"Making social policy" is a new and original textbook on policy making in British central government. Starting from first principles, it examines policy making through concepts crown not from academic theories and interpretations but directly from the experiences and perceptions of the politicians, officials and others involved in the decision making process. Peter Levin sets out a range of techniques for doing this, and applies them to five case studies of lopicy making by the Thatcher and Major governments. He brings out the various mechanisms at work, including the strategies deployed by the various participants. These case studies, which bring together material from a variety of sources cover: housing and education policy; social security reform; the poll tax; the annual public expenditure cycle; Europe: the Social Charter and the protection of women workers. "Making social policy" is also about how to study policy making. It shows you how to recognize a policy when you see one, and how to make your own analysis of the mechanisms by which government produces and adopts policy proposals, and by which legislative and other measures subsequently come about.
Peter Levin also demonstrates how many theoretical perspectives employed by academic writers comprehensively fail to capture the reality of what actually takes place.