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The Art of Public Strategy


The strategies adopted by governments and public officials can have dramatic effects on peoples' lives. The best ones can transform economic laggards into trailblazers, eliminate diseases, or sharply cut crime. Strategic failures can result in highly visible disasters, like the shrinking of the Russian economy in the 1990s, or the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in 2005. 

This book is about how strategies take shape, and how money, people, technologies, and public commitment can be mobilized to achieve important goals. It considers the common mistakes made, and how these can be avoided, as well as analysing the tools governments can use to meet their goals, from targets and behaviour change programmes, to innovation and risk management. 

"Geoff Mulgan, relying on both a strong scholarly base, and broad experience in government, has written a wonderful book that can provide invaluable guidance to those who would like to offer such value creating public leadership. I recommend it highly."

Mark Moore, Hauser Professor, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard

"Good government takes the long-term seriously and there can be few people better qualified than Geoff Mulgan to show how this aspiration can become part of the day-to-day work of departments and agencies." 

Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Secretary & Head of the Home Civil Service, UK Government

"Riveting fizzing with insights and ideas.... a "must read" or anyone interested in strategic choice and action in government."

Professor Colin Talbot, Manchester University

‘Deep insights into the politics of change …. and impressive creativity in the design of
new social institutions..’

Professor Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School
and author of Confidence and World Class.

‘Bold … intelligent, well-argued and challenging. I recommend it.’

Peter Shergold, former head of the Australian Public Service, Professor, University of New South


2009, Oxford University Press
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