A Political Values Perspective
One of the most persistent themes in the public policy literature has centred around the aspiration of a rational process of policy development that draws on the best available human knowledge. The policy sciences as laid out by Harold Lasswell were based on a very optimistic, positivist view of the relationship between knowledge and the policy process. The aspiration of rationality attracted a strong critique from Charles Lindblom who argued that strategic approaches to policy analysis, such as incrementalism, were more realistic and more effective given the resource, time and cognitive limitations facing the real world decision maker. Herbert Simon’s concept of bounded rationality suggested that some form of rationality could be achieved but within limits.
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