Public Policy Models

Topics: Decision making, Government, Policy Pages: 5 (1632 words) Published: December 20, 2012
Many models exist to analyze the creation and application of public policy. Analysts use these models to identify important aspects of policy, as well as explain and predict policy and its consequences. Some models are:

Institutional model
It focuses on the traditional organization of government and describes the duties and arrangements of bureaus and departments. It considers constitutional provisions, administrative and common law, and judicial decisions. It focuses on formal arrangements such as federalism executive reorganizations, presidential commission, etc. Traditionally political science has studied government institutions--Congress, presidency, courts, political parties, etc.--that authoritatively determine, implement, and enforce public policy. Strictly speaking, a policy is not a public policy until it is adopted, implemented and enforced by some governmental institution.  Government lends legitimacy to policies, they are then legal; Government extends policies universally to cover all people in society; Government monopolizes the power to coerce obedience to policy, or to sanction violators.  Traditional studies using the institutional approach focused on institutional structures, organization, duties and function, without investigating their impact on public policy.

Process model
Policy creation is a process following these steps:
* Identification of a problem and demand for government action. * Formulation of policy proposals by various parties (e.g., congressional committees, think tanks, interest groups). * Selection and enactment of policy; this is known as Policy Legitimating. * Implementation of the chosen policy.

* Evaluation of policy.
This model, however, has been criticized for being overly linear and simplistic. In reality, stages of the policy process may overlap or never happen. Also, this model fails to take into account the multiple actors attempting to influence the process itself as well as each other, and the complexity this entails. Rational model

The rational model of decision-making is a process for making logically sound decisions in policy making in the public sector, although the model is also widely used in private corporations. Herbert A. Simon, the father of rational models, describes rationality as “a style of behavior that is appropriate to the achievement of given goals, within the limits imposed by given conditions and constraints. It is important to note the model makes a series of assumptions in order for it to work, such as: * The model must be applied in a system that is stable,

* The government is a rational and unitary actor and that its actions are perceived as rational choices, * The policy problem is unambiguous,
* There are no limitations of time or cost.
Furthermore, as we have seen, in the context of policy rational models are intended to achieve maximum social gain. For this purpose, Simon identifies an outline of a step by step mode of analysis to achieve rational decisions. Ian Thomas describes Simon's steps as follows: 1. Intelligence gathering— data and potential problems and opportunities are identified, collected and analyzed. 2. Identifying problems

3. Assessing the consequences of all options
4. Relating consequences to values— with all decisions and policies there will be a set of values which will be more relevant (for example, economic feasibility and environmental protection) and which can be expressed as a set of criteria, against which performance (or consequences) of each option can be judged. 5. Choosing the preferred option— given the full understanding of all the problems and opportunities, all the consequences and the criteria for judging options. Many authors have attempted to interpret the above mentioned steps, amongst others, Patton and Sawicki who summarize the model as presented: 1. Defining the problem by analyzing the data and the information gathered. 2. Identifying the...
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