Evaluating Public Policy

Frank Fischer Nelson-Hall Publishers Chicago


Millions of dollars are spent each year on the evaluation of domestic and foreign policies. Policy analysis has emerged as an important component of the policy-making process in American government. This text differs from others--not only does it teach students how to evaluate the empirical aspects of a public policy--but also provides an analytical framework for assessing the value judgements that infuse policy decisions. Students learn to assess whether a program reflects the kinds of things that society ought to be doing.


Table of Content




1. Public Policy Analysis as Practical Deliberation: Integrating Empirical and Normative Evaluation


Part I. Program Verification

2. Evaluating Program Outcomes: Empirical Logic and Methods

3. Debating the Head Start Program: The Westinghouse Reading Scores in Normative Perspective


Part II. Situational Validation

4. Evaluating Program Objectives: Multiple Criteria and Situational Relevance

5. Contesting the Times Square Redevelopment Study: Problem Definition and the Politics of Criteria


Part III. Societal-Level Vindication

6. Evaluating Policy Goals: Normative Assumptions and Societal Conséquences 
7. Reassessing Disability Policy Goals: Equal Rightsversus Societal Costs 


Part IV. Social Choice

8. Evaluating Ideological Commitments: Public Policy, Social Values, and the Good Society



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