You are not currently logged in.
Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:
If You Use a Screen ReaderThis content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Developing Public Policy Theory: Perspectives from Empirical Research
George D. Greenberg, Jeffrey A. Miller, Lawrence B. Mohr and Bruce C. Vladeck
The American Political Science Review
Vol. 71, No. 4 (Dec., 1977), pp. 1532-1543
Published by: American Political Science Association
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1961494
Page Count: 12
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Preview not available
There has been considerable interest in the development of theories of public policy formation, but theoretical efforts to date have not demonstrated adequate recognition of the distinctive qualities of the dependent variable as a focus of research. Facets of public policy are far more difficult to study systematically than most other phenomena investigated empirically by political scientists. Our attempt to test hypotheses with some rigor demonstrated that public policy becomes troublesome as a research focus because of inherent complexity--specifically because of the temporal nature of the process, the multiplicity of participants and of policy provisions, and the contingent nature of theoretical effects. We use examples of policy making taken from the case study literature to show concretely how such complexity makes it essentially impossible to test apparently significant hypotheses as they are presented by Lowi, Dahl, Banfield, and others. Our effort here is to enhance theoretical development by carefully specifying and clarifying the major shortcomings and pointing out the apparent directions of remedy.
The American Political Science Review © 1977 American Political Science Association