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John A. Hird, associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, has put together a unique analysis of the role of nonpartisan research organizations (NPROs) that exist in the United States. In Power, Knowledge, and Politics: Policy Analysis in the States, Hird becomes one of the first researchers to systematically study NPROs in the states.
Hird begins the book by describing policy analysis and the ways in which it is used. Policy analysis is essentially policy research that is intended for a specific audience. At the state level, NPROs commonly work at the service of the legislature, which is a change from the time when state executives were most likely to be served by a research branch of government. In chapter 2, Hird discusses extensively the political pressures that usually surround policy analysis, particularly analysis that is intended to be nonpartisan in nature.