Aiming to Explain: Theories of Policy Change and Canadian Gun Control
Published: August 2022© 2022
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 260 Pages
Illustrations: 8 b&w figures, 18 b&w tables
Dimensions: 6.15 x 9.30
260 Pages, 6.15 x 9.30 x 1.00 in, 8 b&w figures, 18 b&w tables
Firearms policy has periodically dominated Canadian politics since the late 1960s. Compared to the United States, however, there is little scholarship on firearms policy to the neighbouring north.
Using Canadian firearms policy, Aiming to Explain examines five prominent policy process theories employed during the period from the 1989 Montreal Massacre to the 2012 cancellation of the universal firearms registry. Throughout, B. Timothy Heinmiller and Matthew A. Hennigar present rigorous applications of rational choice institutionalism, social constructivism, the advocacy coalition framework, the multiple streams framework, and punctuated equilibrium. The investigations draw on method-based best practices, while also making use of a wide range of data collection and analysis techniques, including inferential statistics, descriptive statistics, process tracing, congruence analysis, and qualitative content analysis.
The goal of Aiming to Explain is not to select a single best theory, but to compare their relative strengths and weaknesses in an effort to direct future research and theoretical development efforts in the study of Canadian public policy.
2. The Evolution of Canadian Firearms Policy
3. The Canadian Policy Environment
4. Policy as Strategic Decision Making: Rational Choice Institutionalism
5. Exploitation and Power: The Social Construction Framework
6. Policy-Making as a Team Sport: The Advocacy Coalition Framework
7. Timing is Everything: The Multiple Streams Framework
8. Small Steps and Giant Leaps: Punctuated Equilibrium Theory
"Using a rich assortment of data, Aiming to Explain carefully assesses the strengths and limitations of leading public policy theories in explaining the evolution of gun control policy in Canada. It is a welcome and valuable addition to the relatively sparse public policy literature on criminal justice in Canada and I highly recommend it for those interested in gun control or public policy analysis more generally."Troy Riddell, Associate Professor of Political Science/Criminal Justice and Public Policy, University of Guelph
"Aiming to Explain provides a unique approach to studying public policy by applying several different policy theories to firearms policy in Canada. This is a valuable contribution to public policy scholarship and an excellent text for students trying to learn how various policy theories can be applied to deepen our understanding of how and why public policies are made and changed."Carolyn Johns, Professor of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University