chapter  22
12 Pages

Incrementalism

ByMichael Hayes

Incrementalism is a pluralistic process of policy-making involving mutual adjustment among multiple actors who typically disagree on objectives and start off from very different conceptions of the problem at hand. Incomplete knowledge and time constraints limit attention to alternatives differing only marginally (incrementally) from previous policies. The necessity for bargaining and compromise virtually assures incremental outcomes. Major policy change will occur gradually, if at all, as experience with policies generates demands for modification or expansion in subsequent policy cycles.