In a sense, policy is the aspect of politics that concerns most people. in crude terms, policy consists of the ‘outputs’ of the political process. it refl ects the impact of government on society; that is, its ability to make things better or make things worse. indeed, since the 1960s and 1970s a distinctive area of study has developed: policy analysis. this sets out to examine how policy is initiated, formulated and implemented, and how the policy process can be improved. at a deeper level, policy analysis refl ects on how and why decisions are made, the policy process being, in eff ect, a linked series of decisions, or bundles of decisions. Particular debate nevertheless surrounds the extent to which these decisions are rationally based. however, studying the policy process often means, in practice, studying the bureaucracy, the massed ranks of civil servants and public offi cials who are charged with the execution of public policy.
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- Public policy and the bureaucracy
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- CHAPTER 16