Earlier in this course, you explored the development and implementation of public policy in a democratic government. Specifically, you considered which tools and practices are most effective in the making of public policy. Think about how public policy might be used to better society. Begin by thinking about the role of public policy in society. Public policy is generally developed in response to a public issue or problem. Should public policy be used to drive social change issues, or should social change drive public policy? This question has occupied the thoughts of elected and appointed government officials for years and is likely to be a topic for future discussion and debate. As you ponder this debate, consider the link between public policy and social change in democratic governance.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Review the article “Toward an Anthropology of Public Policy” in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the direct influence that public policy may have on society at large. Think about how public policy may effect social change in society.
- Browse the article “Shaping Tomorrow Today: Near-Term Steps towards Long-Term Goals” in this week’s Learning Resources. Choose one of the three public policy topics presented at the conference to review. Think about how the policy topic you selected might effect social change now or in the future.
- Consider the effect that short-term public policy decisions might have on shaping future public policy.
- Focus on the connection between public policy and social change and consider ways in which public policy might be used to impact social change.
- Think about whether it is legitimate to use public policy as an instrument of social change.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 your thoughts about using public policy as an instrument of social change. Explain whether you think using public policy in this way is legitimate and explain why.
If you live outside the United States, provide examples of how public policy has been used for social change in your country.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources