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  • Editors' Introduction

    I. The Argumentative Turn: Policy Institutions and Practices

    Policy Discourse and the Politics of Washington Think Tanks / Frank Fischer

    Discourse Coalitions and the Institutionalization of Practice: The Case of Acid Rain in Great Britain / Maarten A. Hajer

    Political Judgment and the Policy Cycle: The Case of Ethnicity Policy Arguments in the Netherlands / Robert Hoppe

    Counsel and Consensus: Norms of Argument in Health Policy / Bruce Jennings

    II. Analytical Concepts: Frames, Tropes, and Narratives

    Survey Research as Rhetorical Trope: Electric Power Planning Arguments in Chicago / J. A. Throgmorton

    Reframing Policy Discourse / Martin Rein and Donald Schon

    Reading Policy Narratives: Beginnings, Middles, and Ends / Thomas J. Kaplan

    Learning from Practice Stories: The Priority of Practical Judgment / John Forester

    III. Theoretical Perspectives

    Policy Analysis and Planning: From Science to Argument / John S. Dryzek

    Planning Through Debate: The Communicative Turn in Planning Theory / Patsy Healey

    Policy Reforms as Arguments / William N. Dunn

    Guidelines for Policy Discourse: Consensual versus Adversarial / Duncan MacRae, Jr.


  • Frank Fischer

    Maarten Hajer

    Robert Hoppe

    Bruce Jennings

    J. A. Throgmorton

    Martin Rein

    Thomas J. Kaplan

    John Forester

    John S. Dryzek

    Patsy Healey

    William N. Dunn

    Duncan MacRae

    Donald Schön

  • Winner, 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Books

  • “Fischer and Forester break new ground and provide a fascinating new way of viewing policy analysis. . . . An innovative view of policy analysis that addresses crucial developments in contemporary epistemology.”


  • Winner, 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Books

  • Reviews

  • “Fischer and Forester break new ground and provide a fascinating new way of viewing policy analysis. . . . An innovative view of policy analysis that addresses crucial developments in contemporary epistemology.”

  • "This book has the potential to be important in the field, the leading statement for a movement. It does not call merely for words to balance the statistics, as in the tired debate between the humanities and the sciences. On the contrary, it argues that the words and the statistics are all part of the argument. The contributors apply theories of judgment ranging from classical rhetoric to modern theories of narrative to see the judging whole. The book proposes a new way to see old debates. . . . In short, the book is excellent." — Donald N. McCloskey, University of Iowa

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  • Description

    Public policy is made of language. Whether in written or oral form, argument is central to all parts of the policy process. As simple as this insight appears, its implications for policy analysis and planning are profound. Drawing from recent work on language and argumentation and referring to such theorists as Wittgenstein, Habermas, Toulmin, and Foucault, these essays explore the interplay of language, action, and power in both the practice and the theory of policy-making.
    The contributors, scholars of international renown who range across the theoretical spectrum, emphasize the political nature of the policy planner's work and stress the role of persuasive arguments in practical decision making. Recognizing the rhetorical, communicative character of policy and planning deliberations, they show that policy arguments are necessarily selective, both shaping and being shaped by relations of power. These essays reveal the practices of policy analysts and planners in powerful new ways--as matters of practical argumentation in complex, highly political environments. They also make an important contribution to contemporary debates over postempiricism in the social and policy sciences.

    Contributors. John S. Dryzek, William N. Dunn, Frank Fischer, John Forester, Maarten Hajer, Patsy Healey, Robert Hoppe, Bruce Jennings, Thomas J. Kaplan, Duncan MacRae, Jr., Martin Rein, Donald Schon, J. A. Throgmorton

    About The Author(s)

    Frank Fischer is Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University in Newark and a member of the Bloustein Graduate School of Planning and Public Policy on the New Brunswick campus.

    John Forester is Professor of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University.

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