Presidential Address delivered at the Third Annual Meeting of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, Washington, D.C., October 23-24, 1981. The author divides his remarks into two separate but related segments. The first focuses on the strengths of policy analysis and public management: What is distinctive about the field? Where are we in its development? And where are we heading? In the second part of the paper, he presents a paradox and a puzzle about the field and its interaction with the realities of government. The puzzle suggests something about the limitations of the field. The answer proposed for resolving the puzzle should add a touch of humility to the confidence and optimism generated in the first part of the remarks.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.