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Moshe Maor

At times, policymakers deliberately overreact in order to swiftly and decisively end a crisis involving panic and popular fears and restore confidence. What should policy actors do and which policy template should they conform to if they wish to overreact in order to restore public confidence? Is there a set course of policy overreaction that actors may adhere to rather than ‘bet_ or improvise? Based on the tradition that views policy design as policy content and on ideal-type methodology, the chapter dissects a policy overreaction doctrine by elaborating on six attributes of such a doctrine. The arguments advanced are that policy overreaction could be designed in the meaningful sense of this term, and that a policy overreaction doctrine that comes close to the ideal-type may produce the desired effect, even without the need for its implementation. To bolster a doctrine’s overall credibility, policymakers may design a favorable information environment, resolve governance issues (for example, limited authority and the balkanization of authority), and review the preferred balance between passive and proactive use of overwhelming government force. Naysayers to policy overreaction may be dealt with by incorporating ethical principles into such doctrines.

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Moshe Maor