The government has a duty to its people to solve the problems that occur in our society, and the courses of actions used to solve these problems are known as public policy. Public Policy can be described as a process that includes seven different steps. These seven steps are used to then tackle domestic problems in our country such as health care, education, and the environment.
The first step in the policy-making process is problem recognition. For there to be a policy, there must first be a problem or issue troubling the public that causes them to seek the help of government officials. The controversy in all of this is that, the definition or interpretation of a problem tends to differ among people which may affect the course of action used to solve those problems. One example would be the current debate on gay marriage. Currently, the court is debating whether or not marriage is a union between a man and a woman in a states rights point of view, yet we have DOMA, a federal law. How the Supreme Court handles this will affect the course of action used in shaping public policy on marriage.
The second step in the policy-making process is agenda setting. Once something has been viewed as a problem, it must be put on an agenda; or set of issues to be given attention by public officials. Now, just because something has been viewed as a problem doesn’t mean that it will make it to an agenda. People or things must bring certain problems to public attention to be discussed. Mostly problems that appeal strongly to the general public or politicians make it to agendas, and the most notable agenda setters include the president, interest groups, politicians, and crises. One example of agenda setting would be an anti-assault weapons group protesting to representatives and senators as a result of the Sandy Hook murders.
The next step of the process is policy formulation. Once problems make it to agendas, courses of action must be formulated to resolve them. Historically,...
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