Policy Analysis for Big Issues: Confronting Corruption, Elitism, Inequality, and Despair
In a world grappling with seemingly insurmountable challenges like systemic corruption, elitism, and chronic inequality, this book is a beacon of hope and a wellspring of practical solutions. Brimming with real-world examples and actionable insights, this remarkable anthology equips readers with the knowledge and inspiration needed to ignite transformative change.
The book explores topics as awesome as world development, as sordid as extortion, as vital as cultural responsiveness, as intimidating as racial inequalities. Its settings stretch from Harvard to the Himalayas, from the corridors of power to the backwaters of poor places. What binds together its diverse topics is the author’s belief in the possibility of simultaneously being humane and analytical, of dealing with both ultimate goals and concrete choices.
Tailored to resonate with policymakers, activists, and scholars alike, this anthology’s global scope and unwavering focus on positive and practical solutions make it an indispensable addition to any collection.
Robert Klitgaard is a university professor at Claremont Graduate University, USA, where he served as President from 2005–9. A former professor at Harvard and Yale and the Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School, the world’s leading PhD program in policy analysis, Klitgaard’s work has instructed and inspired scholars and policymakers around the world. This anthology presents the concluding chapters of nine of his books, including three from the 2020s as well as Controlling Corruption, which helped launch the global anti-corruption movement; Choosing Elites, listed in The Harvard Guide to Influential Books; and Tropical Gangsters, named one of the New York Times’ Books of the Century.
"There is no better guide to policies that seek to make life better and more just for everyone."
Francis Fukuyama Olivier Nomellini Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and author of Liberalism and Its Discontents
"This ingenious volume draws out the best of Klitgaard. It will inspire the world for generations."
Kishore Mahbubani Founding Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore
"This book is as close as one can get to the greatest hits of Robert Klitgaard’s distinguished career: riveting stories from Asia, Africa, and Latin America; thought-provoking cases of policy successes and failures; and practical advice on how to transform ourselves and the world for the better."
Michael Muthukrishna Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics, and author of A Theory of Everyone: Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We're Going
"Policy Analysis for Big Issues is a banquet of insights, ideas, and practical notions […] every course goes down so very smoothly."
Eugene Bardach Professor of Public Policy at Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley, and author of A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving
"Professor Klitgaard’s trademark has been tackling complex and under-researched societal issues with an unusually diverse analytical toolkit. This volume shows why he’s one of the policy world’s most creative problem-solvers."
Michael Rich President and CEO, RAND Corporation (2012–2022)
"In this book, and throughout his prolific career that has tackled some of the wickedest of policy problems, Bob Klitgaard has demonstrated a remarkable ability to distil complexity into insight and to serve up the result with energizing clarity."
Karthik Ramanna Professor of Business and Public Policy, University of Oxford
"Bob Klitgaard is a world-class one-man think-and-do tank. This book is at once a collection of his greatest hits, a tempting introduction to his extraordinarily rich and diverse body of work, and a call to action on what are still some of the most pressing issues in global development today."
Rt Hon Jesse Norman Minister of State and Member of Parliament of the United Kingdom
"Robert Klitgaard has not just taken on the hardest issues, ones too often avoided, from corruption to culture to inequality, he has lived them. His writing is a delight, combining the sharp analytics of a Paul Krugman with the vivid imagery of a Paul Theroux."
Gregory F. Treverton Professor of the Practice of International Relations and Spatial Sciences at the University of Southern California, former Chair of the US National Intelligence Council, and author of Telling Truth to Power
"Robert Klitgaard uses analytics to guide practice in ways that help make the most daunting challenges we face that much more tractable, and he does so in his own inimitable, human and even humorous style. For the habits of mind and practice it fosters, Policy Analysis for Big Issues belongs in the toolkit or fieldwork backpack—just don’t leave it on the shelf!—of anyone who cares about effecting practical change against daunting odds."
Scott A. Fritzen President of the Fulbright University Vietnam and co-author of The Routledge Handbook of Public Policy
"In nine rigorously analytical books, Klitgaard has examined challenges of implementing high-minded policy in the real world. This well-crafted anthology of concluding chapters encourages previous readers to go back and savor favorite passages. New readers are in for a treat!"
Ian D. Clark
Distinguished Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, former Secretary of the Treasury Board of Canada, and co-creator of the Atlas of Public Management
"The books that stay in my mind are a tiny fraction of the ones I read; Robert Klitgaard wrote two of them—Choosing Elites and Tropical Gangsters. Reading the concluding chapters of his other books in Policy Analyses for Big Issues tells me that I’ve just scratched the surface of the things that he has to teach me."
Charles Murray Friedrich Hayek Emeritus Scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
"Robert Klitgaard leaps above the microscopic orientation of most policy analyses. He trounces policy advocacy masquerading as objective analysis. If you seek to address major issues confronting our world, take heed of the themes, principles, and approaches Klitgaard outlines."
Richard Zeckhauser Frank P. Ramsey Professor of Political Economy, Harvard University
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