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Publisher's Summary

Bridging the gap between textbook models of how public policy should work, and how the process actually works in contemporary Washington, Pathways of Power provides a framework that integrates the roles of political interests and policy ideals in the contemporary policy process. This book argues that the policy process can be understood as a set of four distinctive pathways of policymaking - pluralist, partisan, expert, and symbolic - that draw upon different political resources, appeal to different political actors, and elicit unique strategies and styles of coalition building.

Revealing the strategic behavior of policy actors who compete to shift policies onto pathways that maximize their resources and influence, the book provides a fresh approach to understanding the seeming chaos and volatility of the policy process today. The book's use of a wide universe of major policy decisions and case studies, focused on such key areas as health care, federal budgeting, and tax policy, provides a useful foundation for students of the policy process as well as for policy practitioners eager to learn more about their craft.

©2014 Georgetown University Press (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Pathways of Power offers a fresh, accessible overview of the policymaking process. Readers will come away with a more comprehensive and realistic view of how Washington works.' (Eric M. Patashnik, professor, Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy, University of Virginia)
"Conlan, Posner, and Beam have written a remarkable book, one that can change how policy process scholars and students think about the field." (Bryan Jones, J.J. "Jake" Pickle Regents' Chair in Congressional Studies, The University of Texas at Austin)

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