A Pragmatic Public Policy Analysis Method
In this chapter the discussion balance shifts from theory and practice to theory and practice, but argues for praxis. It also argues that there is a need for praxis regarding the rational model and its critiques. In a sense we are arguing for a fourth criterion for evaluating models.1 That fourth criterion is applicability in the field (practicality for practitioners). As we have already discussed and implied, public policymaking is not a simple technical process. Public policy analysts must not only possess quantitative and other technical skills but must also understand that politics is fundamentally a conflict over interests and values and that policies are ultimately resolved through political power. So, while you might want to be left alone to complete as rational a policy analysis as possible, and then simply implement that product, success means being politically astute from the beginning, understanding who to consult with, gaining the support of key stakeholders, managing the politics and forging coalitions.