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.

The White House Policy Councils

The White House Policy Councils

The Policy Councils and the Structure of the Executive Branch

Since the end of World War II, control over policy development has become increasingly centered in the White House. Presidents George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama continued this trend by centralizing management of the policymaking process in the White House and the Executive Office of the President.1

This trend has been driven, in part, by three factors:

  • The United States’ outsized role in the global community;
  • The rapidly increasing responsibilities and size of the federal government;
  • The evolution of the president as “policymaker-in-chief.”

Although all executive branch departments and agencies have input into the policymaking process, the White House policy councils are by far the most ...

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