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Theories & Theorists for Public Policy & Administration: Public Policy & Administration Theories

How to use specific theories

Below you will find a list of some of the theories that have been used in Public Policy & Administration research in the past. You can search for more information on each theory by following the steps outlined in the following Quick Answer:

Please keep in mind that this list of theories is not exhaustive. You can find other relevant theories by browsing in databases and reading scholarly literature.  

Theories and models for Public Policy & Administration

  • Advocacy Coalition Framework
  • Bounded Rationality Model
  • Classical Public Administration Theory
  • Contact Theory
  • Effort-Reward Imbalance Theory
  • Elite/Mass Model
  • Game Theory
  • General Systems Theory
  • Group Theory
  • Human Capital Theory
  • Incrementalism Model
  • Institutional Analysis and Development Theory
  • Institutional Model
  • Institutional Rational Choice Theory
  • Market Exchange Model
  • Mixed Scanning Theory
  • Multiple Streams Theory
  • Narrative Policy Theory
  • New Public Management
  • New Public Management Theory
  • Optimal-Normative Model
  • Person Environment-Fit Theory
  • Pluralist Theory
  • Policy Design Theory
  • Policy Diffusion Theory
  • Policy Learning Theory
  • Postmodern Public Administration Theory
  • Process Theory
  • Public Choice Theory
  • Public Good Theory
  • Punctuated Equilibrium Theory
  • Rational Model
  • Resource Dependence Theory
  • Social Construction Theory
  • Social-Ecological Systems Theory
  • Streams & Windows Model
  • Systems Model
  • Uneven and Combined Development (UCD) Theory
  • Womanist Theory