The Social Policy Process in Canada


121 pages
Contains Bibliography
ISBN 0-88645-030-6




Edited by A.R. Dobell and S.H. Mansbridge
Reviewed by Virginia Gillham

Virginia Gillham is Associate Librarian in the Public Service Library at
the University of Guelph.


“An important aspect of research on public policy is the assessment of the capacity of [public] institutions to respond to changing circumstances and to direct social forces toward an enhancement of the quality of life ... [this document reports] the first phase of an examination of the social policy process in Canada.”

In their book, Dobell and Mansbridge have included as appendices a background note outlining the scope of the study and delineating the membership and activities of the social policy network; a sample of the questionnaire employed; a summary of the methodology; and a bibliography of almost 60 citations.

Part one of the main report is a preliminary discussion paper intended to stimulate further discussion and research. Part one — the actual discussion paper — contains a considerable amount of well-presented, useful information. The supporting segments are less cogent and sometimes lapse into the uninformative, convoluted argot that is often characteristic of research writing in the social sciences. Part two summarizes reactions to the paper, including the highlights of a two-day meeting held in Ottawa in June 1985 to facilitate follow-up discussion.

Readers willing to wade and sort will, however, find stimulating information in this publication.


“The Social Policy Process in Canada,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 19, 2024,