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Public Policy

Public Policy
A Concise Introduction

Second Edition

January 2022 | 362 pages | CQ Press
Public Policy: A Concise Introduction is a student-friendly textbook that quickly connects readers to the inner workings of public policy. The text condenses early chapters on theory and the policy-making process, allowing students to take up key policy challenges – such as immigration, education, and healthcare - much earlier in the semester. Not every student starts out engaged in public policy, so place your students – both majors and non-majors alike – in the driver’s seat by fostering their analytical skills early and spend the rest of the semester discussing policy issues, examining data, and debating current policy examples that matter most to them.

The Second Edition has been updated to include how we can collectively use public policy to raise individuals from the margins and address inequities that exist in our system. Recent policy questions include: "How do we shape our country's health care system?", "How do we address increases in costs of tuition?", and "Did the COVID-19 pandemic positively or negatively shape our public education system?"

CHAPTER 1 The Foundation
CHAPTER 2 The Policy Process and Policy Theories
CHAPTER 3 Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
CHAPTER 4 Rulemaking and Regulations
CHAPTER 5 Economic Policy and Government Budgeting
CHAPTER 6 Crime and Public Policy
CHAPTER 7 Education Policy
CHAPTER 8 Civil Rights and Immigration Policy
CHAPTER 9 Social Welfare and Health Care Policy
CHAPTER 10 Environmental and Energy Policy


Instructor Resource Site

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.

For additional information, custom options, or to request a personalized walkthrough of these resources, please contact your sales representative.

Key features


  • New examples include more nuanced information about guns on college campuses and school, the Black Lives Matter movement, juvenile incarceration, the Biden Administration's position supporting the Affordable Care Act, and more!
  • The second edition includes more of a focus on how we can collectively recognize our own biases, what equality and equity mean in the policy process, and our role in shaping it.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has been woven throughout the text. For example, mask mandates are discussed in the history of federalism section or how the pandemic has changed regulatory processes in the United States.


  • Chapter-opening vignettes consider current examples of public policy in action, such as "How do we shape our country's health care system?", "How do we address increases in costs of tuition?", and "Did the COVID-19 pandemic positively or negatively shape our public education system?", and connect readers to broader concepts. 
  • Learning Objectives preview the key points students need to learn in each chapter. 
  • Telling Stories with Data boxes invite students to evaluate data in order to decipher their impact on a particular policy issue or dilemma. 
  • Policy Choices sections challenge students to think about the policy alternatives available— beyond the simplistic for-or-against approach so often conveyed in the media and public dialogue—encouraging them to think about potential remedies to important policy questions and the consequences of those choices. 
  • Everyday Citizen Connection features that link theory to practice illustrate how people are affected by public policy and show students how they can engage in policy issues that matter to them.

For instructors

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ISBN: 9781071835166