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Edited by Michael M. Atkinson and Marsha A. Chandler.

Toronto, University of Toronto Press, c1983.
286pp, cloth, $30.00 (cloth), $12.50 (paper).
ISBN 0-8020-2485-8 (cloth), 0-8020-6517-1 (paper).

Reviewed by Thomas F. Chambers.

Volume 11 Number 6.
1983 November.

Michael Atkinson is an associate professor of political science at McMaster University. Marsha Chandler is an associate professor in the department of political science and the faculty of law at the University of Toronto. They have edited a book of twelve essays that tries to throw some light on how the political authorities in Canada decide on public policy.

Do our politicians create policy as a result of public demands or to change society to a preconceived political objective? Does the public have an influence on the politician or is it a guinea pig forced to try each political fad? To find answers, the contributors have researched a number of areas including legal aid, crown corporations, fisheries in Atlantic Canada, and medicare.

Most of the contributors are professors of political science at various Canadian universities. One is an assistant director of the Treasury Board, another a private consultant, and a third an energy adviser with the federal department of energy, mines, and resources. They are all well qualified to discuss the formulation of Canadian public policy.

Each of the essays is well researched and documented. All are, without exception, scholarly and valuable additions to the literature on public policy. This will be a useful book for students at an advanced level of political studies, but it will have no appeal for a lay audience. Further work will also be required before lasting conclusions about the formation of public policy can be reached. The subject is far too complex to be thoroughly analysed in one book, and the results, in most cases studied, are inconclusive. The articles are, however, well organized, with numerous sub-headings, and most have well-written conclusions that provide a useful review.

Thomas F. Chambers, Canadore College, North Bay, ON.
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