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Public Policy

Investing for a Better World

Michael Mintrom

Publication Date - 04 January 2018

ISBN: 9780199975976

496 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Presents a consistent analytical and pedagogical framework with an innovative investment perspective


Public Policy: Investing for a Better World presents a contemporary introduction to public policy, covering all the major theories, approaches, and substantive policy areas. Grounded in the tradition of theoretically driven, evidence-based analysis, this text offers the tools that students need to discuss, debate, and chart future directions for government.


  • Michael Mintrom's investment perspective offers a unique approach to the study of public policy, giving the text more conceptual coherence than others in the market
  • The "Policy Investment Checklist," a new tool for policy analysis, is featured in every chapter, reinforcing the text's main investment theme
  • The pursuit of civil rights is connected to every major area of contemporary public policy
  • Brief case studies highlight broader theoretical points and are accompanied by critical-thinking questions
  • "In-Focus" boxes provide further insight into specific topics or government programs
  • Pedagogical features in every chapter include summaries, lists of key terms, questions for discussion, suggestions for further readings, and lists of useful websites

About the Author(s)

Michael Mintrom is a Professor of Public Sector Management at Monash University. He holds a joint appointment at the Australia and New Zealand School of Government as Academic Director of its Executive Master of Public Administration degree, offered in collaboration with the organization's eleven university partners. Michael is past president of the Public Policy Section of the American Political Science Association. He is a globally respected expert on policy analysis and policy entrepreneurship. His books include Contemporary Policy Analysis (Oxford University Press, 2012), People Skills for Policy Analysts (2003), and Policy Entrepreneurs and School Choice (2000).


"This work is a significant contribution to the study of public policy-making. I agree with the author's revolutionary approach in regarding public policies as investments, since they entail the public expenditures of scarce resources to which there should be substantial returns."--Mordu Serry-Kamal, Winston-Salem State University

"I am always on the lookout for new texts that can help me convey the information about public policy to students. The investment orientation taken by the author is novel and would certainly be useful in helping me keep the course fresh." --Hugh Bartling, Depaul University

"Given my interest in the political economy approach to the study of public policy, discussing policies as investments is completely up my alley. Public Policy: Investing for a Better World fits the way that I teach the basic concepts of public policy, and there aren't many introductory textbooks on the market that do so." --Craig Ortsey, Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne

"Michael Mintrom's new book, Public Policy: Investing for a Better World, is refreshing. It embraces the novel theme that governments should treat their public policies as investments. This theme is effectively carried through each of the eight substantive policy chapters. Mintrom's text is an essential, insightful book that will engage students of public policy." --Ann O'M. Bowman, Professor and Hazel Davis and Robert Kennedy Endowed Chair in Government and Public Service, The Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

"There are many textbooks that introduce students to the world of public policy, but Michael Mintrom's accessible and illuminating new book is distinctive. It considers public policies not merely as the outcomes of current political battles but also as 'investments' to create public value. In Mintrom's able hands, the investment perspective demonstrates how governments can make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions to create a better future for citizens. With its engaging presentation and timely case examples, Mintrom's Public Policy: Investing for a Better World will challenge students to think critically about the policy-making process and the policy legacies that emerge from it." --Eric Patashnik, Julis-Rabinowitz Professor of Public Policy and Political Science, Brown University

Table of Contents

    About the Author

    Chapter 1 The Purpose and Nature of Public Policy


    Chapter 2 The Policymaking Process
    Chapter 3 Public Policies as Investments


    Chapter 4 Public Infrastructure
    Chapter 5 Defense and Homeland Security
    Chapter 6 Public Schooling
    Chapter 7 Health Care
    Chapter 8 Poverty Alleviation
    Chapter 9 Criminal Justice
    Chapter 10 Science Funding
    Chapter 11 Environmental Protection

    An Agenda For Change

    Chapter 12 Policy Legacies

    Glossary of Terms