Strengths And Weaknesses Of Public Policy

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Analyzing public policy process allows for words such as complex, unpredictable and in some instance tumultuous, to come to the fore. Policy making allows a view into what are the concerns of government and what they are doing to acknowledge, improve or rectify issues that demand attention in our society. It is by no accident that analysts use a circle to portray the constant cycle of movement of various elements within the public policy dichotomy. Public policy decision making is the area in which the first signs of direction are seen on ‘some course of action or inaction’. (Howlett & Ramesh, 2003, p166). The intention of this discussion is to review two traditional models of decision making that came to the forefront of policy making in the 1960s. We will discuss the clear tug of war between these two incompatible models; on one side a model which grew from economic analysis roots, focusing on a scientific viewpoint of policy making to solve complex problems. Pulling in the opposite direction is the idea of ‘bounded rationality’. Recognizing the reality there will be limitations of knowledge available on complex factors that could influence decision making and instead act as a ‘satisficer’ to gain the best possible solution rather than ideal solution. (Simon, 1955, p100). This discussion aims to analyze the strengths and weaknesses highlighted by many advocates of both policy making models. It must be noted there is no preference to either but simply an aim to view both on

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