-Style Comprehensive Coveragep. 305
Past Attempts at National Health Care Reformp. 306
Summaryp. 309
Income Maintenance: Social Security and Welfarep. 311
Social Insurancep. 313
Problems in Social Securityp. 317
Social Security and the Economyp. 321
Financing Social Securityp. 322
Reforming Social Securityp. 324
Means-Tested Programsp. 327
AFDC and the Origins of Welfarep. 328
The Family Support Actp. 330
The 1996 Reforms and PRWORAp. 331
Implementing Workfarep. 334
Alternatives for Further Reform of Income Supportp. 335
The War on Povertyp. 339
Other Means-Tested Programsp. 340
The Persistence of Poverty in the United Statesp. 340
The Homelessp. 343
Private Social Programsp. 344
Summaryp. 345
Education Policyp. 347
The Federal Government's Role in Educationp. 351
Local Financing and the Federal Rolep. 353
Higher Educationp. 355
Elementary and Secondary Educationp. 358
Issues of Education Policyp. 362
Quality of Educationp. 362
Vouchers and Choicep. 364
Competency Testingp. 367
Testing Teacher Competencep. 369
School Facilitiesp. 369
The Separation of Church and Statep. 370
Unionization and Managementp. 370
Equalization of Resourcesp. 372
Desegregation and Busingp. 373
Higher Education Costsp. 376
Summaryp. 377
Energy and the Environmentp. 379
Backgroundp. 379
Energy Sourcesp. 381
Oilp. 381
Natural Gasp. 383
Coalp. 383
Nuclear Powerp. 384
Alternative and Renewable Energy Sourcesp. 386
The Formation of Energy Policyp. 390
Federal Energy Policyp. 390
The States and Energy Policyp. 392
Environmental Policiesp. 393
The Politics of Pollutionp. 394
Environmental Legislationp. 398
Implementation of Environmental Controlsp. 407
Alternatives to Regulationp. 109
Summaryp. 410
Protective Policies: Defense and Law Enforcementp. 413
Backgroundp. 413
Defense Policyp. 414
The Environment of Defense Policyp. 416
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