chapter  VI
VI.6 Case Studies
Pages 3

Case studies are particularly useful in isolating a phenomenon from its context. This has been our aim in describing the practices of American public policymaking and then examining their use in various policy contexts. Cataloguing the means of policy production has little benefit unless we understand how these tools have been applied in a wide range of policy domains and venues. To recognize what works and what doesn’t, we need to walk in the shoes of policy actors as they choose alternative methods to get the job done. Case studies enable us to bridge the worlds of policy study and policymaking. That is why this text has introduced the technique of policy mapping. Policy maps enable students to visualize the policy process as a series of steps, each involving the selection of alternative strategies or practices to get the job done. Policy maps help us to reconstruct the policy trajectories of the past and envision the choices involved in designing public policies for the future. They can help inform and advance the practice of American public policymaking.