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American Business, Public Policy, Case-Studies, and Political Theory

  • Theodore J. Lowi (a1)

Case-Studies of the policy-making process constitute one of the more important methods of political science analysis. Beginning with Schattschneider, Herring, and others in the 1930's, case-studies have been conducted on a great variety of decisions. They have varied in subject-matter and format, in scope and rigor, but they form a distinguishable body of literature which continues to grow year by year. The most recent addition, a book-length study by Raymond Bauer and his associates, stands with Robert A. Dahl's prize-winning Who Governs? (New Haven 1961) as the best yet to appear. With its publication a new level of sophistication has been reached. The standards of research its authors have set will indeed be difficult to uphold in the future. American Business and Public Policy is an analysis of political relationships within the context of a single, well-defined issue—foreign trade. It is an analysis of business attitudes, strategies, communications and, through these, business relationships in politics. The analysis makes use of the best behavioral research techniques without losing sight of the rich context of policies, traditions, and institutions. Thus, it does not, in Dahl's words, exchange relevance for rigor; rather it is standing proof that the two—relevance and rigor—are not mutually exclusive goals.

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World Politics
  • ISSN: 0043-8871
  • EISSN: 1086-3338
  • URL: /core/journals/world-politics
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