Cobb, Wendy N.: Whitman. Unbroken government: success and the illusion of failure in policymaking

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Author: D. Schultz
Date: July 2014
Publisher: American Library Association CHOICE
Document Type: Book review; Brief article
Length: 202 words
Content Level: (Level 3)
Lexile Measure: 980L

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Cobb, Wendy N. Whitman. Unbroken government: success and the illusion of failure in policymaking. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. 189p bibl ISBN 9781137339188, $85.00




Government is broken. At least this is a claim made by many these days. Yet Cobb (Cameron Univ.) disagrees, contending that government continues to work, but most citizens do not understand how and under what circumstances. This book seeks to dispel myths surrounding how the federal government operates by proposing a theory of policy making and agenda setting that describes how the different institutions of government act in different ways and times. Cobb asserts that the president and Senate initially are capable of placing issues on the agenda. Only over time do the House of Representatives or the bureaucracy become involved as the agenda matures and the issues become institutionalized. This model of policy making is then used to construct a more general theory about how the formal institutions of the federal government operate. While the author offers a novel theory of policy making, the book really does not address the topic of broken government. Good for collections on American politics and public policy. Summing Up: Recommended. ** Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, and research collections.--D. Schultz, Hamline University

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A373577720