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  1. 1. PSU08208: Theoretical Approaches to Public Policy Instructor: Mr. SANCHAWA, DH Assistant Lecturer-PA dsanchawa@mnma.ac.tz 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  2. 2. Learning objectives • Upon the completion of this two hrs LECTURE, the Instructor is expecting that, Learners should be able to:- • Explain the meaning of a theory and a model • Identify several theoretical approaches to public policy • Analyse the strengths and weakness of each theory • Examine the implication of each theory in policy making and analysis • Explain the Importance of the identified theories etc 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  3. 3. Introduction • The lecture begins with a description of a theory in relation to the subject matter. A theory is a comprehensive, systematic, consistent and reliable explanation and prediction of relationship among specific variables • A theory is a representation of a reality. It can scientifically be proved • Dye (1995) said that certain theoretical approaches and models have been introduced in studying public policy. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  4. 4. Introduction • As with the definitions, there are no comprehensive theories on policy making and analysis. Distinguished scholars have remarked that policies are jelly like in nature (Moharir,1986:15) and must be thought of as seashells. Furtherance, Hanekom(1987:8) remarked that all public policies are future oriented and aimed at the general promotional of the social welfare of the society. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  5. 5. Public policy theories: Examples • Institutional theory; (institutionalism ) • Rational theory ; (rationalism) • Incremental theory ;(Incrementalism) • Mixed scanning • Process theory • Group theory • Elite theory • Game theory and • Public choice theory etc 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  6. 6. 1.Institutional theory • Public policy is determined by government institutions, which give policy legitimacy. • Government universally applies policy to all citizens of society and monopolizes the use of force in applying policy. • The legislature, executive and judicial branches of government are examples of institutions that give policy legitimacy. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  7. 7. Institutional theory (ctd) • Considers policy as an institutional out put (Institutions refers to government institutions). Government institutions have long been a central focus of political science. Traditionally political science is the study of government institutions such as the state, municipalities etc. Public policy is authoritatively determined, implemented and enforced by these institutions. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  8. 8. Institutional theory (ctd) • The relationship between public policy and government institution is close because a public policy can not become a public policy until it is opted, implemented and enforced by some government institutions. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  9. 9. Institutional theory(ctd) • Government institutions give public policy Legitimacy, Legal obligation that command loyalty of the citizens, Universality i.e Only government policies extend to all people in the society and Coercion/Force i.e the Government can legitimately imprison violators of public policy 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  10. 10. Institutional theory(ctd) • It is precisely this ability of government to command the loyalty of its citizens, to enact policies governing the whole society, and to monopolize the legitimate use of force that encourages individuals and groups to work for enactment of their preferences into policy. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  11. 11. 2.Rational theory • According to Hanekom(1987:82), rational comprehensive model has its roots in the rational comprehensive decision making and implies that the policy maker has a full range of policy options to choose from. • Rational theory is one that achieves maximum social gain/benefit i.e. Government should choose policies resulting in gains to society that exceed costs by greatest amount 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  12. 12. Rational theory (ctd) • The concept of maximum social gains means no policy should be adopted if its costs exceed its benefits and among policy alternatives, decision makers should choose the policy that produces the greatest benefits over costs. • So a policy is rational when the difference between the values 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  13. 13. Rational theory(ctd) it achieves and the values it gets is positive and greater than any other policy alternatives. • Rationalism involves the calculation of all social political and economic values sacrificed or achieved by a public policy. Not just those that can be measured in terms of money 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  14. 14. Rational theory (ctd) • In rationalism to select a policy maker must be able to know all the society value preferences their relative weight, Know all the policy alternatives available, Know all the consequences of each policy alternatives, Calculate the ratio of benefits to costs for each policy 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  15. 15. Rational theory (ctd) • process for making logically sound decisions in policy making in the public sector, although the model is also widely used in private corporations. • Herbert A. Simon, the father of rational models, describes rationality as “a style of behavior that is appropriate to the achievement of given goals, within the limits imposed by given conditions and constraints 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  16. 16. 3. Garbage-can model • The Garbage-Can Model emerged as a critique to the Rational Model saying that organizations do not function as computers in solving optimization problems. • This Theory advocates that organizations function like garbage cans into which a mix of problems and possible solutions are poured, with the precise mix determining the decision outcome. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  17. 17. 4.Incremental model/theory(ctd) • Under this model, policy is a continuation of previous policy with minimum changes • Existing programmes, policies and expenditures are considered as a base • Policy makers accept the legitimacy of previous policies because of uncertainty about the consequences of new policies 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  18. 18. 4. Mixed scanning • This is a combination of the Rational and Incremental Theories.(this is try and error • Users of this theory integrate the characteristics of rational model and incremental (Hanekom, 1987:85) first by reviewing the overall policy and second by concentrating on a specific need , policy result or policy impact. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  19. 19. 5. Process model • Identification of a problem and demand for government action • Formulation of policy proposals by various parties • Policy Legitimation - Selection and enactment of policy • Implementation of the chosen policy • Evaluation of policy 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  20. 20. 6. Group model • One of the main agents for policy change is the initiative by the interest groups. • They pressure and interact with the policy makers on preferences and self interest • Thus, the role of the political system is to establish and enforce compromise between various, conflicting interests in society 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  21. 21. 7. Elite model/ the mass • This theory is based on the assumption that, a small, elite group (usually government) is solely responsible for policy decisions. • The elite group govern an ill-informed public • Public policies are viewed as preferences and values of governing elite • Policies flow down-ward from elites to masses; they do not arise from mass demands 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  22. 22. 8. Game theory • It is a study of rational decisions in situations where two or more participants have choices to make and outcome depends on the choices made by each. • Game Theory is an abstract and deductive model of policy making. • It does not describe how people actually make decisions but rather how they should go about making decisions in competitive situations if they are rational. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  23. 23. 9. Public choice • The Theory Refers to policy as a collective decision making by self interested individuals. Individuals come together in politics for their own mutual benefits and by agreement (Contract) among themselves they can enhance their own well being. Therefore, people pursue their self interest in politics but even with a selfish motives they can mutually benefits through collective decision making. 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  24. 24. Public choice • This model assumes that all political actors, voters, tax payers, legislatures, bureaucrats, political parties, etc. seek to maximize their personal benefits in politics as a market place. • Individuals come together in politics for their mutual benefit, just as they come together in a market place 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  25. 25. Why public policy models are important? • They: • Create order and simplify reality • Identify what is significant • Can be congruent with reality • Can provide meaningful communication • Direct Enquiry and Research • Suggest Explanations 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA
  26. 26. Why public policy models are important? • Model are not competitive; anyone of the can not be judged as best • Each one provides a separate focus and each can help understand different things about public policy • Most policies are a combination of all models mentioned 5/19/2015 DENIS SANCHAWA