Books on public policy

This is a list of recommended books on public policy, including introductory textbooks and more advanced texts, including handbooks and books on more specific topics within the field of public policy analysis.

Introductory textbooks:

Knill, C., & Tosun, J. (2012). Public policy: A new introduction. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Howlett, M., Ramesh, M., & Perl, A. (2009). Studying public policy: Policy cycles and policy subsystems (Third Edition). Oxford: Oxford university press.

 John, P. (2013). Analyzing public policy. Routledge.

Hill, M., & Varone, F. (2014). The public policy process. Routledge.

Cairney, P. (2011). Understanding public policy: Theories and issues. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Howlett, M. (2019). Designing public policies: Principles and instruments. Routledge.

Advanced books:

Goodin, R. E., Moran, M., & Rein, M. (2006). The Oxford handbook of public policy (Vol. 6). Oxford Handbooks.

Sabatier, P. A., & Weible, C. M. (Eds.). (2014). Theories of the policy process. Westview Press.

Baumgartner, F. R., & Jones, B. D. (2015). The politics of information: Problem definition and the course of public policy in America. University of Chicago Press.

Jones, B. D., & Baumgartner, F. R. (2005). The politics of attention: How government prioritizes problems. University of Chicago Press.

Writing for public policy:

Smith, C., & Pasqualoni, M. (2019). Writing Public Policy: A Practical Guide to Communicating in the Policy Making Process. Oxford University Press.

Diffusion of smoking bans in Europe

My paper on the diffusion of smoking bans in Europe has been accepted in Public Administration. It probably won’t be published until next year so here is a link to the pre-print and a graph of two of the important results of the paper: the probability of enactment of a more comprehensive (full) smoking ban increases with lower levels of tobacco producton and with rising levels of public support for smoking restrictions:

  And the abstract:

Policy Making Beyond Political Ideology: The Adoption of Smoking Bans in Europe

Policy making is embedded in politics, but an increasing number of issues, like obesity, tobacco control, or road safety, do not map well on the major dimensions of political conflict. This article analyzes the enactment of restrictions on smoking in bars and restaurants in 29 European countries – a conflictual issue which does not fit easily traditional party ideologies. Indeed, the comparative empirical analyses demonstrate that government ideological positions are not associated with the strictness and the timing of adoption of the smoking bans. On the other hand, economic factors like the scale of tobacco production in a country, smoking prevalence in society and public support for tough anti-smoking policy are all significantly related to the time it takes for a country to adopt smoking bans, and to the comprehensiveness and enforcement of these restrictions. In addition, horizontal policy diffusion is strongly implicated in the pattern of policy adoptions.