Birkland Chp 1 Terms - Introducing the Policy Process

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  1. Classical Liberalism
    • In part, power derives from the consent of the people.
    • In political theory, the ideological system that emphasizes individual liberty and the ownership and acquisition of private property as a means to improve overall wealth and happiness and discourage social strife. Liberalism is the political ideology on which the American political system is based.
  2. Policy
    A statement by government of what it intends to do such as a law, regulation, ruling, decision, order, or a combination of these. The lack of such statements may also be an implicit statement of policy.
  3. Politics
    • The process by which society determines who gets what, when they get it, and how they get it.
    • Politics is the process by which societies figure our how to regulate themselves.
  4. Public
    Interms of politics and policy, the public is that to which the government derives power (from enlightenment) and seeks to serve in the public interest. For a problem to be addressed by government it needs to be a public problem. A key feature of politics and policy decision making is the very definition of what problems are public and private.
  5. Public Interest
    The assumed broader desires and needs of the public in whose name policy is made. The public interest is hard to define but something to which all policy advocates appeal. We are not all affected by policy in the same way. And we are not all desirous of the same policy implemented in a particular way.
  6. Discipline
    A field of academic study or research. Sociology, political science, economics etc. Disciplines approach similar problems in different ways.
  7. Problem
    A usually undesirable situation that according to people or interest groups can be alleviated by government action.
  8. Enlightenment
    • Early Eighteenth-century movement in which numerous theorists and philosophers developed new political and social philosophies based on reason and on insights from natural sciences. The Enlightenment developed the thinking that spurred the American and French Revolutions.
    • All the statesmen of the revolution and throughout American history have written to explain their understanding of the Constitution, the rights of men, all heavily influenced by the Enlightenment period.
  9. Social Science
    The branch of sciences that studies the actions and behavior of people groups and institutions. Political science, sociology, anthropology are all social sciences.
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Birkland Chp 1 Terms - Introducing the Policy Process
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Public Polity
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