Competitive Exams: Political Public Policy Approach

Writers such as Laurence Lynn & Peter de Leon have advocated this approach. In this approach, public policy-making is viewed as a ‘political process’ instead of a ‘technical process’ The approach emphasises the political interaction from which policy derives. Lynn sees public policy as the output of government. According to him, public policy can be characterised as the output of a diffuse process made up of individuals who interact with each other in small groups in a framework dominated by formal organisations. Those organisations function in a system of political institutions, rules and practices, all subject to societal and cultural influences.

According to Lynn, individuals in organisations function under a variety of influences, and to understand policy-making it is necessary to understand the behaviour of and interactions among these structures, individuals holding particular positions, groups, organisations, the political system, and the wider society of which they are all a part. Therefore, instead of involving particular methodologies, policy-making in this approach is a matter of adapting to and learning to influence political and organisational environments.

Lynn uses ‘managers of public policy’ who operate under a variety of influences. Public executives pursue their goals within three kinds of limits: Those imposed by their external political environments; those imposed by their organisations; and those imposed by their own personalities and cognitive styles. Under this approach, managers use appropriate means to achieve their goals. They work in this way because their own positions are at stake.