‘By applying the range of tools of policy analysis to the detail of the policy making machinery of British government, Peter Dorey's text has met a need for teachers and students of these subjects which has not been fulfilled for a decade or more. I have adopted it straight away as a ‘must buy’ for my own students’

- Justin Greenwood, Robert Gordon University

‘A very welcome addition to the literature on public policy-making in contemporary Britain and ideal for teaching purposes. Peter Dorey's new book is clearly written, theoretically informed, but also rich in illustration. A key resource for all students of British public policy’

- Dr Andrew Denham, Reader in Government, University of Nottingham

This accessible textbook introduces students to the public policy-making process in Britain today. Assuming no prior knowledge, it provides a full review of the key actors, institutions and processes by addressing the following questions:

who sets the public policy agenda?; who influences the detail of public policy?; what makes for successful implementation of public policy?; is there such a thing as ‘British’ public policy?

Peter Dorey is careful to ground theory in the reality of contemporary British politics and the text fully assesses the impact of devolution and European integration and the evolution from government to governance.

The result is a lively and accessible new text that will be required reading for all students of contemporary British politics, public policy and governance.

Policy Making in Britain: Trends and Trajectories

Policy making in Britain: Trends and trajectories

Writing in 1982, Jordan and Richardson identified a particular ‘policy style’ in Britain, one which, to a significant extent, operated irrespective of the ideological inclination of the governing political party. A major implication of Jordan and Richardson's ‘British policy style’ was that significant changes of policy are relatively rare. Instead, there was a strong trend either on broad policy continuity, or on only incremental changes to most areas of public policy.

Jordan and Richardson's ‘British Policy Style’

Jordan and Richardson (1982) identified five particular features of a distinct ‘British policy style’, namely:

  • Sectorization.
  • Clientelism.
  • Consultation.
  • Institutionalization of compromise.
  • Development of exchange relationships.


This refers to the tendency for policy making in Britain to be concentrated ...

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