The fifth edition of this well-regarded text covers the period up through the 2012 elections. It has been revised to make it sleeker, more concise, and up-to-date with a clear organisational structure. This edition accomplishes these three important goals: First, it introduces readers to the American approach to public policy making as it has been shaped by our political institutions, changing circumstances, and ideology. Second, it surveys American public policy and policymaking in all the major policy areas from economic policy to health care policy to environmental policy, and does so clearly and even-handedly, with well-selected illustrations, case studies, terms, and study questions. Finally, in addition to providing analytical tools and empirical information, the book challenges readers to come to terms with the widely shared but often competing values that must be balanced and rebalanced in the ongoing policy making process, affecting issues of the highest concern to the American public.