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Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making

Policy Paradox The Art of Political Decision Making In this revised edition Stone has added a full length case study as an appendix taking up the issue of affirmative action Clear provocative and engaging Policy Paradox conveys the richness of pub

  • Title: Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making
  • Author: Deborah Stone
  • ISBN: 9780393976250
  • Page: 227
  • Format: Paperback
  • In this revised edition, Stone has added a full length case study as an appendix, taking up the issue of affirmative action Clear, provocative, and engaging, Policy Paradox conveys the richness of public policy making and analysis.

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      Published :2019-04-19T02:59:31+00:00

    1 thought on “Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making

    1. Deborah Stone's "Policy Paradox" is an important work in the field of policy analysis. The subtitle is illuminating: "The Art of Political Decision Making." Her takeoff point is the following statement (pages x-xi): "This new field of policy analysis supposedly devoted to improving governance, was based on a profound disgust for the ambiguities and paradoxes of politics. . . . In rational analysis, everything has one and only one meaning." In her own words, she (page xi) ". . .wrote this book to [...]

    2. I am not entirely sure how to rate a book like this. I personally found it illuminating since it was my first real taste for a public policy book. However, I suppose my judgment could differ if I had been exposed to many other books on the same subject. That being said, within the context with which I read this book I enjoyed it and learned a lot from it. I think one of the clearest points driven home for me is how contradictory it is to even attempt to call the study of human behavior a science [...]

    3. A beautifully written text--full of humor and grappling with contradictions--that deftly reveals some of the major flaws in a traditional economics-based analysis of public policy. Stone doesn't so much propose an alternative model, however. Her critique is powerful, but it's hard to say where exactly to go from there.Stone suggests that the economics-based model neglects several aspects of our "polis" that cannot be accounted for in traditional policy analysis. We are asked to think more broadl [...]

    4. This book sets out to explain American politics through the model of the "polis" and contrast this analysis with the model of the "rational market" of politics. Broadly speaking, she feels that her polis theory better captures the "paradoxes" that occur in politics and political movements, and she feels that the market theory fails to explain these paradoxes or explains them incorrectly. To my reading, however, what she describes as paradoxes are really just effects of the fact that society is n [...]

    5. I was hoping for prescription but wound up instead with a whole lot of description. This would be good as a textbook, but only for an introductory policy course.I did enjoy the various comparisons between the Rationality/Market model and then her Polis model, which I read mostly as Ms. Stone gently reminding free market economists that reality works somewhat differently than their Invisible Hand fantasy. In that sense the book is solid: it mildly chides political and economic theorists for worki [...]

    6. Machiavelli for the 21rst century. (It applies mostly/best to American politics.)Although I sort of dislike some of the cheap relativist conclusions she draws, such as 'because numbers are political instruments meant to convince, they are just one way among many to do so, and not at all holy, and may even go out of fashion again at some later date,' which just seems silly. Potential for abuse because people don't notice that they're being misused/misled/shown an incomplete picture does not equat [...]

    7. A good book for all those interested to learn about how the values of liberty, efficiency, equity, security and welfare of a community conflict in a policy implementation. Below is the link forChapter 2- the famous example of the chocolate cake division among few recipientssmonsorgetown/. I was very well impressed with Deborah's thoughtful analysis for each course of action.

    8. Read four chapters of this for my State and Local Policy Analysis class. They were vital chapters to understanding how to analyze policy; I'm thinking about turning each concept into a blog post, a sort of "MPP in a Blog" series.

    9. An application of behavioral science and reasoning to policy cases. Convincing, entertaining, accessible, and reasonably well-supported.

    10. I found this book difficult to read purely due to the amount of heavy handed rhetoric. It's not as bad as a Michael Moore documentary but it's definitely preaching to the choir.

    11. Great introductory text to public policy. I love the examples that Stone uses that really illustrate how the public debate is framed.

    12. A critical approach to the more traditional rational choice model for policy development, Stone sets up a readable argument that will make you reconsider how and why you think about policy.

    13. Although this book can be a bit challenging and dry at times, it is interesting to read how political policies are molded and how they affect society. An interesting read that made me really think on political powers and policy making.

    14. A must-read for graduate level policy analysis students, this serves as a good supplemental text for undergrad courses. There may be certain sections that are more applicable than others so instructors may want to assign only these sections. Stone's book is very comprehensive and covers all the relevant information that prospective analysts should consider.

    15. Deborah Stone is a policy goddess. Her argument is essentially that everything involved with the formation of policy is a social construct. She says, instead of trying to rationalize policy, which is fundamentally biased, embrace the bias and ambiguity!Think of numbers as a form of poetry. "No number is innocent, for it is impossible to count without making judgements about categorization. Every number is a political claim." Counting is a political act!Policy is about classification and deciding [...]

    16. If you have any interest in how policy decisions should be undertaken, and occasionally are, from soup to nuts, Stone lays out the essential ingredients in public policy inner-workings. She starts by defining "The Market and The Polis" and then goes on to underscore the differences in the achieved ends, based on how goals are defined, problems are interpreted, and solutions are offered. Stone differs from the more traditional top-down take on how issues are raised as well as how public policy sh [...]

    17. Stone compares two views of the political process: the market view and the "polis" view. However, her treatment of each view is laughably biased. She sets up the market view as a straw man of an Econ 101 class--completely ignoring the rich literature of Social Choice Economics of Buchanan and others. Similarly, she plays up this polis model as less of a model and more as the end-all-be-all monopoly of truth. However, her polis model lacks the robustness to really be useful to analyze and answer [...]

    18. I don't normally post a review of academic works to because I don't think it's what most people are looking for, but Deborah Stone's "Policy Paradox" was an excellent read in the realm of public policy. At a time when the fields of both political science and public policy are being overrun by authors who believe quantitative techniques and research are the Holy Grail of academia, it was eminently refreshing to see an author so boldly embrace qualitative methodology. Stone's central thesis regar [...]

    19. A well-written, overall pretty engaging text highlighting the complexity of what goes into making policy. It ended with a well-presented case study on affirmative action that analyzed the arguments for and against it, which for me was a highlight of the book. It urges readers to not look at policy as black and white, or good and evil (imo one of the annoying pitfalls of heads of state and journalists) but as shades of grey. Policy Paradox debunks generalization and the unrealistic simplification [...]

    20. Okay, so maybe I skimmed the last 40 pages of this (it's the end of the semester, what do you want from me?), but it's still a really good book - a well-written analysis of how to think about social policy on a human level more than the more conventional economic approach that often labels itself as "rational" even when it's based on a series of unrealistic assumptions about the way people actually make choices and live their lives. Stone's book is a bit overwhelming in its scope but it's smart [...]

    21. This was the main text for my Intro to Public Policy class at NYU. When I bought it, my plan was to sell it back to at the end of the semester, but now I am planning to keep it. I greatly enjoyed reading it and found myself taking down copious notes whenever reading it. Stone's writing style fits a great deal of meaningful content into every paragraph, without being at all dense. Her main goal is to critique the "market model" of policy, and detail the specific ways and reasons in which it fail [...]

    22. very solid standard introduction to policy with US cases, but applicable to debates in any country (with varying emphasis of strategies). Certainly written from a liberal perspective which may be rankling to Republicans while at the same time they might find it valuable in better understanding their opponents. This is the realm where the debate 'should' take place if we were wanting legitimate dialogue. Valuable for citizens to identify and understand the double-speak often spouted by politician [...]

    23. I was pleasantly surprised by how engaging this was. The book problematizes the "rationality project" - policy analysis portrayed as separate from politics, filled with science and neutrality and objectivity. Stone looks at the way statistics and causal narratives are necessarily political - how we define a problem, its magnitude, its causes, and its solutions doesn't take place "above the fray."

    24. Good book. Wish I could force economists and so-called "objective, rational thinkers" to read it, since it is the best explanation of our contemporary social construction of reality that I have read that wasn't completely relativist and annihilistic. It's an undergraduate textbook, so it wasn't nearly as dry as most of the stuff we read for this class - a refreshing change. It always amazes me that people can make interesting topics deadly dull, so I enjoyed this one.

    25. NERD ALERT: I LOVED this! In laying out her framework for policy analysis, Stone criticizes and debunks rational theory, neoliberal, and market theory ideologies in support of contextual, collaborative, coalition-based policy-making. She also addresses structural weaknesses, saying that truly effective policy-making has to look at and address underlying structural conditions. All this in a funny, easy to read style.

    26. Actually 3.5 stars. The latter half of the book is very insightful, but I found the first half of the book almost intolerable. Stone suggests a great framework for policy analysis, but her liberal bias is so nauseating in the first half of the book that I don't think I would have gotten to the great content later on had it not been assigned reading for class.

    27. A text book borrowing from a friend in political science. This book forces anyone to see social problems and policy from not only the 'bigger picture' but upsidedown and backwards and the other problems that cling to it. The author uses analogies to explain her concepts that are so simple they are clever.

    28. Read this text for a public policy class."Problematizing the basic concepts of policy analysis, this book details the role of struggle in defining ideas like equity, efficiency, liberty, and fairness. Likewise, the tools of policy making - incentives, rules, persuasion, legal protections, and the reorganization of authority - are recast as complex social processes." - Booknews

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