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Defining Policy Goals Through the Stages of the Policy Process

Creating the U.S. Department of Education
  • Beryl A. Radin

Abstract

This is a case study that focuses on the way that perceptions of stages of the policy process impact the policy goals involving the creation of the U.S. Department of Education in 1979. Implicit in each of the goals was a definition of the policy problem to be confronted.

The policy process that served as the context for this policy is full of paradoxes. The system churns out regular choice opportunities yet the vagaries of uncertainty influence the environment in which decisions must be made.

The case study illustrates several aspects of the problem definition process including the assumption that the process is iterative; that the decision-making context must be understood; that attention must be given to the multiple actors involved; and that many problems can only be defined in terms of multiple goals.

Keywords

education policy policy goals politics versus analysis stages of policy process 

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References

  1. Anderson, James E. 1975. Public Policy-Making. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  2. Cohen, Michael, James March and Johan Olsen. 1972. A garbage can model of organizational choice. Administrative Sciences Quarterly 17 (March): 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Geva-May, Iris, with Aaron Wildavsky. 1997. An Operational Approach to Policy Analysis: The Craft. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Jones, Charles O. 1970. An Introduction to the Study of Public Policy. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Radin, Beryl A. and Willis D. Hawley. 1988. The Politics of Federal Reorganization: Creating the U.S. Department of Education. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Iris Geva-May 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beryl A. Radin

There are no affiliations available

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