Interrogating Public Policy Theory
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Interrogating Public Policy Theory

A Political Values Perspective

Linda C. Botterill and Alan Fenna

This book questions the way policy making has been distanced from politics in prevailing theories of the policy process, and highlights the frequently overlooked ubiquity of values and values conflicts in politics and policy. It examines the strengths and weaknesses of current theories, reviews the illusions of rationalism in politics, and explores the way values are implicated throughout the democratic process, from voter choice to policy decisions. It argues that our understanding of public policy is enhanced by recognizing its intrinsically political and value-laden nature.
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Chapter 7: Theorizing public policy: punctuated equilibrium theory and beyond

Linda C. Botterill and Alan Fenna

Abstract

This chapter considers the contribution of Frank Baumgartner and Bryan Jones to the field of policy studies through their three main books that set out the evolution of their ideas from the punctuated equilibrium concept through to disproportionate information processing. The chapter discusses the key concepts and identifies the discontinuities and gaps in the theory.

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