Successful public policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand

This book is a collection of 20 examples of successful public policies in Australia and New Zealand. It aims to reset the agenda for teaching, research and dialogue on public policy performance.

It seeks to engage with the conceptual, methodological and theoretical challenges research seeking to evaluate, explain and design successful public policy has often come up against. The book is available as a free download in multiple formats, or can be purchased as a print copy.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Madeline Thomas.

Authors and their affiliation

Edited by Joannah Luetjens (Utrecht University), Michael Mintrom (Monash University), and Paul ‘t Hart (Utrecht University and ANZSOG)

Key features

Successful Public Policy is a newly released (2019) book featuring 20 cases of from Australia and New Zealand. These cases are a series of close-up, in-depth, and carefully chosen case studies of the genesis and evolution of public policy achievements, across a range of sectors. These accounts, written by subject-matter experts in both countries, engage with the conceptual, methodological, and theoretical challenges that have plagued research seeking to evaluate, explain, and design successful public policy.

The book is meant to be a teaching resource. Each case covers why the policy in question is deemed to be a success; what the context and challenges were and who was involved; the policy design and choices; the delivery, legitimacy, and endurance of the policy; and analysis and conclusions.

Successful Public Policy is available for purchase or open access download on the ANU Press website.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

I was a co-author of a chapter in this book and provided editorial assistance. Through reading all the case studies, I have gained insight into how specific policies came to be and the common threads which have led to policies being classified as successful. I intend to go back to this book when I require knowledge on a policy featured in it or wish to explore the issue of defining and evaluating ‘success’ in the public policy space.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

The cases are written by subject-matter experts who have in-depth knowledge of how these policies were introduced and developed. This book will be a key resource for anyone interested in the featured policies. Because of its case study approach, the book is easy-to-read and does not focus on complex academic theory. Finally, it is a useful reminder that many public policies perform well. However, studies of public policy successes are rare globally. This book is one of the few available resources that examines public policy success. I would recommend this book to anybody interested in wanting to understand or produce successful public policies.


Luetjens, J., Mintrom, M., and ‘t Hart, P. (eds.) (2019). Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand. ANU Press. Retrieved from: