We can agree public policy is important without being certain of the definition.

However, we can describe some important characteristics of public policy. It:

is intentional, designed to achieve a stated or understood purpose

involves decisions, and their consequences

is structured and orderly

is political in nature

is dynamic.

This chapter describes public policy as an authoritative statement by a government about its intentions. It also views public policy as relying on hypotheses about cause and effect, and as structured around objectives or public values.