Complexity and the Art of Public Policy

Solving Society's Problems from the Bottom Up

Complexity and the Art of Public Policy

Complexity science—made possible by modern analytical and computational advances—is changing the way we think about social systems and social theory. Unfortunately, economists' policy models have not kept up and are stuck in either a market fundamentalist or government control narrative. While these standard narratives are useful in some cases, they are damaging in others, directing thinking away from creative, innovative policy solutions. Complexity and the Art of Public Policy outlines a new, more flexible policy narrative, which envisions society as a complex evolving system that is uncontrollable but can be influenced. David Colander and Roland Kupers describe how economists and society became locked into the current policy framework, and lay out fresh alternatives for framing policy questions. Offering original solutions to stubborn problems, the complexity narrative builds on broader philosophical traditions, such as those in the work of John Stuart Mill, to suggest initiatives that the authors call "activist laissez-faire" policies. Colander and Kupers develop innovative bottom-up solutions that, through new institutional structures such as for-benefit corporations, channel individuals’ social instincts into solving societal problems, making profits a tool for change rather than a goal. They argue that a central role for government in this complexity framework is to foster an ecostructure within which diverse forms of social entrepreneurship can emerge and blossom.

Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy

Handbook on Complexity and Public Policy

'Over recent years Complexity Science has revealed to us new limits to our possible knowledge and control in social, cultural and economic systems. Instead of supposing that past statistics and patterns will give us predictable outcomes for possible actions, we now know the world is, and will always be, creative and surprising. Continuous structural evolution within such systems may change the mechanisms, descriptors, problems and opportunities, often negating policy aims. We therefore need to redevelop our thinking about interventions, policies and policy making, moving perhaps to a humbler, more 'learning' approach. In this Handbook, leading thinkers in multiple domains set out these new ideas and allow us to understand how these new ideas are changing policymaking and policies in this new era.' - Peter M Allen, Cranfield University, UK

Complexity and Public Policy

A New Approach to 21st Century Politics, Policy And Society

Complexity and Public Policy

This book provides a clear, concise and readable introduction to complexity thinking, its application to the social sciences and public policy, and the relevance of some of its various tools to those fields of politics, health, the international realm, development, planning and terrorism. The authors argue that the foundation for many of the current crises in these areas can be traced to the attempt by social scientists and policy-makers to treat these systems and processes as fundamentally orderly, predictable and controllable. By providing an overview of complex systems, a practical introduction to basic concepts and tools of these systems, and examples for understanding and managing them in real life policy situations they provide an exciting new perspective for rethinking our basic approaches to the social sciences and for understanding and managing the increasingly interdependent world of public policy. The book is vital reading for students and scholars of the social sciences and public policy, and also policymakers and the policy actor audience.

Where Economics Went Wrong

Chicago's Abandonment of Classical Liberalism

Where Economics Went Wrong

How modern economics abandoned classical liberalism and lost its way Milton Friedman once predicted that advances in scientific economics would resolve debates about whether raising the minimum wage is good policy. Decades later, Friedman’s prediction has not come true. In Where Economics Went Wrong, David Colander and Craig Freedman argue that it never will. Why? Because economic policy, when done correctly, is an art and a craft. It is not, and cannot be, a science. The authors explain why classical liberal economists understood this essential difference, why modern economists abandoned it, and why now is the time for the profession to return to its classical liberal roots. Carefully distinguishing policy from science and theory, classical liberal economists emphasized values and context, treating economic policy analysis as a moral science where a dialogue of sensibilities and judgments allowed for the same scientific basis to arrive at a variety of policy recommendations. Using the University of Chicago—one of the last bastions of classical liberal economics—as a case study, Colander and Freedman examine how both the MIT and Chicago variants of modern economics eschewed classical liberalism in their attempt to make economic policy analysis a science. By examining the way in which the discipline managed to lose its bearings, the authors delve into such issues as the development of welfare economics in relation to economic science, alternative voices within the Chicago School, and exactly how Friedman got it wrong. Contending that the division between science and prescription needs to be restored, Where Economics Went Wrong makes the case for a more nuanced and self-aware policy analysis by economists.

The Art of the Game

Understanding American Public Policy Making

The Art of the Game

THE ART OF THE GAME defines the dynamics of public policy, elucidates the complexity intrinsic to each stage of the policy process, and delves into the implications of public policy for American politics and society. Illustrating concepts and theories relevant to the policy process, the text incorporates contemporary examples with a variety of creative exercises that develop a theoretical and practical understanding of the subject matter. Underscoring this approach is a desire to combine both academic and applied perspectives. This approach helps readers to comprehend the significance of each stage and the dynamics of the policy process. In other words, rather than offering mere description or a standard explanation of the subject matter, THE ART OF THE GAME merges solid coverage of theoretical principles with an applied policy approach.

The Art of Public Policy Analysis

The Arena of Regulations and Resources

The Art of Public Policy Analysis

`This text is an excellent overview of how to legitimately apply theoretical approaches to applied policy analysis...an excellently prepared book that should prove to be both informative for and useful to scholars, students, researchers, and practitioners.' -- The American Political Science Review, Vol 77

Managing Complexity in the Public Services

Managing Complexity in the Public Services

The application of complexity theory to management and the social sciences has been a key development in theory and practice over the last decade. This approach questions the possibility of finding universal methods of practice, and proposes a pragmatic and humanistic management style that evolves out of a reflective method. The focus is on practitioners observing patterns of similarity and being adaptable in decision-making. Bringing complexity theory into management reveals the importance of organizational culture and effective communication because people, their values and their objectives are at the heart of this method. Information technology provides a framework for complex communication and knowledge use, but it cannot replace highly developed professional negotiations and cooperation. This book argues that the complexity of the public service world limits the usefulness of classical and rational scientific management approaches such as New Public Management. Excessive marketization threatens a collaborative approach and overly rigid approaches to performance management and strategic management can be dysfunctional. Managing Complexity in the Public Services 2nd Edition advances a method of management practice that copes with the stark realities of the complex and unpredictable public policy world. It develops pragmatic management practices from action research that will be valuable to both academics and practitioners. The result is a new value-based practice for the post-crisis public service world.

PUBLIC POLICY

ART AND CRAFT OF POLICY ANALYSIS

PUBLIC POLICY

The subject of Public Policy has assumed considerable importance in response to the complexity of economic downturns, social upheavals, political crises, institutional weaknesses and technology. It is concerned not only with the description but also with the developing scientific knowledge about the forces shaping public policy. The textbook, now in its second edition, continues to provide an in-depth study of the various approaches for policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. It addresses issues in policy analysis, and explains the forces that influence the functioning of executive, legislature, judiciary, civil society and administration. The book excellently reviews and evaluates the public policy literature, and exemplifies the author’s long teaching and research experience in Panjab University. The book is primarily intended for postgraduate students of Political Science and Public Administration for their courses in Public Policy and Policy Analysis, besides meeting the requirements of candidates offering public administration subject for the civil services examination. It will be equally useful for policymakers, planners and bureaucrats concerned with policy management. NEW TO THIS EDITION : Updation of the chapter Policy Approaches and Models with the inclusion of the topic ‘Public choice model of policy-making’ Addition of the two new chapters – Power Approaches to Policy Making and Strategic Planning Approach for Improving Public Policy – to study the subject in detail.

The Oxford Handbook of Political Science

The Oxford Handbook of Political Science

Drawing on the rich resources of the ten-volume series of The Oxford Handbooks of Political Science, this one-volume distillation provides a comprehensive overview of all the main branches of contemporary political science: political theory; political institutions; political behavior; comparative politics; international relations; political economy; law and politics; public policy; contextual political analysis; and political methodology. Sixty-seven of the top political scientists worldwide survey recent developments in those fields and provide penetrating introductions to exciting new fields of study. Following in the footsteps of the New Handbook of Political Science edited by Robert Goodin and Hans-Dieter Klingemann a decade before, this Oxford Handbook will become an indispensable guide to the scope and methods of political science as a whole. It will serve as the reference book of record for political scientists and for those following their work for years to come.

Nonlinear Dynamics, Complexity and Public Policy

Nonlinear Dynamics, Complexity and Public Policy

Introduces those with an interest in the policy sciences to the field of non-linear dynamics and complex systems, and their applications to problems of public policy. Four of the nine contributions concentrate on the implications of nonlinear dynamics and complexity for understanding the evolution of economic systems or instruments of economic policymaking. Three papers explore a set of non-economic related policy areas involving dynamics at a reduced level of aggregations from macroeconomic phenomena. The final contributions consider information technology and the challenge of time.