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The Formulation Of Public Policy

Decent Essays
Sherri Torjman seems not to answer her own question, “What is Policy” as she skirts articulating any concrete definition of policy as she attempts to explain what it is. She attempts to succinctly describe policy, stating, “At the end of the day, the formulation of public policy involves a process of making good decisions - for the public good” (2005, p. 18) but this is a description of how policy is made and fails to define policy. Levison and Sutton (2001) also define policy as a verb by equating policy “as a practice of power” (p. 2). This definition implies that policymakers are powerful when in there have been times in our history that marginalized groups of people acquired more power as a result of policy. Groups such as the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community (or communities, depending on your perspective), could hardly be described as powerful yet they are moving public perception and policy initiatives in new directions with rapidity politicians either envy or decry. Levison and Sutton (2001) state that policy is a fluid and “negotiated” (Levison & Sutton, 2001, p. 3) means to govern (p. 3) diverse people and their values; it is a tug of war contrasting , values, desires, wants, and needs. Yet this description of what policy is remains insufficient; policy is not just a means to govern. Means - or methods - to govern implies lots of things besides or in addition to policy: with a big stick, by coalition building, or as a compassionate
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