Defining Public Policy

Just as defining public administration presented a challenge in Week 1, so too can it be difficult to determine a precise definition for the term public policy. Like public administration, public policy is a largely abstract concept. You probably hear or read about “public policy” or “policymakers” in the news, and public policy influences your life every day. But do you ever wonder what public policy really is? If you look it up in the glossary of your course text, Introducing Public Administration, you will find the following definition:“Decision making by the government. Governments are constantly concerned about what they should or should not do. And whatever they do or do not do is public policy.”This is a broad, general interpretation of the concept. Others might view public policy in narrower, more specific terms, however. For example, public policy may involve decision making, but what, exactly, is the government making decisions about? Laws? Funding? Ethical codes? Some might argue that these specific components should be included in a definition of the term. The various levels of government add another layer of complexity. How might a federal policy and a state policy be related? Are they one in the same? If they are different, how is this conflict reconciled? And should these distinctions be included in the definition? Clearly, there are many different ways to approach the idea of public policy. In this Discussion, you consider the textbook’s definition of public policy in light of your own perspective.
Submit 150 – 500 word response: Due by Thursday 7/02/15: your thoughts on the validity of the textbook’s definitionof public policy. Then, explain the extent to which this definition coincides with your understanding of public policy. Support your thoughts with specific examples.
Support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources. You are allowed to draw from additional sources to support your explanation, but you must cite using APA standards. All quoted material must be identified, cited, and referenced per APA standards.