The classic way to study policymaking is to break it down into stages. The stages have changed over the years, and vary by country, but the basic ideas remain the same:
- Descriptive. Let’s simplify a complex world by identifying its key elements.
- Prescriptive. Let’s work out how to make policy, to translate public demands into government action (or at least to carry out government policy).
A cycle divides the policy process into a series of stages, from a notional starting point at which policymakers begin to think about a policy problem to a notional end point at which a policy has been implemented and policymakers think about how successful it has been before deciding what to do next. The image is of a continuous process rather than a single event. The evaluation stage of policy 1…
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