A Critical Introduction
This new textbook opens up the policy-making process for students,
uncovering how government decisions around health are really made.
Starting from more traditional insights into how ministers and
civil servants develop policy with limited knowledge and money, the
book goes on to challenge the conception of policy as a rational
process, revealing it to be something quite different.
Knee-jerk reactions to disasters, keeping voters satisfied, the
powerful leverage of interest groups, and the skewing of debate
through ideology and the media are each considered in turn. These
processes render policy far from rational or at least require a
much broader approach for considering policy ?logic?,
one that is open to different rationalities of values, norms and
pragmatism. The book draws on historical and contemporary examples
to highlight that though challenges to policy-makers may seem in
some ways novel, in many senses key processes endure and indeed are
rooted in historical contexts. Although the examples are drawn from
UK health and social care, the book?s theory-driven approach
is applicable across national contexts Ð especially for
countries where uncertainty, risk and resource pressures create
significant dilemmas for policy-makers.
The book?s multi-perspective, thematic approach will be
especially relevant to students, as will the broad range of case
study examples used. Making Health Policy
will be essential
reading for students of health policy, social policy, social work,
and the sociology of medicine, health and illness.