Public Policy Making: Theories and Their Implications in Developing Countries

Powerful Essays

Ferdous Arfina Osman


ublic policy making is not merely a technical function of gov ernment; rather it is a complex interactive process influenced by the diverse nature of socio-political and other environmental forces.
These environmental forces that form the policy context lead to the variation in policies and influences the output and impact. Due to the contextual differences, public policies of the developed countries significantly differ from those of the developing countries. Although the policies of developed countries have proved their effectiveness in many cases, those cannot be applied in understanding the dynamics of the policy process of developing countries. Public policies in the developing countries possess certain peculiarities of their own by virtue of being influenced by an unstable socio-political environment, and face various problems and challenges. Poverty, malnutrition, ill health, illiteracy, low standards of living, unemployment and other common phenomena of these countries have also been creating a growing pessimism about the effectiveness of public policies. Given this situation, in developing countries, policy studies deserve urgent attention. The existing theories of policy making provide useful guidance for analysing the policies of developing countries but they are not quite sufficient for undertaking a comprehensive analysis. This is because most of the policy making theories were derived from the studies of industrially developed societies, which in most cases, are found insufficient to explain the policies of developing countries due to the contextual variations. The objective of this paper is to analyse the factors that make the existing theories inadequate to explain the policies of developing countries. To this end, the paper at first, briefly discusses the basic concepts of public policy making and identifies

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