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What is Policy Making?

Policy making is when a government decides whether or not to act on a particular problem. If it chooses to act, the policy making becomes choosing what action to take.

Who makes policy?
An_Inconvenient_Truth_Film_Poster.jpg
"An Inconvenient Truth" raised environmental policy issues

  • Executive Branch
  • Legislative Branch
  • Courts
  • Bureaucracy

Common Areas of Policy Concern

  • Social Welfare
  • Social Policies
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Budget
  • National Security

Steps in Making Policy

  • Agenda setting or Problem identification
    • An issue comes to the public's attention
      • Usually brought to attention with the mass media
      • Interest groups and political parties grow awareness for the issue
  • Policy formation
    • The legislature and bureaucracies begin discussing the issue
      • Many politicians support the policy to gain votes and support
    • They brainstorm strategies to deal with the problem
  • Policy Adoption
    • A policy is formally chosen as the solution
    • Usually, this is in the form of legislation
  • Policy Implementation
    • Government agencies create procedures, guidance, and grants to support the policy
  • Policy Evaluation
    • Policy analysts decide whether the policy is effective
    • The analysts are both government members and outside experts
    • At this stage, the policy can be revised for optimal success

Executive Office of the President

President Obama conducts a White House staff meeting
President Obama conducts a White House staff meeting

Executive Office of the President from the White House website.

Cabinet Secretaries versus the White House Staff from Brookings


Click here for an article from the Washington Post on what policymakers consider during their considerations

Click here for a link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics information page to evaluate public policies. Includes info on minimum wage, healthcare, retirement benefits, and more
Multimedia.pngClick here for a TED talk from Vasiliki Vass called "Making Public Policy More Fun". Vass is a Canadian, but the principles still apply to US public policy.

lessonplan.jpg
  • Click here for a lesson plan that revolves around a politician visiting the class
  • Click here for a lesson plan "Legislative Law: Idea to Law"
  • Click here or here for a lesson plans from iCivics on public issues

United States Foreign Policy


rotating gif.gifSee American Government 4.4 for background on the tools used to carry out United States Foreign Policy




Sources:
1. Prezi by Allyson Colangelo