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Introduction To Puolic Policy Making

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According to Anderson J.E policy is defined as a relatively stable, purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern. Public policy is a complex and multifaceted process. It involves the interplay of many parties. This includes many businesses, interest groups, and individuals competing and collaborating to influence policymakers to act in a particular way and on a variety of policies. These individuals and groups use numerous tactics to advance their interests. The tactics can include lobbying, advocating their positions publicly, attempting to educate supporters and opponents, and mobilizing allies on a particular issue.

Perfect policies rarely emerge from the political process. Most often policy outcomes involve compromises among interested parties. Basically there are three main types of political environments the political culture, socio-economic environment and technological environment Political culture, in political science, a set of shared views and normative judgments held by a population regarding its political system. The concept of political culture does not refer to attitudes toward specific actors, such as a president or prime minister, but rather it denotes how people view the political system as a whole and their belief in its legitimacy. American political scientist Lucian Pye defined political culture as the compound of basic values, feelings, and knowledge that underlie the political process.

Hence, the building blocks of political culture are the beliefs, opinions, and emotions of the citizens toward their form of government. Almond and Verba’s argument is based on a distinction between three pure types of political culture: parochial, subject, and participant. In a parochial political culture, the citizens are only dimly aware of the existence of central government. In a subject political culture, the citizens see themselves not as participants in the political process but as subjects of the government. In a participant political culture, the citizens believe both that they can contribute to the system and that they are affected by it.

Almond and Verba’s core idea was that democracy will attest most stable in societies where subject and parochial attitudes provide ballast to an essentially participant culture. This mix is known as civic culture. In this ideal combination, the citizens are sufficiently active in politics to express their preferences to rulers but not so involved as to refuse to accept decisions with which they disagree. Thus, the civic culture resolves the tension within democracy between popular control and effective governance. In Almond and Verba’s study, Britain and, to a lesser extent, the United States came closest to this ideal. In both countries, the citizens felt that they could influence the government. Following the pioneering footsteps of The Civic Culture, American political scientist Robert Putnam argued that civic community, based on high levels of political interest, social equality, interpersonal trust, and voluntary association, leads to higher probabilities of effective governance and democracy.

Political culture is the property of a collectivity—for example, a country, region, class, or party. While most studies of political culture concentrated on national cultures, some studies focused on territorially defined units at the subnational level, such as the political cultures of American states, Canadian provinces, or Italian regions. Other studies analyzed the cultural attributes of social groups such as the political elite, the working class, and the like under parochial political culture the public have no much influence in policy making so the policy will be made within a very short time period as there will be no critics, also there will be no cost of researches therefore its very cheap, also there is a tendency of government ending up solving the wrong problem as it does nit gather information from the public at large.

The effect will come into action after the policy has been implemented. People will continue doing the same thing as they will not be aware of what the government decides for them that is the policy is likely to fail. For it to succeed the government improve its enforcement. Parochial is mostly practiced by dictatorship governments however it can be done by democratic states depending on the sensitiveness of a particular policy. for example when Zimbabwean government put a policy that no one is allowed to keep and drink beer at home and then not announce it people will continue doing it unless they can get to know the existence of a policy when they caught in act

Under subject political culture citizens are not allowed to participate but they are made aware of the existing policy. This will improve the policy making as it clearly highlight the level of acceptance by the public. If it’s not acceptable it helps to take corrective measures either to amend the policy or to eliminate the policy this is done through evaluation and policy assessment for example like what the Zimbabwean president recently did, he announced a new fuel prizing policy without consulting the public opinion and it resulted into violence hence subject approach it’s not useful as it is not mounted with public views

Under participant everything is made clear from problem identification up to policy implementation and evaluation. This strategy is every effective as it has greater chances of acceptance. Also the level of accuracy is likely to be met as the problem is identified from the ground of effect. People are given a representative to stand for their view in parliament per constituency. However this type of political culture it cannot be successful in issues that are sensitive to the society, more so it is time consuming and costly as the site has to be visited for example the Zimbabwean government allowed a debate on Zimbabwe broadcasting cooperation on the issue of marriage age policy and citizens participated from problem identification up to policy implementation. However it should not be forgotten that even if people participated we still have others who are adhering to child marriages due to cultural reasons.

Governments may make policy changes in response to economic environment conditions. Government regulation of the economy is frequently used to engineer economic growth or prevent negative economic consequences. During periods of weak growth, Keynesian economists recommend lowering interest rates to encourage borrowing and restore economic growth. In response to inflation concerns, governments may decide to increase interest rates. Government policies may use tax incentives to direct economic conditions also. The active use of these strategies demonstrates government interest in preserving particular economic circumstances to further the economic well-being of important stakeholders and the public. Generally speaking, economic growth is beneficial to those in political power who may also be seeking re-election.

Strong growth typically translates into more hiring and higher wages for some workers, although not always. Strong economic growth can also lead to higher corporate profits, which is a positive for the stock market. Economic Conditions Business efforts to influence public policy and government include not only individual company efforts but also business associations. These Associations act collectively to endorse public policies in the best interest of business in general and also in the interest of specific industries and localities. Examples of business associations engaging in efforts to influence public policy include the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the state-level business and industry associations, and the local chambers of commerce. The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business organization, representing the interests of more than three million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions.

Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) a nongovernmental organization (NGO) is an organization that is not a private company and does not have formal affiliation or representation with government. These are interest groups (see the preceding definition), and they often try to influence private business behavior either directly by persuasion or protest or indirectly by being influential in molding public policy. There are currently thirty thousand to forty thousand NGOs globally, and that number keeps expanding as the groups gain support and legitimacy. This includes many environmental organizations

Economic conditions also significantly affect the policy environment and operating context for businesses. The Great Recession at the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century enhanced interest and support for public investments and incentives (including in energy efficiency and renewable energy) that could support to create jobs. Economic conditions they affect policy making in that the government efficiency is measured by economic growth that is the government will make policies that are favorable to the economic players like multinational companies in order to keep them. Failure to do that it knows if they close it means a cut down in country’s gross national product therefore the unemployment rates shoots up as those companies like Coca-Cola employ thousands of works.

However, if the government is taking those best decisions to attract investments it should consider that the resources needs to benefit its citizens and not just allowing companies to loot and send back profits home, policies like use of local banks and taxes charges they must be formulated and enforced without doubt as they improve circulation of money in a country. While the research of academics matter on social environment, it would be erroneous to suggest decision makers don’t consider the will of the people when developing and implementing social policy, according to Reset. Both individuals and advocacy groups, like nonprofit human service organizations, may voice their views to shape social policy, according to Jiahuan Lu, the author of “Organizational or Social Benefits? .The Progressiveness of Policy Advocacy in Nonprofit Human Services Organizations.

“Reset says that many letters about a single issue force elected officials to take notice of what matters to the people they serve. The Amnesty International Campaigning Manual notes that written letters can show a deep comprehension and personal concern for an issue. Letters from influential people can have a significant impact in shaping social policy. Concerned citizens may write to newspapers in addition to their elected officials. Reset notes telephone calls are another common tool for people wishing to shape social policy, as they allow a two-way conversation with policyholders. In the modern age, emails can provide a fast, cost-effective alternative to written letters, Reset states. Kimberlee Morrison of AdWeek noted the way modern activists use social media platforms and hashtags to raise awareness for issues and encourage social policy reform.

Traditional methods of affecting change, including rallies and community forums, are also commonly used to influence social policies, according to the Children’s Rights Council for example on industrial policies that protect citizens from child labor use. These public meetings give activist organizations like the Children’s Rights Council the opportunity to portion information and start a dialogue between concerned citizens and policymakers. Public gatherings help all relevant parties better understand social issues and the opinions surrounding them. Public perceptions shape social policies both policymakers and people advocating for change have perceptions and biases that inevitably shape social policies.

At the conference “Speaking the Unspeakable: A Conversation on Colorblindness, Racism, and Antiracism” held in Arizona in February 2017, keynote speakers George Yancy and Lara Gomez explained how language surrounding race informs social policy. Attitudes surrounding immigration can be tied to the idea of race and perception influencing public policy, according to Laura Thompson, deputy director general of the International Organization for Migration, writing for Global Diversity Exchange. She wrote of the common perception that there are too many immigrants and that these people typically take jobs away from locally born residents indoor to stop this government implemented policies like use of work permits and impose strict rules to immigrates in a way of protecting its citizens .

However companies may ignore those policies as they will be craving for higher labor skills. However, she cited empirical evidence that shows countries with high unemployment rates typically have low immigration rates, as immigrants do not wish to relocate to countries where they may be unable to secure work. Yet, negative attitudes surrounding immigrants continue and may inform the plans of the Trump administration to overhaul America’s immigration policies, noted by Jack Citrin, Morris Levy, and Matthew Wright in The Washington Post. The other social environment that affected policy making was the case of China’s population control policy. The Chinese government has used several methods to control population growth. In 1979, China started the ‘one child per family policy’. This policy stated that citizens must obtain a birth certificate before the birth of their children.

The citizens would be offered special benefits if they agreed to have only one child. Citizens who did have more than one child would either be taxed an amount up to fifty percent of their income, or punished by loss of employment or other benefits (Hilali 10). However that social policy was not effective as it ended up causing a lot of problems like gender imbalances and shortage of human resources. Moreover natural disasters as a social environment have influenced government policy making for example the Mexican earthquake which led government to change redistributive policies as it seeks to compensate those affected through high taxation of areas that were freed from earthquake, also the government put a policy of free education on the topic of natural disasters more so it ended up carrying resettlement programs as it seeks to make them stay away from prone areas also the Rwanda government put forward some building policies on the number of floors upstairs that can be built to reduce impacts of earthquakes

Technology environment often motivated by market and business chances, also affect public policy. Technology is constantly changing and this affects the business environment directly and also indirectly as public policies change with technological discoveries. We the People act of USA become more than a battle cry. The White House launched us the People in 2011 to give the public an easier way to petition their government on chief issues. In the early days of this project, any petition with 5,000 or more signatures was guaranteed a response from the White House. Now that threshold is 100,000 signatures because the Internet. We The People is meant to offer more transparency and more interaction with government. To date, 168 petitions have warranted responses on issues such as reforming the postal service and tightening the rules on purchasing firearms.

New York finds a new tactic to communicate with citizens Rachel Haot wants to “democratize technology and give everyone a voice. “As the Chief Digital Officer for the state of New York, she’s responsible for changing the way constituents communicate with the state government and how departments work together online. Formerly the Chief Digital Officer for New York City, she was responsible for implementing a citywide “Digital Roadmap” that made the city more accessible for those in low-income communities, created 50 Wi-Fi hotspots across the city, expanded 311 on social media and completely revamped making it more user friendly .Houston launched By You City, an online forum for citizens with a large-scale planning effort underway, the City of Houston wanted to make sure that all citizens had opportunities to engage on matters that would affect those most and have their unique story heard.

In addition to face-to-face initiatives, officials wanted to bring an option for those who wanted to interact online. By You City, Houston’s first digital forum for citizens, went online in the fall of 2014 and currently hosts a variety of topics covering issues of arts and culture, neighborhood growth and community development. When citizens have the muscle to interact with their leaders, they can affect real change on a local, state and national level. Technology and government aren’t really that different. Both are vehicles for change, both attract people who are about their community and want to see it made better, and both are means for people to straight up get stuff done. However some countries such as China they banned their citizens from using WhatsApp and other social media applications by this policy making is less likely to be influenced by citizens as the will not have any voice on policy making .

The government of Japan has embarked on a policy that everyone who is using an electric car will not pay tax as it tries to eradicate the problem if carbon emission this policy amendment has come as a result of technological advancement. Also technology has made governments to change their policies to fit with e-commerce. According to Anderson .J.E public policies in a modern, complex society are definitely ubiquitous. They confer advantages and disadvantages, cause pleasure, irritation, and pain, and collectively have important consequences for our well-being and happiness. They constitute a significant portion of our environment. This being so, we should know something about public policies, including how they are formed, budgeted, implemented, and evaluated. There are also scientific, professional, and political reasons for studying public policies and policymaking.


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