Essay: Functions of Public Policy

Sample Essay

A public policy very rarely takes account of future issues during the formulation stage and generally seeks to resolve issues that are currently in hand. The public policy spans a wide spectrum of fronts that it can address (Smith, 2003). the public policy can be one that is designed to deal with issues and problems, one that is meant to answer concerns that the general public has, one that is meant to take a stance on an external stimulus caused by a foreign entity, one that is meant to allocate resources and finances toward specific areas, one that is meant to respond to media based emergencies and similar elements (Cline, 1983). We can concur from this attribute of public policy that it fundamentally functions in a reactive manner.

The only aspect in which public policy functions proactively is when it is designed to address aspects that have been forecast to be potentially unwanted and undesired. Such scenarios generally take place as a result of the scanning of the environment for unwanted occurrences and incidents. Planning, partnership establishment, determination of priorities, management of risk and implementation of strategic choice are common place areas where public policy is implemented in a manner such that it is proactive (Birkland, 2005).

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