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and think tanks. government policies involve universality. The relationship between public policy and government institutions is very close. Finally. Political scientists with an interest in policy have grouped various activities according to their relationship with public policy. INSTITUTIONALISM: POLICY AS INSTITUTIONAL OUTPUT Government institutions have long been a central focus of political science.Public Policy Models http://www. Government institutions give public policy three distinctive characteristics. / 4 ocument. Policy Formulation: The development of policy proposals by interest groups. Simplify and clarify our thinking about politics and public policy Identify important aspects of policy problems Suggest explanations for public policy and predict its consequences Selected Policy Models. Government policies are generally regarded as legal obligations that command the loyalty of citizens. government monopolizes coercion in society. The models we shall use in studying policy are conceptual models. • • The impact of institutional arrangements on public policy is an empirical question that deserves investigation. PROCESS: POLICY AS POLITICAL ACTIVITY Today political processes and behaviors are a central focus of political science. and the courts. Policy Legitimation: The selection and endorsement of policies through political actions by Congress. a policy does not become a public policy until it is adopted... Document for Free 3 of 18 3/15/2011 10:33 AM . implemented. Public policy is authoritatively determined. • First. government lends legitimacy to policies. implemented. The result is a Policy process. the president. White House staff. congressional committees. and enforced by these institutions. Second. Federalism recognizes that both the national government and the state governments derive independent legal authority from their own citizens. the policies of other groups or organizations reach only a part of the society.com/doc/6505727/Public-Policy-Models MODELS FOR POLICY ANALYSIS Uses of Models. Only government policies extend to all people in a society. and enforced by some government institution.scribd. only government can legitimately imprison violators of its policies. Strictly speaking. which outlines • • • Problem Identification: The identification of policy problems through demands for government action.
Incrementalism is conservative in that existing programs. Rational policymaking also requires information about alternative policies... and (5) Select the most efficient policy alternative. outside consultants. policies. It is not the content of public policy that is to be studied but rather the processes by which ·public policy is developed. or modifications of current programs. This search / 4 ocument. among policy alternatives. the press. Second. constraints of time.Public Policy Models http://www. public expenditures. and the activities of executive agencies. INCREMENTALISM: POLICY AS VARIATIONS ON THE PAST Incrementalism views public policy as a continuation of past government activities with only incremental modifications. Policy Evaluation: The evaluation of policies by government agencies them selves. (2) know all the policy alternatives available. and expenditures are considered as a base. no policy should be adopted if its costs exceed its benefits. that is. or "all-or-nothing. On the contrary. Large investments in existing programs and policies (sunk costs) prevent policymakers from reconsidering alternatives foreclosed by previous decisions. and the intelligence to calculate correctly the ratio of costs to benefits. Finally. Document for Free 4 of 18 3/15/2011 10:33 AM . Policymakers generally accept the legitimacy of established programs and tacitly agree to continue previous policies. decreases. and cost prevent policymakers from identifying the full range of policy alternatives and their consequences. and governments should refrain from policies if costs are not exceeded by gains. and changed." "yes-or-no" policy decisions. Conflict is heightened when decision making focuses on major policy shifts involving great gains or losses. and attention is concentrated on new programs and policies and on increases. rational policymaking requires a decision-making system that facilitates rationality in policy formation. policymakers accept the legitimacy of previous policies because of the uncertainty about the consequences of completely new or different policies known programs when the consequences of new programs cannot be predicted. the predictive capacity to foresee accurately the consequences of alternate policies. governments should choose policies resulting in gains to society that exceed costs by the greatest amount. policymakers must (1) Know all the preferences and their relative weights. information. Second. (3) Know all the consequences of each policy alternative. It has been argued that political scientists should limit their studies of public policy to these processes and avoid analyses of the substance of policies. First. RATIONALISM: POLICY AS MAXIMUM SOCIAL GAIN A rational policy is one that achieves "maximum social gain". and the public. To select a rational policy. (4) Calculate the ratio of benefits to costs for each policy alternative.com/doc/6505727/Public-Policy-Models • • Policy Implementation: The implementation of policies through organized bureaucracies. decision makers should choose the policy that produces the greatest benefit over cost. implemented.scribd.
overlapping group membership helps to maintain the equilibrium by preventing anyone group from moving too far from prevailing values. public policy at any given time is the equilibrium reached in the group struggle. • Elites share consensus in behalf of the basic values of the social system and the preservation of the system. that elites actually shape mass opinion on policy questions more than masses shape elite opinion. No single group constitutes a majority in American society. (3) enacting. GROUP THEORY: POLICY AS GROUP EQUILIBRIUM Politics is really the struggle among groups to influence public policy. Only non-elites who have accepted the basic elite consensus can be admitted to governing circles.. Elites influence masses more than masses influence elites. Policies flow downward from elites to masses. 5.Public Policy Models http://www. they do not arise from mass demands. Thus. ELITE THEORY: POLICY AS ELITE PREFERENCE Public policy may also be viewed as the preferences and values of governing elite? Elite theory suggests that the people are apathetic and ill informed about public policy. • Public policy does not reflect the demands of masses but rather the prevailing values of the elite. Document for Free 5 of 18 3/15/2011 10:33 AM . Group theory purports to describe all meaningful.scribd. with policy alternatives close to current policies. Parties are viewed as coalitions of groups. / 4 ocument. and compromising among competing demands of influential groups. According to group theorists. (2) arranging compromises and balancing interests. Politicians attempt to form a majority coalition of groups. Second. The power of each group is checked by the power of competing groups. negotiating. Policymakers are viewed as constantly responding to group pressures bargaining. Individuals who belong to anyone group also belong to other groups. The task of the political system is to manage group conflict by (1) establishing rules of the game in the group struggle.com/doc/6505727/Public-Policy-Models usually begins with the familiar-that is. This equilibrium is determined by the relative influence of any interest groups. 6. Only if these alternatives appear to be unsatisfactory will the policy-maker venture out toward more radical policy innovation.. • Active elites are subject to relatively little direct influence from apathetic masses. and this fact moderates the demands of groups who must avoid offending their members who have other group affiliations. public policy really turns out to be the preferences of elites. political activity in terms of the group struggle.
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