The Art of Policymaking: Tools, Techniques and Processes in the Modern Executive Branch, Second Edition is a practical introduction to the specific tools, techniques, and processes used to create policy in the executive branch of the U.S. government. George E. Shambaugh, IV and Paul Weinstein, Jr. explain how government officials develop policy, manage the policymaking process, and communicate those policies to stakeholders and the public at large. The authors draw on both their academic and government experience to provide real-world advice on writing policy decision memos, preparing polling questions, and navigating the clearance process. An abundance of case studies show how actual policies are developed and how and why policies and processes differ across administrations. Finally, practice scenarios allow students to apply the tools and techniques they have learned by working through both domestic and foreign policy situations.

Why the Policymaking Process Matters

Why the Policymaking Process Matters


During the first six months of the William J. Clinton administration in 1993, disorganization, disarray, confusion, and general chaos were the rules rather than the exceptions. For twelve years, Democrats had been absent from the halls of power in the executive branch. A young president and an even younger staff were unfamiliar with the decision procedures and systems within the Executive Office of the President. Faced with a large agenda that included an economic stimulus package, universal health care coverage, welfare reform, anti-crime legislation, and national service, the White House became bogged down and incapable of setting priorities and developing and implementing coherent policies. It took almost a year before the president’s staff became proficient ...

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