This Handbook provides a systematic overview of the study of policy styles provided by leading experts in the field. 

The book unites theoretical bases and advancements in practice, ranging from the fundamentals of policy styles to its place in greater policy studies, and responds to new questions regarding policy style dynamics across a range of government levels and activities, including contemporary trends affecting styles such as the use of digital tools and big data in government. It is a comprehensive reference for students and scholars of public policy. 

Key features:

  • consolidates and advances the contemporary body of knowledge on policy styles and defines its distinctiveness within broader policy studies; 
  • provides a detailed picture of national policy styles in a wide range of countries as well as insights concerning sectoral and other kinds of styles within countries, including executive styles and styles of policy advice; 
  • systematically explores questions dealing with how policy styles impact policy goals, and the realization of policies, including how styles affect instruments choices and impact;
  • provides a guide to future comparative research pathways and cross-sectoral dialogue on the concept and practice of policy styles.

The Routledge Handbook Policy Styles is essential reading and an authoritative reference for scholars, students, researchers and practitioners of public policy, public administration, public management as well as for comparative politics and government, public organizations and individual policy areas such as health policy, welfare policy, industrial policy, environmental policy, among others.

chapter 1|10 pages


Studying policy styles at the national level and beyond

section Section 1|203 pages

Institutional styles

part 1|62 pages

National policy styles: concepts and cases

chapter 4|12 pages

Experimentalism as a policy style

The case of China

chapter 5|13 pages

From the ‘rationalist consensus’ to ‘exclusive incrementalism’

The ‘new’ German policy style

chapter 6|12 pages

Authoritarian policy styles

Post-Soviet Central Asia

part 2|75 pages

Sectoral policy styles

chapter 8|16 pages

Three worlds of social policy styles

Lasting legacies or a thing of the past?

chapter 9|18 pages

Policy styles in healthcare

Understanding variations in health systems

part 3|63 pages

Administrative and governance styles

section Section 2|218 pages

Process styles

part 4|40 pages

Agenda-setting styles

part 5|43 pages

Formulation, advisory, and design styles

chapter 20|14 pages

Policy formulation styles

Policy design and non-design

chapter 22|14 pages

Styles of policy advice

A typology for comparing the standard operating procedures for the provision of policy advice

part 6|39 pages

Executive and leadership decision-making styles

part 7|38 pages

Implementation styles

chapter 28|13 pages

Implementation style dynamics

Changing patterns of instrument choice over time?