Reading Summary

            The books, Public policy: politics analysis, alternatives, and System under stress: Homeland security and American politics, discuss the issue of how policies are created to the point when they are evaluated. The two books are keen to discuss the issues that affect the security of America and the opinion of the people in relation to the process of creating a new policy. This process of creating a new policy is also called legitimation. Therefore, the two books have provided the readers with detailed information in relation to the steps taken when a policy is being created in America.

The first step being discussed in the books is policy formulation. In the books, it can be read that policy formulation is the process whereby a new policy is being introduced to the relevant authority for discussion. In this stage, political and technical elements play a great role. The public has to be informed first for the purposes of making them aware since they are the most affected. In this case, Kraft & Furlong (83) have indicated that if the policy makers do not inform the public, it may bring chaos due to resistance. For this reason, the policy makers use celebrities to inform the public to minimize the resistance that might crop up.

The other step discussed in the books is policy evaluation. Policy evaluation is the process of determining whether the created policy is working well. In the books, the relevant authorities in America are supposed to keep track of records in relation to the policy. These records are analyzed completely to evaluate whether the policy is doing well or it needs implementation. If there is no need for implementation, the policy is made permanent in the American constitution. However, if it needs implementation, it passes on to the next step of implementation.

The books have indicated that policy implementation is the hardest step. Implementations made are based on the part people are resisting. It is even harder for those policies that were made without informing the public. The policy that was made by President Bush to attack Iraq in 2003 was followed with many problems. Bush never consulted with the relevant policy makers; he acted first then consulted later. As a result, there was chaos involving the policy. Therefore, to avoid problems and chaos in the implementation stage, the public has to be informed first. Additionally, they have to be educated on the importance of the policy to America and them.

After the policy has been implemented, the books have discussed in detail the issue of forecasting. The authorities in charge of the policy have to forecast the future implication of the policy. This is based on the changes that continually occur in America. Kettl (420) mentions that many changes can occur over a period. The changes may be positive or negative. Therefore, the future impact of the policy is determined based on the records of past events.

Lastly, the impact assessment of the policy is discussed. The policy is likely to influence the affected group. The level at which the group is affected is assessed. The contentious issue of drilling oil and gas in the arctic world has been assessed thoroughly. The proponents argue that jobs will be created while the opposers argue that it will lead to the destruction if the environment. In relation to this policy, a decision is ready to be made. The importance of impact assessment is to analyze the usefulness of the policy to the public and to what lengths the policy be stretched (Kraft & Furlong 174).


Works Cited

Kettl, Donald. System under Stress: Homeland Security and American Politics, 2ND Ed.    Washington: CQ Press, 2007. Print.

Kraft, Michael & Scott Furlong. Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives, 3rd Edition.      Washington: CQ Press, 2009. Print.


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