"This third edition of Hal Colebatch's book, Policy, is a welcome addition to the policy literature. Through as series of interrelated questions--such as Why worry about policy? What is it for? What does it look like on the ground? and How do we do it?--Colebatch interestingly unravels and elaborates on the key issues, both practical and theoretical, that constitute the field of policy studies. In a very succinct and highly readable style, the nine chapters weave together discussions of traditional models and approaches (e.g., process models, rationality, and incrementalism) with a presentation of newer emphases (e.g., social constructivism, discourse, and his own innovative concept of ''policy work''). He does it in ways that are accessible to the beginning university student, but that are, at the same time, helpful to the experienced practitioner. As such, the book is highly recommendable."
Professor Frank Fischer, Rutgers University, USA
"This 3rd edition, like the previous ones, offers students an excellent guided tour of the field of policy studies. The major strands of thinking and research are introduced as answers to a set of straightforward, commonsense questions, written in highly accessible, non-technical, easy to grasp prose.
Yet, this edition has more to offer. Colebatch systematically reflects on the paradigmatic struggles over the meanings of 'policy' – as problem solving and authoritative choice in the corridors of power, as bargaining and negotiation in multilayered governance networks, and as political sense-making through collective puzzling. Asking how 'policy' works in practice, the author demonstrates the myriad ways in which these meanings permeate and colour each other. In doing so, Colebatch restores intellectual unity to a field that appears fragmented to many academic observers and practitioners."
Professor Robert Hoppe, University of Twente, The Netherlands
"This third edition of Hal Colebatch's volume, Policy, is a very accessible book that has the ability to meet the needs of a broad range of readers. The book provides a range of examples of the illusive world of policy; these examples travel the globe and allows the work to move beyond the original Australian focus in the first edition. The nine questions that serve to organize the volume are useful and provide access to the ever-growing literature in the policy field."
Dr Beryl A. Radin, School of Public Affairs, American University, USA
"This book is essential reading for all students of public policy and policy analysis. It is pleasure to read and covers a great deal of important material in a comprehensive and informed manner. I warmly welcome this new edition."
Professor Wayne Parsons, University of London, UK
This new edition of a highly successful text provides an even sharper critical analysis than before of the place of policy in the way we are governed.
It is a book about policy - not about what governments do ('public policy') or about particular fields of policy (such as 'health policy' or 'education policy') but about policy as a concept - an idea which makes sense of the way in which we are governed, and which we can use to be more effective participants in this governing.
Policy is key reading for the student studying the subject, the public official or community activist engaged in making policy, and the interested member of the public who wants to know where policy comes from, and why it matters.