The Limits of Policy Change: Incrementalism, Worldview, and the Rule of Law (Essential Texts in American Government series)

The Limits of Policy Change: Incrementalism, Worldview, and the Rule of Law (Essential Texts in American Government series)

By: Michael T. Hayes (author)Paperback

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In this title, Michael Hayes offers a vigorous defense of incrementalism: the theory that the policymaking process typically should involve bargaining, delay, compromise, and, therefore, incremental change. Incrementalism, he argues, is one result of a checks-and-balances system in which politicians may disagree over what we want to achieve as a nation or what policies would best achieve shared goals. Many political scientists have called for reforms that would facilitate majority rule and more radical policy change by strengthening the presidency at the expense of Congress. But Hayes develops policy typologies and analyzes case studies to show that the policy process works best when it conforms to the tenets of incrementalism. He contends that because humans are fallible, politics should work through social processes to achieve limited ends and to ameliorate - rather than completely solve - social problems. Analyzing the evolution of air pollution policy, the failure of President Clinton's health care reform in 1994, and the successful effort at welfare reform in 1995-96, Hayes calls for changes that would make incrementalism work better by encouraging a more balanced struggle among social interests and by requiring political outcomes to conform to the rule of law. Written for students and specialists in politics, public policy, and public administration, "The Limits of Policy Change" examines in detail a central issue in democratic theory.

About Author

Michael T. Hayes is professor and chair of the department of political science at Colgate University. He is the author of Incrementalism and Public Policy.


Preface 1. Needed: A Realistic Theory of Policy Change 2. Incrementalism and Worldview: The Virtues of Systemic Rationality The Two WorldviewsWorldviews and the Proper Role of GovernmentThe Rationalist Attitude toward PowerThe Anti-Rationalist Attitude toward PowerThe Superiority of the Congressional MajorityThe Virtues of Systemic Rationality 3. Incrementalism as Meliorative Liberalism Meliorative Liberalism versus Classical LiberalismA Typology of WorldviewsKarl Popper on Piecemeal Social ChangeThe Meliorative Liberalism of Charles LindblomThe Virtues of IncrementalismMaking Incrementalism Work Better 4. The Unequal Group StruggleThree Biases to the Group UniverseUnequal Resources and the Balance of ForcesCorporations as a Special Case: The Market as PrisonSources of Business PowerEffective InfluenceA Typology of Policy ProcessesInequality and Incrementalism 5. Dramaturgical IncrementalismMajority-Building IncrementalismAir Pollution Policy Prior to 1970The Public-Satisfying ModelThe Nuclear Freeze as a Test Case of Jones's ModelThe Nuclear Freeze as Dramaturgical IncrementalismThe Clean Air Case as Dramaturgical IncrementalismPublic Arousal and Policy Change 6. Health Care Reform Fails in 1993-94: A Barrier II NondecisionPresidential Leadership and the Need for Majority BuildingIssue Area Characteristics: An Anxious PublicIssue Area Characteristics: Multidimensional ComplexityInstitutions: Policy Communities and Policy DevelopmentDecision Making: The Necessity for Majority BuildingFinal Outcome as a Barrier II Nondecision Anatomy of a Nondecision 7. Welfare Reform, 1995-96: Self-Regulation as Calculated RiskThe Life Cycle of IssuesRationality within the Policy CommunityWelfare Reform as Calculated RiskConflictual Expectations and Welfare PolicyWho Bears the Risk? 8. Political Conflict and Policy Change The Case for IncrementalismThe Limited Vision of Meliorative LiberalismSystemic Rationality and the Interplay of WorldviewsImproving Incrementalism: Adaptive Conservative Reforms 9. Incrementalism under the Rule of LawIncrementalism and Institutional SclerosisThe Rule of Law DefinedThe Rule of Law and the PowerlessRestoring the Rule of Law Index

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780878408351
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 216
  • ID: 9780878408351
  • weight: 340
  • ISBN10: 0878408355

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