Expert Advice for Policy Choice

cover art
448 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878406418 (0878406417)

ISBN: 9781589013179

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April 1997
LC: 96-46602

American Governance and Public Policy series



Expert Advice for Policy Choice
Analysis and Discourse
Duncan MacRae Jr. and Dale Whittington

Economic reasoning has thus far dominated the field of public policy analysis. This new introduction to the field posits that policy analysis should have both a broader interdisciplinary base—including criteria from such fields as political science, sociology, law, and philosophy, as well as economics—and also a broader audience in order to foster democratic debate.

To achieve these goals, MacRae and Whittington have organized their textbook around the construction of decision matrices using multiple criteria, exploring the uses of the decision matrix formulation more fully than other texts. They describe how to set up the matrix, fill in cells and combine criteria, and use it as an aid for decision making. They show how ethical assessment of the affects that alternatives have on various parties differs from political analysis, and then they extend the use of the decision matrix to consider alternatives by affected parties, periods of time, or combined factors.

The authors also thoughtfully address the role of expert advice in the policy process, widening the scope of the field to describe a complex system for the creation and use of knowledge in a democracy.

An extended case study of HIV/AIDS policy follows each chapter (in installments), immediately illustrating the application of the material. The book also contains a glossary.

Expert Advice for Policy Choice provides a new basis for graduate education in public policy analysis and can also serve as a text in planning, evaluation research, or public administration. In addition, it will be of interest to students and professionals wishing to aid policy choice who work in such fields as sociology, political science, psychology, public health, and social work.

Duncan MacRae, Jr., is William Rand Kenan, Jr., Professor of Political Science, Sociology, and Public Policy Analysis, and Dale Whittington is a professor in the departments of environmental sciences and engineering and of city and regional planning, both at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. MacRae is the coauthor (with James A. Wilde) of the highly regarded textbook, Policy Analysis for Public Decisions (1979).

Barry Rabe and John Tierney, Series Editors