Login with Facebook

Understanding Public Policy

Students taking economics at higher levels of education should understand public policy and what it represents. It is one of the most important topics, as it leads one to understand why and how governments make certain policies. When there is an issue within an economy, say a high inflation rate or a depression, the government comes up with different approaches to resolve them. But that is just for fiscal and monetary policies. Public policy is wider and takes on more serious issues concerning how people generally live and interact.

The public policy becomes an academic pursuit in the early 1950s and has been expanding into different dimensions ever since. Today, the subject is attempting to acquire the status of a discipline. And since it is the study of products on governments, it is a vital organ in different social science studies, including economics and management. Public policy has received such a huge and rapid growth in the academic arena, attracting researchers, teachers, and public administrators who now feel it is becoming complex. All disciplines associated with public policy cut through traditional academic lines on demarcation. This means it is an inter-disciplinary subject that has become quite interesting and thought-provoking.

Public policy has continued to be more challenging by the day. It has achieved so much attention over the past few years, yet many still don't understand how it works. 

In the field of economic studies, the policy comes in as an instrument of direction and resolutions. It seeks to offer guidelines on what should be done when certain situations arise and how stakeholders should handle economic shocks. Therefore, it is vital to learning policy because sooner or later, you will be required to apply.  

That is why, in this unit, we shall be looking at the meaning, nature, scope, and importance of public policy. There is a significant constant change in the conceptualization of 'public' and 'private' domains in the study of policy, which should be well understood too. We also attempt to look at this subject to understand the changes and what they mean to society, both socially and economically.

What is Public Policy?

The term public policy is one of the most common terms used in our daily lives. It is also a major aspect of academic literature where we use terms such as education policy, fiscal policy, and monetary policy, among other various references in different disciplines. It is an area that involves all spheres labeled as public. The idea behind public Policy presupposes that there is an aspect of life that is common, and far from an individual or purely private.

During the initial years of public policy studies, it was only in researchers and political science students who got involved. Their focus was mainly on the institutional structure and philosophical justification of the government. In other words, they never sort to look at the policies themselves. Instead, they only focused on making the government look good. Political science was mostly preoccupied with the political activities of different political institutions. It concentrated on understanding political statuses and how they change governance. Yet, the policy is a critical component of the political process. It helps participants understand why certain directions should be taken and not anything else.

According to Thomas Dye, a renowned scholar of policy analysis, the traditional approach to a public policy defined the institution where the policy was formed. However, the relationship between crucial institutional arrangements and public policy consent was not very much explored. He continues to note that the political science of the modern era is shifting more towards public policy, which means it is now more about the description and explanation of causal and consequential activities of public policy. Economic studies have also focused more on understanding the cause for public policy and what determines which policy to be applied under certain circumstances. Modern political sciences have also focused on the organization of public authorities and public servants' behavior. This approach means determining the formulation of public policy is much harder. Even though it is largely contended that experienced policy implementation feeds back into the more in-depth application of policy-making processes, economic studies, more than political sciences, attempt to apply policy issues into the public field of administration. By seeking to understand how policies are generally made, it helps stakeholders, and the general public knows which policies are useful in resolving economic and administrative issues.

The public-policy-studies' past has mainly focused on the policy's content and the process of formulation and application. Today, this subject's study has evolved into its own discipline known as policy science, formulated by Harold Laswell in 1951. 

There are two aspects of public policy that make it a worthy subject of study.

The Public

The 'public' is the first and most important concept of public policy. You may have come across terms such as 'public interest,' 'public sector,' 'public opinion,' and many others that involve the public. They are all founded on public policy, which means the spheres involved have to do with 'public' instead of 'private.' The public sector is made up of human activities regarded as requiring government intervention or common action. Despite this clear definition, there has always been a conflict between what is regarded as 'public' and what should be seen as 'private.' W.B Baber states that there are ten main points that differentiate the public from the private sector. 

He says, public policy:

- Face more complicated and ambiguous tasks

- Faces more issues implementing its decision

- Involves more people motivated by a wider interest.

- Us concerned more with securing opportunities or implementing capacities.

- Compensates for market failure

- Engages in activities that bring out more significance

- Has strict standards of commitments and legality

- Must operate in the public interest

- Maintains a minimal level of public support.

Because of these key features, public administration emerged, coming in to secure public interest rather than private. Political economists hold that only markets can balance private and public interest, which is true. But new liberalism is founded on a belief that public administration is a more rational approach to encouraging public Policy. In this case, the civil servant is mainly tasked to serve the interests of those who elected them. This means public bureaucracy is different from anything that exists in the private domain. The issue of rational public interest became a major point of argument after World War II. Herbert Simon describes bureaucrats as exhibiting a large function of 'bounded rationality.'

The Policy

The second aspect of public policy is the idea of 'policy,' and, like the concept of 'public,' is not a very precise term. It is a denotation of guidance of action, among other elements. Therefore, a policy can take different forms, including a declaration of goals, declaration of course of action; declaration of general purpose; and an authoritative decision. Hogwood and Gunn state that there are ten applications of the term 'policy,' where it a label for a field activity, the show expected state of affairs; specified proposals; government decision; frontal authority; a program; an output, a result, a model or thought; and a process. But the policy is something that cannot be seen from a single perspective because it assumes different forms. There is a push to designate policy as 'outputs' of the political system. Hence, public policy has been defined lesser as more or less inter-dependent concerned with different activities. Public policy studies have contrastingly focused more on the examination of policy decisions concerning specific values, more than just a political analysis.

This are magnum issues that can be recognized from various definitions that have come from different scholars. Y. Dror states that policies are a general directive of the mainline of action that should be followed. Peter Self also opines that policies change directives as to how tasks should be understood and undertaken. Sir Geffrey Vickers says polices are decisions giving directions in relation and continuity to the courses of action, which the responsibility of the decision-making body. And according to James Anderson, Policy can be regarded as the "purposive action course followed by an actor or actors handling a certain issue. According to Thomas Dye, public policy is the decision of governments. All these definitions have something in common, that policy involves an action, which should be taken or followed by concerned parties.

What is the nature and scope of Public Policy?

We have already seen what public Policy and why it has become such a huge concern for modern governments. It is also good to note that policy may be general or specific, narrow or broad, simple or complex, discretionary, or detailed, among other features. In economics, public policy is more emphasized as to what the government chooses to do or not to do. In which case, it can appear into three categories:

- Activities attached to a specific policy

- Activities that are more general in nature.

- Activities based on vague and ambiguous policies.

However, it is rare to find government with a set of guiding principles for every activity in real life. This means some decisions are just made because they come as an impromptu. The Supreme Court comes in with its decisions to offer new interpretations for some constitution articles that may seem hard to comprehend.

Public policy may cover a larger part of its activities, which follow the country's development policy. For instance, the development policy can be adopted through the socio-economic development, equality, or similar broad principles of guidance for action. It can also be adopted as a basic framework of goals. As stated above, public policy may be narrow, covering specified activities, like child labor protections, or maybe as wide as women's empowerment.

In modern political systems, public policy is seen as purposive or goal-oriented statements. Also, public policy may be negative or positive. Positive public policy may some form of government intervention resolve a particular issue, like policies to shield markets from failure. On the other hand, a negative public policy could be when public servants refuse to take action on some matters the government is required to handle. Public policy is also defined by legal coercive qualities accepted by citizens as legitimate – like paying of taxes to avoid severe penalties.

The nature of public policy can be better understood when compared to related concepts, including:

- Policy-making and decision-making where policies influence decisions. However, policy-making does involve decision-making, but not every decision carries a policy.

- Policies and goals. Policies can be used as a means to end action. In other words, we can expect policies to the deliberate choice of action to attain certain goals and objectives.

- Policy analysis and policy advocacy. There is some distinction between policy analysis and policy advocacy. In this case, policy analysis is all about discovering the impact of a policy.

- Policy analysis and policy management. There is a need to understand the distinction between policy analysis and policy management. However, despite their differences, they are linked through policy-making and cover a large aspect of senior administrations.

Apart from the nature of public policy, the scope is another significant aspect of its study. It consists of the development of scenarios and extrapolations of contemporary trends concerning the public. The public sector scope and size have grown exponentially, making it important to consider how it is linked to public policy.

Conclusion

In trying to understand public policy, there are many other aspects of the subject you are going to cover. For instance, some scholars have tried to discuss the typologies of the policy issue. According to Lowi, for instance, policy issues can be classified as distributive; regulative; redistributive; and constituent. There are other issues you will come across, including: Regulatory Policy issues, constituent policy issues, conflict policy issues, and bargaining policy issues.

It is also vital to understand the significance of public policy. In this case, we have seen that public policy is focused on resolving public problems. It seeks to determine how issues and problems are defined, constructed, and resolved. Also, policy is purposive and deliberately formulated, it is well-thought-out, the real actionPublic Policy, it delineates a time frame and follows a defined course of action.  

Author: James Hamilton


Comments

Need a custom
essay?

We will write it for you.
Order now

Free Essay Examples

Free essays:

All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know Technical Writing?
Basics the Game Theory in Cryptoeconomics
Business innovation ideas for making money
Biosensors for cancer diagnosis
Business Analysis: Pricing strategies and Demand Curve
Conservation Economics
Cybersecurity in business: challenges, risks, and practices
Corporate Behavior
Compare and contrast the political theories
Discrimination Economics
Determinants of Wages
Deontology Vs. Utilitarianism
Development of Advertising
Ethics: an essay on the understanding of evil
Emotions: what are they? Theories explained
Economy and Air Pollution
Economic Externalities and How to Deal with Them
Factors Affecting Purchasing Behavior
Financial Statement Analysis
Factors Influencing Interest and Exchange Rates
Fiscal and Monetary Policies in Response to 2008/2009
Government's Intervention in The Labor Market
Guide on the Pathways of the nervous system
Game theory in microeconomics
Globalization: definition, causes, social impact and risks
How women can manage sexual harassment
How to conduct economic research?
How to define the Enterprise Value
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
Imperfect Information and Asymmetric Information
Imperfect Information in Insurance
Introduction to Labor Markets
Investment in Human Capital
Journalism: What is News?
Journalism: Broadcast media and Television Presenters
Journalism: Sources of News
Journalism and Law
Key Determinants of National Income
Key Factors That Affect Pricing Decisions
Kinetic models in biology and Related fields
Know about the different forms of traditional African dances
Latest technology trends
Latest dance trends
Microeconomic Analysis to the Demand for Labor
Modern journalism
Neuromuscular disorders
National Economies, Fluctuation, and Responses to Fluctuations
Neurotransmitters: what they are and different types
Nanomedicines to target tumors
Organizational motivation and its effects
Overcoming Hiring Challenges for Nonprofit Organization
Parkinson's disease
Perspectives on Television: Analysis
Russian School of Mathematics
Research and Development
Risk Sharing in Insurance and Asset Markets
Risk and the value of information
Structure of the nervous system
Structure of a Corporation
Schizoaffective disorder: how to live better with it
Segregation in the US.
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Game Theory in Social Media
Unions
Unemployment
Utilitarianism Vs. Kantianism
Understanding Auctions and Auction Theory: Part 2
Various theoretical perspectives of sociology
Virtual reality, what it is and how it works
What are the different genres of films?
What are Sculpture art and its types?
4 Facts about Origin of Mathematics!
5 techniques to create an animation
10 emerging technologies according to World Economic Forum
10 strategies to maximize corporate profits
3d Model Of Building
6 Medical Technologies that revolutionized the healthcare in 2020
All you need to know about the ACA Code of ethics
Architecture and Democracy: An Introduction
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Values
Architecture and Democracy: Democratic Procedures
All You Need to Know About a Synthesis Essay
An essential guide to understanding Film Theory
Application of Artificial Intelligence in Cyber Security
Applications of electrical engineering
Augmented reality: what it is, how it works, examples
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Social Networking
All you need to know about Cryptography
Applications of astrophysical science
All you need to know about architecture engineering
Applications of geological engineering
Artificial intelligence and medicine: an increasingly close relationship
An insight into Computational Biology
ACA code of conduct
A Rose for Emily
Applications of Mathematics in daily life
Architecture mistakes to avoid
All you need to know about Toxicology
All you need to know about Holistic Medicine
All you need to know about linguistics
An introduction to Linguistics and its subfields
All you need to know about Anxiety disorder
All you need to know about Drones
A Brief Insight into Political Science
Assumptions related to feminism
All you need to know about Byzantine emperors
All you need to know about labour economics
An insight into xenobots -the first-ever robots
An ultimate guide about Biomaterials
A Comprehensive Introduction to the Mona Lisa
Analysis methods of Transport through biological membranes
An ultimate guide about biochemical reactions
Analysis of brain signals
Artificial Gene Synthesis
Application to synthetic biology of CAD methods
All you need to know about metabolic pathways
Applications of BIOMEMS
All you need to know about the epidemiology
Asian vs. western leadership styles
All you need to know about Smart prosthesis
Analysis of Economy: Output of Goods and Services (GNP), and GDP on Economic success
A Guide to Pricing Strategies
An Overview Of Economic Studies
Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policies
Analysis of Business Cycles
Analysis of Consumption and Investment
A Look into Regression Analysis
Analysis of Household's Consumption and Savings Behavior
All you need to know about Capital Budgeting
All you need to know about risk management
Art looted in wartime.
Appropriate use of Data in Economics
All you need to know about reaction kinetics?
A historical overview of Financial Crises
All you need to know about management discipline?
An insight into the error-correction models
All you need to know about Data visualization
All you need to know about Work-family balance
All you need to know Technical Writing?
All you need to know about digital special effects
All you need to know about Big data management
All you need to know about Neuroendocrinology
How to Write a Personal Essay
Housing Needs in America
How to Write a Description Essay
How to Create an Excellent Scholarship Essay?
How to write a cause and effect essay
How to Hire the Best Essay Writing Service Provider?
How to Write a College Application Essay?
How to get the most out of your English lectures
How to write Expository Essay
How to succeed in your psychology class?
How to Write an Academic Essay in the Shortest Time?
History of Journalism
How Different Sectors are Using Artificial intelligence (AI)
How to write an informative essay
How to deliver persuasive essays?
How to Give a Convincing Presentation
How to write an essay on leadership?
Historical Art Still Around Today
Humanoid robot: what it is, how it works and price
History of Chemistry
Healthcare Advanced Computer Power: Robotics, Medical Imaging, and More
Healthcare AI: Game Changers for Medical Decision-Making and Remote Patient Monitoring
How to understand different types of English
How to Cope with Chronic Pain
How African American choreographers and dancers have influenced American dance
How mobile robot can do in logistics or in production
How To Become a Successful Entrepreneur
History of the Philosophy of Feminism
How is the climate changing?
How to Track Your Content Marketing ROI
How to Gun control In the USA?
Historical and contemporary role of labour in the modern world
How breast cancers are classified?
How the cells of our body communicate?
How the Lymphatic System Works?
How Digestive System Works
How to complete your capstone projects effectively?
How to write a research project
Healthcare technologies that help patients with better self-management
How to choose the topic of the senior capstone project
How to make your business survive at economic crisis
How can immigrants blend in the American society?
How does the economics of war affect society?
Hate speech on social media.
How to Build an Economic Model
How to start a healthcare startup?
How can financial illiteracy harm you?
How cancer is developed - Cancer biology
How to define the Enterprise Value
How to conduct economic research?
How women can manage sexual harassment
Introduction to Urban Studies
Importance of dance in education
InMoov: how to build an open source humanoid robot
Importance of KYC verification to making the Blockchain secure
Importance of Rhythm
Importance of dance student evaluation
I/O control methods -types and explanations
Identity theft: what to do?
Introduction to Utilitarianism
Importance of 3d Modelling in Architecture
Importance of online journalism
Image processing in medical diagnosis
Introduction to USA Politics
Introduction to Comparative Politics
International Relations as a Major in Political Science
Importance of modern trade policy
Introduction to Journalism
Introduction to Writing a TV Script
Introduction of Microfabrication techniques
Introduction to Microeconomics
Interaction of Consumer and Firm Choices in Markets
Importance of corporate sustainability
Issues in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Introduction to Statistics and Data for Economics
Introduction to Data and Probability for Economics
Introduction to the Game Theory
Introduction to Econometrics
Introduction to Economic Information
Introduction to Market Equilibrium
Introduction to Economic Models and Application
Introduction to Empirical Research
Introduction to Econometric Data
Importance of Critical Thinking, Principles, and Goals
Introduction to Identification and Causal inferences
Introduction to Econometric Application
Intermediaries and Government in Financial Crisis
Importance and seven principles of quality management
Illiteracy in the USA
Introduction to Economics of Law
Introduction to Coase Theorem
Introduction to Social Choice and Incarceration
Intellectual Property and Product Liability
Investment in Human Capital
Introduction to Labor Markets
Imperfect Information in Insurance
Imperfect Information and Asymmetric Information
The Looming Energy Crisis in America
Top benefits of performance-based engineering
The More Languages You Know, The More Times You Are a Man
Things to consider while writing an Argumentative Essay
Top Ways to Improve Your Academic Writing Skills
Tips to Excel in Creative Writing
The origins of films in the early 19th century
Top career options in Architecture
The Elevator Pitch
Top finance trends 2020
The basic Structure and functionality of robots
The Way to Success
The election system of the President in the United States of America
Two-party System in United States of America
Top trends in urban design
The history and theory of African American filmmaking
Top benefits of creative writing
Tinnitus Guide: Common Symptoms and Treatment Options
The language of dance
The digital image processing management
Top famous politicians of the World
Top methods of political science!
The history of the feminist movement
The blood flow in cardiovascular system - Biofluid Mechanics
The best of Leonardo Da Vinci
The Structure and Function of Macromolecules
The structure of cell: a research on the bricks of the human body!
Tissue and organ construction: Adhesion and recognition between cells
The kinetics of the transformation processes
The Modeling of Biological Systems
Tips for writing a great thesis statement
The Defense mechanisms against infections
The impact of the technological innovations in medicine
Top journalism trends to know about
The relation between mass media & politics
Theranostics: Diagnosis and Care through Nanoparticles
The practical Applications of X-rays
The applications of Ultrasound in medicine
Transfer mechanisms of genetic information in Bacteria
The regulation of cellular metabolism in the diagnosis
The Principles of MRI Contrast agents
The technical basis of optical coherence imaging
The New Media: Emerging Trends
The Structure of Interest Rates and the Yield Curve
Technological perspectives and reflections of neural engineering
Types of bioreactors and their applications
The Role of Government Policy in Improving Economic Outcomes
Types of corporate responsibility
The Role of IMF in International Monetary Macroeconomics
Tools for investment decision making
The concept of Organizational Culture and its applications
The Conduct of Monetary and Fiscal Policy
The Basics of Financial Accelerator Models
Tips for labeling medical devices- Medical Entrepreneurship
The different medical imaging techniques
The Economics of Uncertainty – Introduction
Theories of Public Policy
The Game Theory in Social Media
The political theory of Thomas Hobbes
The Use of Law on Economics and Vice Versa
The Role of Internal Audit in Corporate Risk Management
What is a Definition Essay?
What are diagnostic essays?
What is the relation between art structural engineering?
What is a Narrative Essay
What are robotics and intelligence systems?
What are the benefits of studying health sciences?
What is artificial intelligence and why it matters?
What is comparative Literature?
Why study neuroscience
What is Wi-Fi and how does it works
What is French history famous for?
What are Humanistic Studies?
What is covered in Biophysics?
What is modern journalism?
What is Virtualization? Benefits & Applications
What are modern public relations?
What is plasma physics?
What is teacher preparation?
What is rapid prototyping for 3D printing?
What is contemporary European Politics?
Why should you learn American Ballet?
What is engineering physics?
What is the purpose of African American Literature?
Ways to learn the Rhythm
What is digital art used for?
What are Enzymes and how do they work
Who is the father of political science?
Why Study Political Science - Job?
What is the Philosophy of Feminism?
What is a quantum computer?
Ways B2B Startups Streamline Their Conversion Strategies
Why do biomedical signals need processing?
What are the long term effects of climate change?
Why study labour relations
What is Holoprosencephaly?
What is antisocial disorder?
What are the important principles of evolution?
What is the cytoplasm and its function?
What is biopolymers?
What Makes a Good Leader
Women empowerment in modern generation
What is the history of political thought?
What is Gene recombination
What is synthetic biology
What is business cost analysis?
What is Inflation
What are the consequences of unemployment?
What is lithotripsy and its types?
What is transition elastography?
What is the purpose of deep brain stimulation?
What is a Brain-Computer Interface (BCI)
What is neuroethics?
What is Market and Supply and Demand
What is optogenetics?
What are the techniques to record brain activity?
What happens if the interest rate increases?
What is immunotherapy?
What is the economic role of the financial market?
What are the factors behind illegal immigration?
What is the lymphocyte activation?
What is financial market and its types?
What is the structure of financial markets?
What are the methods of measuring business performance?
What is the Credit market?
What is business ethics and code of ethics
What are the Causes of financial instability?
What is MBA with Concentrations
What is regenerative medicine?
What is Population ecology?
What is Microfinance: evolution, and practices?
What is biotechnology and its applications?
What are Workplace diversity and its benefits?
What is the difference between a leader and a manager?
What Is Branding and best branding Business strategies?
Why are microelectronics important?
What are biologic drugs.
What is the Foreign Exchange market?
What is the role of scientific research in times of crisis?
What are the risks of international trade?
What is financial management?
What is gene therapy?
What is education economics?
What is regression analysis, and why should you use it?
What Is Technology Marketing And How Should It Work?
What is Management Accounting
What are the methods of valuation of companies?
What is Immune System and Immunotherapy?
What is big data analytics?
What is the 7 layers of OSI model?
What is Neuroplasticity?
What are Sculpture art and its types?
What are the different genres of films?