Review of Orren, K. and Skowronek, S. The Policy State: An American Predicament, Harvard University Press, 2017
GB : Blackwell Publishing
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First lines: Students of public policy and administration should take a close look at The Policy State, authored by Karen Orren and Stephen Skowronek. An original study of US political development, The Policy State is neither a piece about a particular set of public policies in a given sector, nor a contribution on policy‐makers or policy processes. More fundamentally, it argues in a challenging manner that in the United States public policy and policy‐making have been historically developed as an idiosyncratic art of governing. According to the authors, the massive expansion of public policies in many domains has gradually set up a specific mode of governance that has triumphed gradually since the early twentieth century and the progressive era, over earlier forms of governing. In an age when research on public administration and policy is increasingly fragmented and diversified, they make the case that the many features of modern‐day governance could be rooted in the same soil, namely that of the so‐called Policy State.