Cover: The Policy State: An American Predicament, from Harvard University PressCover: The Policy State in PAPERBACK

The Policy State

An American Predicament

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$22.00 • £19.95 • €20.95

ISBN 9780674237872

Publication Date: 02/25/2019

Text

272 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

World

Also Available As

Jacket: The Policy State

HARDCOVER | $41.00

ISBN 9780674728745

Text

Add to Cart

Educators: Request an Exam Copy (Learn more)

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

“A sterling example of political science at its best.”—Timothy Shenk, The New Republic

Policy is government’s ready response to changing times, the key to its successful adaptation. It tackles problems as they arise, from foreign relations and economic affairs to race relations and family affairs. Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek take a closer look at this well-known reality of modern governance. In The Policy State they point out that policy is not the only way in which America was governed historically, and they describe the transformation that occurred as policy took over more and more of the work of government, emerging as the raison d’être of the state’s operation.

Rather than analyze individual policies to document this change, Orren and Skowronek examine policy’s effect on legal rights and the formal structure of policy-making authority. Rights and structure are the principal elements of government that historically constrained policy and protected other forms of rule. The authors assess the emergence of a new “policy state,” in which rights and structure shed their distinctive characteristics and take on the attributes of policy.

Orren and Skowronek address the political controversies swirling around American government as a consequence of policy’s expanded domain. On the one hand, the policy state has rendered government more flexible, responsive, and inclusive. On the other, it has mangled government’s form, polarized its politics, and sowed deep distrust of its institutions. The policy state frames an American predicament: policy has eroded the foundations of government, even as the policy imperative pushes us ever forward, into an uncertain future.

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

A stack of five bestselling titles from Harvard University Press against a hot pink textured background

Ringing in the New Year with HUP’s 2022 Bestsellers

There is no better way for readers to usher in the new year than by looking back to the books that defined the last. For Harvard University Press, our 2022 bestsellers make up a diverse list of books across time and discipline.