Uses of Models. The models we shall use in studying policy are conceptual models.
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.
INSTITUTIONALISM: POLICY AS INSTITUTIONAL OUTPUT Government institutions have long been a central focus of political science. Public policy is authoritatively determined, implemented, and enforced by these institutions. The relationship between public policy and government institutions is very close. Strictly speaking, a policy does not become a public policy until it is adopted, implemented, and enforced by some government institution. Government institutions give public policy three distinctive characteristics. •
First, government lends legitimacy to policies. Government policies are generally regarded as legal obligations that command the loyalty of citizens. Second, government policies involve universality. Only government policies extend to all people in a society; the policies of other groups or organizations reach only a part of the society. Finally, government monopolizes coercion in society, only government can legitimately imprison violators of its policies.
The impact of institutional arrangements on public policy is an empirical question that deserves investigation. Federalism recognizes that both the national government and the state governments derive independent legal authority from their own citizens. PROCESS: POLICY AS POLITICAL ACTIVITY Today political processes and behaviors are a central focus of political science. Political scientists with an interest in policy have grouped various activities according to their relationship with public policy. The result is a Policy process, which outlines • • •
Problem Identification: The identification of policy problems through demands for government action. Policy...