Ficial Actor And The Institutions Essays

Ficial Actor And The Institutions Essays

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Chapter 4 studies the official actor and the institutions which he/she interacts with. Birkland defines institutions as “organizations as well as systems in which individuals interact and achieve political and policy goals through explicit or implicit rules...” (p.107). This Chapter takes a look at the official actor as identified by Birkland as “[who] are involved in public policy because their responsibilities are sanctioned by laws…therefore [they] have the power to make and enforce policies” (p.108). This chapter examines the relationship of the official actors and unofficial actors and the different branches of government. Birkland defines the unofficial actor as “those who play roles in the policy process without any explicit legal authority (or duty) to participate” (p. 108). A couple additional terms this chapter reviews is casework which “refers to the tasks undertaken by a legislator (or, more commonly, the legislator’s staff) to help constituents solve problems with government agencies…. (p. 111) and veto which is defines as “the power the president has to reject legislation passed by Congress” (p. 124).
In Chapter 5 it addresses the unofficial actor(s) who can be defined as the news media which was pointed out in Chapter 4 or public citizens, and interest groups. One term which was new to me was venue shopping. This can be described as “how groups choose which branch or agency of government to lobby or persuade” (p. 166). Think Tanks, as depicted on page 169 is “independent research organizations, sometimes ideologically neutral but often identified with a particular political perspective” (p.169). Further reading of this chapter dissects how the interactions of the actors effect policy change.
Chapter 7 defines ...


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...ke decisions based on the flow of problems, solutions, and participants into choice opportunities” (p.291).
Summary of the Reading
Policy process and its decision making process can be quite long and detailed. The readings highlighted how interest groups, the public and the news media can all have a part in this process. Analysis is an important part of the process and can be used by everyone involved to decide on the possible outcome.
Implications/Applications for Policy and Practice at a Local, State or National Context
Accepting that the policy process is lengthy and has many moving parts, is at times, a difficult decision. Many, at any level of government, can be frustrated by the process and how confusing it is. These four chapters tried to explain some reason behind the process and to give the reader purpose for participating at any level of government.

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