Critique of Rescuing Policy

1242 Words5 Pages
Author Donald Lenihan, in Chapter one of his book, Rescuing Policy, describes how governmental bodies have shifted away from creating macro policy based on “big ideas” to a consumerism focused micro policy system. Specifically, this text provides three main reasons that caused this change. These reasons include the development of a complex stakeholder environment, the public demand for transparency and accountability, and the application of market-style methods of analyzing and researching for elections and understanding public opinion. As a result, this has changed governments from creating policy stemming from party values and “doing the right thing,” to becoming business-like and focused on winning votes. After completing this analysis, Lenihan then goes onto describe how policy will be created in the future. He paints an optimistic picture, where the government and the public work together in solving issues and mutually hold responsibility. However, despite Lenihan’s optimism, this critique argues against Lenihan’s hopeful future and argues form a more pragmatic depiction based on the evidence of current trends. Primarily speaking, the main goal of Lenihan’s text is to explain why the traditional style of “big idea” policy was replaced with policy development based on the current competitive consumerist market-style approach. When giving an explanation for this change, Lenihan provides three main reasons. First, he states “we know live in a multi-stakeholder environment where real solutions often require high levels of collaboration across organizational boundaries.” (Lenihan, pg. 25, 2012) In other words, growing complexity has caused governments to no longer be able to govern by themselves and instead requires them to work t... ... middle of paper ... ...reality. Though certain individuals might disagree, Lenihan paints an almost too perfect picture of future politics. His belief that government officials and other stakeholders will eventually work together to develop shared plans of action and then implement them together seems idealistic. Furthermore, his depiction of a future where both the government and the public hold ownership and responsibility for issues and for solving them doesn’t follow along with current trends. Decreasing voter turnout, lack of government engagement directed towards the public, and a lack of public trust and responsibility all point towards a future without inter-collaboration and communication. Therefore, although this critique agrees with Lenihan’s analysis of the present, based on evidence from current realities, it also questions the plausibility of Lenihan’s future taking shape.
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