chapter  VI
VI.2 Technologies and Practices
Pages 2

Second, we have focused on the technologies and practices that policy entrepreneurs and policymakers use to craft public policy. We use the term technology to refer to the fundamental institutions of public action-for example, agenda, authority, and contract. We use the term practice to describe the repertoires of technologies, techniques, tools, and skills that policy actors use to do their jobs. Crafting public policy is not unlike building a home-and then remodeling it every year. To construct a house requires multiple technologies-architecture, carpentry, electronics, communications, plumbing, heating-each with its own set of practices. Similarly, making public policy involves issues, agendas, authorities, agencies, programs, outputs, and other social or “soft” technologies of public action. While it may sound strange to talk about contracts or budgets as technologies, they are the means or instruments that policy actors use to get things done. Making public policy is a process of selecting the appropriate technologies and specific practices and procedures to produce results.3Policy technologies are toolboxes for public action.4