In a nutshell

Gouverner, c’est choisir, si difficiles que soient les choix.

I’ve been thinking about the concluding lecture in the introductory course on policy analysis for our master’s students in public policy. I’m pleased to report that Pierre Mendès France was kind enough to provide me with a text for my sermon:

Gouverner, c’est choisir, si difficiles que soient les choix.

“To govern is to choose, no matter how difficult the choices.”

The first part of the quotation was familiar to me, though I couldn’t have assigned it to Mendès France. But it’s the end that packs the punch. I don’t think it would be possible to express the spirit of policy analysis in fewer or better words.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: