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8 thoughts on “Introduction to Public Policy-2

  1. Phillip, institutional policy making means the policy originates in an government institution which not only formulates it, but also implements it. This is the traditional understanding of policy making. But who makes these policies in the government? Administrators.

    The bureaucrat, inward looking as he, is is actually asked not to use the rational model (rational comprehensive) to make policies because it is time consuming, requires exhaustive data (to find all alternatives and their consequences) and demands an intellect which the average bureaucrat really does not have. He cannot be 'fully rational' even if he wants to be. Since he is bound by so many constraints, he is forced to adopt bounded rationality.

    So from a 'rational man', he becomes an 'administrative man'. He selects a limited set of alternatives, analyses them to the best of his ability and takes a final decision. So, the rational model is not applied in policy making. What is actually used is the incremental model (Charles Lindblom), which is characterized by 'mudding through'.

    Moreover, the administrator is also a rational being. He is going to look out for his own interest (public choice) which may not be what the public wants. Decision making in government is also value laden. The policy maker has his own biases and values which undoubtedly affect his decisions. So the rational policy model is more of an 'ideal model' rather than a practical model. Even Herbert Simon accepted it, when he said values will eventually creep into the policy making process. The utility of the rational model is that it is scientific and rigorous. It can help you discover alternatives and consequences you may not have discovered otherwise.

  2. Thank you so much for the discussion on public policy framework models. This greatly helps students who don not have direct access to teachers.
    I have one question though after watching this video, Does the institutional model encompasses the rational model entirely?

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