While basic beliefs and political ideologies can manifest themselves in different ways in politics, some key themes and concepts seem to be universal. Here, we explore some of the most common ideologies we see in political systems today.
The policy-making process is rarely straightforward and subject to influence from various parties who have a vested interest in the outcome, during every stage of development. Different forms of government give competing stakeholders different means and avenues to ensure their voices are heard during policy development, so they are not negatively impacted by decisions. In a democracy, achieving consensus can be a particularly arduous, laborious, and time-consuming undertaking.
Government policy making involves making decisions about the best course of action, based on clear, relevant and reliable research-based evidence. However, politicians can be reluctant to rely on evidence they suspect is biased, faulty, or irrelevant.
Review these definitions and involvement from stakeholders in healthcare policy decision making in Policy Making and Advocacy by William R. Brieger.
Review research-based evidence in policy making and the five-step policy making process in Negative Stereotypes about the Policymaking Process Hinder Productive Action toward Evidence-based Policy.
Review Iron Triangle (US Politics).
Policy makers do not always employ a rational cost-benefit style analysis when making decisions. Public officials may be more interested in obtaining political power or financial gain, than helping the people they were elected or hired to represent. Meanwhile, small interest groups can have an inordinate amount of power, and influence policy making to suit their needs rather than the greater good.
Similarly, governments that fail to recognize the needs of their population open the door to an unregulated informal economy or black market. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a robust informal economy developed when farmers and food sellers from rural areas formed to provide affordable food sources to people living in urban areas. Government non-involvement allowed rural residents to generate their own income and job opportunities, via an unregulated, capitalist-style black market.
Review the role of interest groups (section 5f) and political advocacy (section 6b) in public policy making.
Review capitalism and the informal economy (black market) in Economic Systems from Boundless Sociology.
Review examples of non-binding measures that can promote transparency and anti-corruption reform in this podcast on the Global Corruption Status Report (timestamp 19:32).