Making health policy: a critical introduction 2012 is now on shelves at the College Library.
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.
“This introductory text offers a novel approach to health policy making, challenging the conception of policy as a rational process. Written in an accessible style it is essential reading for undergraduate students of health policy.”
Jonathan Gabe, Royal Holloway, University of London
“This book should be essential reading for any student interested in engaging with and critically reflecting on how health policy is shaped in contemporary society. Drawing on well chosen historical and contemporary examples, Making Health Policy engages with the complex, contingent, and contested arena of health policy making. Students will find the valuable insights provided in this book enormously useful in understanding contemporary and ongoing debates around the fashioning of health policy.”
Nick Emmel, University of Leeds
“Alaszewski and Brown’s historical reach and deep understanding of health policy going back 30 years makes this a highly readable, original, insightful and well-informed study that also manages to be remarkably up-to-date. Recommended reading for everyone interested in how health policy gets made and why it doesn’t always happen as intended.”
David J. Hunter, Durham University
Making health policy: a critical introduction