Friday, September 5, 2008

Q&A: Perspective on Public Policy

Q: Students should present their perspective of public policy (1/2 page) Please feel free to go beyond the readings and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of our policy making process.

A: Public policy is a mess. Explanations of it can be packaged into a four step process (Kingdon pg 2-3) but the inherently complex is simplified at the tremendous cost of meaning and insight. Embracing the pluralistic nature are the explanations by Bozeman and Hird. Bozeman’s policy philosophies give a better understanding of public policy than any of the introductions I’ve read. This is because the first and most critical lesson of public policy is the tangled multitude of organizations and agendas. It’s a study, not a discipline (Hird), it “revolves around needs, emotions, unanticipated events, and a good deal of irrationality,” (Gerston, pg 7).Personally, I think the system is wonderful. The mess is interesting. It catches the curiosity and suggestions from economists, biologists, philosophers, doctors, geoscientists, and bioethicists, (Hird, pg 2). The structure is vast and complicated because it’s a response to many bigger and messier problems.

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