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The Policy Process - Essay Example

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Models of the policy process misrepresent complex realities and should be avoided.’ Discuss. Ideally, policy is all about the principles that govern organizations and institutions to achieve their objectives. They are the rules by which a governing body adopts especially for purposes of decision-making for its senior officials…
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The Policy Process
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Download file to see previous pages (Sidlow et al. 2010, pp. 345) With these variables in mind, the policy process is easily understood to present a multidimensional challenge involving numerous realities. As a result, policymakers become prone to errors because of these variables are misrepresented and, hence, misunderstood. The Policymaking Process Even when confined to public policymaking, the issue of policy is still too general. That is why this paper will further contract the topic into specific policy areas: those that are currently prioritized in the United Kingdom. Identifying these policy areas are important because they are fundamental in citing the relevant policy process to be investigated and further clarifying the discussion into context. Foreign policy, economic policy, EU policy and security policy are all formulated in Britain through several institutions within the Westminster System. In addition, they include not just the polity but also the citizens, the media, among other players. To demonstrate this, the case of foreign policy process will be cited. There are four stages in the foreign policy making in the UK. The first is the so-called articulation or initiation stage wherein stakeholders like concerned citizens and individuals successfully bring an issue into the attention of the policymakers. For example, there is the case of the 1,500 or so motorcyclists who effectively grabbed the attention of the media with regards to a proposed European Union laws on bikers. (BBC 2011) This demonstrated how individuals or groups such non governmental organizations could demand and initiate a foreign policy agenda. This was what happened in the past when several national interest groups in Britain joined with others from several European countries in their “big-bang strategy” that eventually helped facilitate the EU enlargement. Interest groups from nine European countries participated in this strategy and that hey came to be called as the Vilnius group or the “big bang group” who vigorously campaigned for a broad multistate accession. (Assenova 2003, pp. 16) The second stage involved the actual policy formulation, which would already involve the governmental policy process as bureaucratic agencies begin crafting and passing the policy. Countries like the UK and the US have given their respective executive departments the power to formulate foreign policy. This is also true in the case of economic and security issues. The implementation of the policy is considered as the third stage in the process. According to Smith and Dunne (2008, pp. 383), this is the most understated but important area since it “describes the agencies and individuals charged with carrying out the policy” and that “often, the final outcome is very different from the intent of the legislation.” Finally, the last stage of the foreign policymaking process is called the evaluation stage. This is the time when “parliamentary committees, special commissions, government ombudsmen, or watchdog groups review the policy process and policy outcomes and makes recommendations to stay the course or change.” (Smith and Dunne, pp. 383) The above policy process is roughly the same across all policy areas, although they involved some changes in the governmental agencies involved. Explaining this process becomes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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