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Analyzing Social Policy: Multiple Perspectives for Critically Understanding and Evaluating Policy

ISBN: 978-0-470-45203-5
336 pages
October 2010, ©2010
Analyzing Social Policy: Multiple Perspectives for Critically Understanding and Evaluating Policy (047045203X) cover image
From formulation to implementation, an approach to the analysis of social policy through the lens of research

Analyzing Social Policy prepares professionals and students to make better informed decisions related to identifying and understanding the intricacies and potential impact of social policymaking and enactment on their organization as well as their individual responsibilities, goals, and objectives.

Authors Mary Katherine O'Connor and F. Ellen Netting thoroughly examine various approaches to the analysis of social policies and how these approaches provide the knowledge, multiple perspectives, and other resources to understand and grasp the nuances of social policy in all its complexity.

Comprehensive and based on research, Analyzing Social Policy explores:

  • An overview of the practice of social policy analysis

  • The role of research in guiding policy analysis

  • The idea of policy analyses as research

  • Themes, assumptions, and major theories that undergird rational models of policy analysis

  • Nonrational themes, assumptions, and major theories informing nontraditional interpretive and critical approaches to policy analysis

  • Strategies for applying selected models and approaches when engaging in policy analysis as research

Providing practitioners and students with a set of tools that can be used to enhance an understanding of what constitutes policy as well as acceptable standards for critical analysis of policy, this resource enables policy advocates—regardless of their level—to be political, strategic, and critical in their work.

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Foreword.

Preface.

Acknowledgments xxiii

1 An Overview of Social Policy Analysis.

Necessary Groundwork.

Identifying Definitions and Forms of Policy.

Recognizing Levels and Scope of Social Policies.

Conceptualizing Policy Analysis.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

2 Thinking of Policy Analysis as Research.

The Role of Research in Guiding Policy Analysis.

What Constitutes Research?

Focusing the Policy Analysis.

An Expansive View of Policy Analysis Research.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

Case Study.

Service, Engagement, and Volunteerism: What’s the Policy All About?

3 Rational Policy Analysis.

Reason and Rationality.

Rational Assumptions of the Positivist/Postpositivist Paradigm.

Rational Models of Policy Analysis.

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach Is Rational.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

4 Applications of Rational Policy Analysis.

Using the Chambers and Wedel Policy/Program Analytical Framework.

Using Jansson's Six-Step Policy Analysis Framework.

Using Huttman's Policy Analysis Model.

Using Holcomb and Nightingale's Implementation Analysis Model.

Using Segal and Bruzuzy's Questions for Social Welfare Policy Analysis.

Discussion.

Concluding Remarks About Rational Policy Analysis.

Discussion Questions.

5 Nonrational Policy Analysis.

Reason and Nonrationality.

Nonrational Assumptions of the Interpretivist/Constructivist Paradigm.

Nonrational Approaches to Policy Analysis.

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach Is Nonrational.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

6 Applications in Nonrational Policy Analysis.

Using Stone's Policy Paradox Approach.

Using Kingdon's Policy Primeval Soup or Garbage Can Approach.

Using Prigmore and Atherton's Policy Analysis Approach.

Using Guba's Policy-in-Action Approach.

Using an Impact-Analysis Approach.

Discussion.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

7 Critical Policy Analysis.

Reason in Radicality.

Assumptions of the Critical Paradigm.

Critical Approaches to Policy Analysis.

How to Assess the Degree to Which an Analysis Approach Is Critical.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

8 Applications in Critical Policy Analysis.

Using Marx's Historical or Dialectical Method.

Analyzing Cultural Responsiveness in Policy Formulation at the Organizational Level.

Using Lejano's Normative Policy Analysis.

Using Moser.s Approach to Gender Policy Implementation.

Using Schiele.s Afrocentric Framework of Policy Analysis.

Discussion.

Conclusion.

Discussion Questions.

Epilogue.

References.

About the Authors.

Author Index.

Subject Index.

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Mary Katherine O'Connor, MSW, PhD, is a Professor in the School of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University where she has taught in the MSW and PhD programs for over twenty years. She has authored or coauthored numerous books, chapters, and journal articles in the areas of public child welfare practice, services to street children, and qualitative research method development.

F. Ellen Netting, MSSW, PhD, is a Professor of Social Work and Samuel S. Wurtzel Chair at Virginia Commonwealth University where she teaches in the BSW, MSW, and PhD programs. She has authored or coauthored numerous books, chapters, and journal articles in the areas of health and human service delivery issues for frail elders, as well as nonprofit management concerns.

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