Chapter 7 Policymaking
Votes on controversial legislation -- to fund or cancel the program, to criminalize a decriminalized
behavior, and so on are dramatic, visibly policymaking moments. Much policymaking is less visible. Many
new laws attract little attention and once passed by legislators, those laws must be implemented, which
creates further opportunities for behind-the-scenes policymaking (195).
In United States, court rulings
have the power to shape the law. Appellate courts, for example, can rule that legislators have exceeded
their authority by passing laws that are unconstitutional, and general that the way a particular law is being
applied are enforced is not legal. Dramatic cases the rover's Wade ruling, which dictated that states could
not restrict women's access to abortion during the first trimester pregnancy, Supreme Court rulings can
shift fundamental perceptions of what is considered legal. Thus, sometimes government agencies and
courts also act as policymakers.
We should not equate policy with law. A wide range of organized nongovernmental bodies -- think of
corporations, churches, professions, charities, said their own worlds or policies. When a homeless shelter
announces rules regarding who is qualified to seek admission how people must behave if they are not to
be to remain the shelter, this is a formal policy-making(195).
Policy domains -- the policy domains that part of the political system focuses on a particular social issue,
such as family problems, criminal justice, health policy. Beginning tonight includes many people are
concerned with the issue addressed by that domain, legislators, other officials, could upset the
government. EX Congress has committees that deal with health issues; various federal agencies such as
the Centers for Disease Control National Institutes of Health, addresses issues outside the government,
their interest groups, think tanks, medical professionals and other experts concerned health policy.
An Arena is a setting where claims can be presented (a congressional committee's hearings might
is a network of people who share an interest in the particulars policy issue,
can be committee hearings, specialized newsletters, and so on.
Just as claims makers must
compete for media coverage and public attention, it must also compete for places at legislators agendas.
During this process claims makers may wait years until they finally get legislators to address these
Attempting to influence policymaking can require patience.
The political scientist John W. Kingdon offers a model 1) the problem recognition stream 2) a policy
proposal stream, 3) the political stream. Each stream is constantly flowing, but they often have minimal
contact with one another (198).
In the process of problem recognition, claims makers identify troubled
conditions, NATO's conditions, devise compelling rhetoric to persuade others to become concerned about