Advising Governments in the Westminster Tradition: Policy Advisory Systems in Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, John Halligan and Jonathan Craft
Jonathan Craft and John Halligan tackle in an effective, nuanced, but accessible fashion the question of how four Westminster polities manage policy advice. Advising Governments in the Westminster Tradition makes an excellent and quite useful contribution to the study of policy advisory systems (PAS), which has become a core field in public policy, and it will appeal very much to comparativists and scholars of public administration. Make no mistake, though, there is plenty here for most readers interested in the way in which policy decisions are made: accountability, politicization, externalization, the role of individual political leaders, the history of policy advice, and the dynamics of change in the four systems all are discussed and analyzed.
The comparative structure of the book is critical, both because of the amount of knowledge it provides and because it allows Craft and Halligan to undertake a complex analysis of the dynamic evolution of these four systems. Throughout the book, the reader is taken on a journey through the trajectory of change of these systems, their interlocking sets of characters, and their similar but at the same time distinct—and at times idiosyncratic—natures. After the introduction and a brief discussion of the reasons for choosing a comparative approach, Craft and Halligan methodically build their argument b
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