The term “public policy” refers to a set of actions the government takes to address issues within society. For example, public policy addresses problems over the long-term, such as issues with healthcare or gun control, and as such, it can take years to develop. Public policy addresses issues that affect a wider swath of society, rather than those pertaining to smaller groups. To explore this concept, consider the following public policy definition.
Process of Public Policy
The process of public policy is a continuous one. There exists a constant need for verification and evaluation before the government can push a policy through. Some believe that the government only decides on public policy after a matter of months, but, in reality, public policy can take several years to enact.
There are several players at work in the process of the public policy. Everyone from politicians and civil servants, to lobbyists and industry representatives, are involved in public policy. These individuals strategize and come up with tactics and tools to push their proposed policies through. Some of the ways in which they do this is by:
Advocating publicly for the policies they are attempting to push through
Attempting to educate both supporters of and opponents to the policy in an effort to gain more support
Gathering allies together to advocate for a particular issue
Public Policy vs. Domestic Policy
Domestic policy is like public policy, only on a smaller scale. For instance, while public policy is concerned with the public at large, domestic policy issues typically involve people from specific religions, cultures, or personal beliefs. Depending on the issue, domestic policy can often be controversial. For instance, some of the issues covered under domestic policy involve:
Separation of church and state
Cultural diversity in employment and education
Unlike foreign policy, domestic policy only concerns issues within the United States’ borders. There are many areas of concern that domestic policy covers, including: