Theme: Public Policy | Content Type: Book review

Review: Why Governments Get It Wrong: And How They Can Get It Right, by Dennis C. Grube

Patrick Diamond


Tomas Castelazo

| 1 min read

The process of making public policy is an inescapably political endeavour. According to the political scientist, Harold Lasswell, in liberal democracies policy ultimately determines ‘who gets what, when and how’. Politics is concerned with the exercise of power. And power decides what issues make it onto the policy agenda. Yet, despite the self-evidently political nature of policy making, policy analysts since the end of the Second World War became obsessed with removing politics from decision making. They believed that democratic politics would get in the way of making rational policy choices based on objective evaluation rather than ideological prejudice. The new breed of technocratic policy experts worked to devise ‘scientific’ models of policy design that prioritised facts and evidence—where possible, uncontaminated by the grubby world of politics.

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