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History and Context in Comparative Public Policy 9780822936947

History and Context in Comparative Public Policy

ISBN-10: 0822936941
ISBN-13: 9780822936947
PUBLISHER: University of Pittsburgh Press
Also available at Amazon.com
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: "Douglas Ashford joins a growing number of scholars who question the behavioralist assumptions of much contemporary policy science. The essays collected in this volume show why policy analysis cannot be confined to prevailing methods of social science. Policymaking behavior involves historical, contextual, and philosophical factors that also raise critical questions about the concepts and theory of the discipline. Ashford asks difficult questions about the contextual, conjunctural, and unintentional circumstances that affect actual decision making. His bridging essays summarize opposing points of view and conflicting interpretations to help form a new agenda for comparative policy analysis." "The argument uniting this volume is that every political system is based on a substratum of shared intentions, meanings, and rules of conduct embedded in a culture. Genuine understanding of any policy necessitates a knowledge of context: the unspoken assumptions that make the application of policy different in each new environment. Thus comparison of public policies across physical and temporal boundaries compels researchers to go beyond visible effects and causes in a quest for more intangible realities." "History and Context in Comparative Public Policy pursues its thesis from various angles. Fifteen chapters discuss the power of historical experience, intellectual tradition, ethnicity, prejudice, power structures, and concepts of the state--all of which vary dramatically across geographical and temporal boundaries and must be accounted for in studying the creation and functioning of public policy. Clearly, very different conceptions of poverty and of the welfare state prevailed in Victorian Britain and in twentieth-century Sweden, and the role of philosophers and intellectuals in shaping policy decisions varies widely from one milieu to the next. Other chapters cover the limitations of conventional political science language and concepts and explore fresh linguistic approaches that offer new strategies for contextually rooted comparison." "Douglas Ashford's bridging essays are useful in placing theoretical commentary and case studies in perspective. Surveying the evolution of the social sciences since the 1950s and commenting broadly on contending schools of thought and research methodology, Ashford's chapters provide a tight organization for a wide-ranging exchange of ideas."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 384
CATEGORY: Political Science
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