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A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis
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A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis
The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving

Seventh Edition


September 2023 | 232 pages | CQ Press
Drawing on more than 40 years of experience with policy analysis, best-selling authors Eugene Bardach and Eric M. Patashnik use practical tips and real-world examples to equip effective, accurate, and persuasive policy analysts. The Seventh Edition of A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis offers new case studies, expanded discussion, new guidance for policy analysis in a polarized age, and step-by-step strategies for the budding analyst as well as the seasoned professional.
 
PART I THE EIGHTFOLD PATH
 
PART II ASSEMBLING EVIDENCE
 
PART III HANDLING A DESIGN PROBLEM
 
PART IV “SMART (BEST) PRACTICES” RESEARCH: UNDERSTANDING AND MAKING USE OF WHAT LOOK LIKE GOOD IDEAS FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE
 
APPENDIX A SPECIMEN OF A REAL-WORLD POLICY ANALYSIS
 
APPENDIX B THINGS GOVERNMENTS DO
 
APPENDIX C UNDERSTANDING PUBLIC AND NONPROFIT INSTITUTIONS: ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS
 
APPENDIX D TIPS FOR DOING POLICY ANALYSIS IN A POLARIZED AGE
 
APPENDIX E TIPS FOR WORKING WITH CLIENTS
 
APPENDIX F SUGGESTIONS FOR INCORPORATING “BIG DATA” AND RIGOROUS SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE INTO POLICY ANALYSIS

This is an excellent introductory text. It is accessible enough to use with my undergraduate students, but rigorous enough for graduate students. It does an excellent job walking students through the weeds of policy analysis. It is a good match for my course because it is able to teach students some of the practical challenges of policy analysis in a way that nicely complements the more theoretical approach of the rest of my course.

Peter Johannessen
University of Virginia
Review

This is by far the best book of its kind. I have used it in my graduate courses on policy analysis for years. I will certainly continue to
use it. It provides a great mix of practical advice on top of a solid academic foundation and explains to students how to conduct a professional policy analysis in a step-by-step way.

Michael Mumper
Adams State University
Review

“Bardach and Patashnik provide a strong analytical framework to guide the novice student in exploring policy options. The text is substantive yet approachable, providing a bridge between theory and practice that is meaningful for both undergraduate and graduate students of public policy.”

Kimberly Ratcliff
Ohio State University, John Glenn College of Public Affairs

"Professors Bardach and Patashnik's "Eightfold Path" provides a wise and engaging how-to guide that meets the central challenge of policy analysis: combining scientific evidence and social goals to craft practical, real-world solutions."

Thomas S. Dee
Stanford University

“Bardach and Patashnik’s  A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis has become a genuine classic of policy analysis because it offers a versatile framework for confronting policy issues of all types—from persistent, long-standing problems to new, emergent challenges. Like every classic work, it contains different layers of insight for different readers. Junior analysts can use the eight basic elements as a primer. Intermediate analysts can add the design principles. Experienced analysts can deepen their practice by applying the eightfold path to increasingly complex problems. I wouldn’t think of teaching policy analysis at any level without this elegant guide to our craft.”

Karen Baehler
School of Public Affairs, American University

"This book remains the gold standard for introducing students to key issues in policy analysis. I have used it many times in teaching Policy Analysis courses for both students and practicing policy analysts. The new edition adds a lot of helpful new material (e.g., discussions of Big Data) that will be helpful to students struggling to think systematically about how to assess policy alternatives. Other books cover economic and technical analytical skills that are essential to policy analysis, but no other source covers the process of policy analysis with the depth, insight and wisdom of Bardach and Patashnik."

R. Kent Weaver, Distinguished Professor of Public Policy
Georgetown University

A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis is the essential text to introduce health policy students to the practice of policy analysis. The authors offer a persuasive argument for why defining the problem is the fundamental yet challenging first step of policy analysis; this lesson is critical for health policy, where issue rhetoric abounds. The book offers a step-by-step methodology that appeals to students’ need for structure, while reminding readers that the process of policy analysis—and politics—is inherently complex and non-linear. Students who master the book’s core lessons will learn to embrace an iterative mode of thinking and a storytelling mode of writing, skills that will serve policy professionals and policy researchers well throughout their careers.”

Sarah Gollust
Associate Professor, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota

Eugene S. Bardach

Eugene Bardach has been teaching graduate-level policy analysis workshop classes since 1973 at the Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, in which time he has coached some five hundred projects. He is a broadly based political scientist with wide-ranging teaching and research interests. His focus is primarily on policy implementation and public management, and most recently on problems of facilitating better interorganizational collaboration in service delivery (e.g., in human services, environmental enforcement, fire prevention, and habitat preservation). He also maintains an interest in problems of homeland... More About Author

Eric M. Patashnik

Eric M. Patashnik is the Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy, a professor of political science, and chair of the Political Science Department at Brown University. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. He previously served as director of Brown’s Master of Public Affairs program. Before coming to Brown, Patashnik held faculty positions at the University of Virginia (UVA), UCLA, and Yale University. During his time at UVA, he served as associate dean and acting dean at the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. Patashnik’s... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071884133
$68.00