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The Place of Policy Analysis in Political Science: Five Perspectives


EDITOR'S NOTE: In view of the increasing professional interest in policy analysis, I asked the five authors whose essays follow to address the question: "What is policy analysis, and how does the analysis of policy contribute to theories of politics?" Their responses to this question comprise a short symposium on the subject.
Beyond Markets and Lawyers: Davis B. Bobrow, University of Maryland

There seems Little point in constructing a quintessential definition of policy analysis. Few benefit from establishing a new orthodoxy, guild, discipline, or field within political science. Now that we are emerging from the fallacy that "theory" and "behavior" make sense in separate compartments, we have nothing to gain from a new straight jacket which puts "policy" in a separate compartment from the rest of political science. This does not mean that we have to put ourselves in the trivial position of treating policy analysis as any political science work with the word "policy" in the title or any activity by people who dub themselves "policy analysts." Any distinctive contribution the analysis of policy can make to the study of politics, either as a science or as an applied skill (engineering),1 is based on its emphasis on several elements of professional social scientific postures and styles of works. One can reasonably note these elements and their implications for technical advance in political science, and still recognize that analyses of public policy problems will almost inherently fall short of some of the canons of scientific endeavor.2 First, the principle criterion for the allocation of professional energy is to increase the probability of desirable collective outcomes and lessen that of undesirable ones. Knowledge for knowledge's sake is not the cardinal value,
For a clarification of what I mean by engineering, see my "The Relevance Potential of Different Products," in Raymond Tanter and Richard H. Ullman (eds.) Theory and Policy in International Relations, Princeton University Press, 1972, pp. 204-228. 2 Marries F. Reynolds, "Policy Science: A Conceptual and Methodological Analysis," Policy Sciences, Vol. 6, No. 1 (March 1975), pp. 1-18. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, XXI, 2, May 1977 415
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nor are topics for research and analysis of any special merit because they are fashionable within a social science discipline. The professional may conceive of the collective outcomes involved rather narrowly, e.g., along the line of efficiency in a cost-effective ness sense, or more broadly in such terms as peace, social justice, and human welfare. In any event, there is a conscious linkage between preferred collective consequences and the choice of projects. Second, the professional does not believe that the world can usefully be thought of as simple, neatly compartmentalized, or static. Instead, there are strong convictions about the need to handle complex systems of relationships, to deal with externalities as an inherent part of any analysiSj and to consider problems of changing contexts and adaptation over time. The relationship between analysis and policy problems resembles preventive medicine in that it is a continuing activity, and resembles architecture in that it involves a strong sense of context. In contrast to many lawyers, there is little acceptance of the notion that policy problems come in neat case "boxes" to be handled conclusively through the exercise of professional judgment and decision by some legitimate authority largely in accord with publicly known rules. And in contrast with many economists and operations researchers, the professional rejects mechanical extrapolation from simplifying models whose conditions are obviously not met in reality. In the early consideration of a problem, stimulation from simple formal conceptions surely is acceptable (as is stimulation from humanistic fiction as well), but prescriptions based on rigid application of these formalisms are seen to be at best useless and at worst irresponsible. For example, the professional has little tolerance for prescriptions which assume that the never-found conditions for market perfection will be met in practice, or with prescriptions deduced from game theoretic analyses which assume that political participants have information about their utilities which surpasses that possessed by anyone of our acquaintance. The professional will be particularly skeptical of diagnoses and designs which treat the participants in public policy as if they were all playing the same game or evaluating consequences only in terms of a common utility schedule. Analytic distinctions unrelated to concrete distinctions should not play a crucial role in the results of public policy research and analysis.3 Third, the professional pursues with great vigor techniques useful for prediction, causal comprehension, and manipulability estimates. Predictions are the basis for the perception of collective needs, but they can do little more than trigger a search procedure in the absence of a rich understanding of
3 On the analytic versus concrete distinction, see Marion J. Levy, Jr. The Structure of Society, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1952.

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the processes which produce particular collective outcomes. And prescriptions call for the technical capacity to estimate how different interventions will alter predictions as they work through the causal process. If one views these technical capabilities as impossible in principle, then research and analysis on policy problems is at best a form of citizenship and at worst a form of play for intellectuals. However, the professional is a relativist in these matters. While constantly seeking better tools, collective problems can usefully be subjected to research and analysis even in a state of great technical weakness. The tests for proceeding involve, first, the possibility of better predictions, causal explanations, and manipulability estimates, and second, the feasibility of presenting clear statements of uncertainties and confidence limits. Policy problems do not wait for technical perfectionbut they do demand technical candor. Fourth, the professional's concern with context manifests itself in the treatment of time and the identification of primary and secondary participants in the policy problem. He deals with time in quite specific terms because of the relationship of any policy problem to certain "political calendars"be they fixed election dates, programmed international treaty negotiations, a budget cycle, or the life expectancy of an aging head of state. Timing is important in politics, and the temporal aspects of causal processes and intervention impacts need to be treated in a coherent and explicit manner. The analytic techniques used must accommodate to the time features given by context, or the analysis must include some rationale for relaxing these constraints. There is little reason to assume that the time features are relatively uniform across issue areas or even across past, present, and future within an issue area. Similar needs to adapt to the situation of the particular problem apply to identifying the pertinent parties, and at an early stage in policy research and analysis the professional must find out who they are as given by the social situation or at least as possible within the time horizon of the analysis. With changes in political and social organization, the set of parties changes, and the professional does not have the luxury of deciding which parties to deal with on the basis of the technical tractability of their observable behavior, e.g., they engage in public record voting. Participant rosters and time frameworks focus analysis initially, and the choice of technique depends on these attributes of policy context. Fifth, the professional assumes that a pervasive and crucial part of the research and analysis task is to clarify distributional consequenceswho wins and who loses. Any particular policy alternative, including organizational alternatives, is linked with differing probabilities to distributions of money, or power, or deference, or stress. The emphasis on distributional conse-

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quences clearly adds richness to collective outcomes and aids explanatory work on the processes and sensitivity to treatments of the political activity from which they flow. Sixthj the professional assumes that most policy problems involve conflicts about what are high stakes at least for some of the participants. Accordingly, he or she performs research and analysis fully expecting: (a) tough scrutiny to discredit the conclusions reached; (b) adaptive actions by those adversely affected to foil the policy options which emerge by blocking their choice or their impact; and (c) attempts to exploit the analysis beyond its intellectual merits as a tactical instrument in political conflict. By anticipating such a harsh fate, the professional develops and presents research and analysis in ways which protect the continuing validity of the conclusions and hinder unwarranted use of them. The professional posture and workstyle can be summarized in one phrase: explicating hard choices. Political life abounds with devices and tacit agreements to slide over hard choices between valued outcomes, between resources for one program and another, between ideals about how the policy process ought to be conducted and about the results it ought to produce. Even when such choices are made, their implications are usually masked. And even when their expected implications are displayed, their actual consequences as implemented may well be obscure. To a disconcertingly similar extent, life in research and analysis communities abounds with a plentitude of masks which obscure hard choices between different technical principles, the implications of those chosen, and the extent to which their conclusions and approaches look disappointing in retrospect. For both cultures, there is a premium on the reduction of anxiety and the downplaying of limits to information and wisdom. And there is a curious tendency in both policy and analysis cultures to give little explicit attention to the intense internal politics of each. These habits and tendencies are common to all of us. Hopefully the professional orientations discussed above can in limited ways help to lessen their costs for public policy and the study of politics. Thought of in these terms, it is not surprising to see that much in the orientation stressed above is not new. In times of collective dissatisfaction it is perhaps normal for American political scientists to turn more towards policy. The "newness" of the orientation above is not a very interesting issue. What is important to note is the positive role it can play with regard to the development of political science theory and methodology and the important role it gives to the student of politics in the analysis of policy. With respect to theory and methodology, it helps us formulate what we want "theories of. . ." by focusing on collective outcomes and their attain-

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merit. We have then ground for a theory-building agenda other than that of a problem's tractability to an available deductive apparatus. The orientation encourages focused theoretical attack on particular limiting assumptions in contrast with precise refinements within the boundaries of existing assumptions. Further, the concern with process and dynamics over time encourages theoretical efforts which go beyond comparative statics and black-box treatments of political phenomena which eliminate from their purview purposeful human action. With regard to methodology, the orientation demands techniques which improve our ability to recognize uncertainty, to work with scant data from biased sources, and to clarify the variance of possible outcomes. This demand may provide a useful balance to frequently heard calls for methods which relegate uncertainty to a back burner, exploit rich data from objective sources, and produce point estimates of central tendencies. Under this orientation, the study of politics may not take command of policy analysis. But it surely plays a much larger role than the recently familiar ones of designing implementation procedures and staffs or providing canned data bases and data manipulation software to public agencies. By placing policies in the context of ongoing and changing political calendars, rosters of participants, distributions of valued monetary and nonmonetary goods, and political conflicts about fundamental values and mundane perquisites, we call for students of politics to shape policy analysis strategies and applications. From these perspectives, policy analysis and political science badly need each other. The Interventionist Synthesis: Heinz Eulau, Stanford University The new public policy is the old public administration in a refurbished wardrobe. "It may be," a friendly critic of the field points out(Schick, 1975, p. 167), "that the principal differences between public administration and public policy relate to style and freshness.... The policy approach shares public administration's positive thinking about government.... It retains the old promise that research and science can produce governmental rationality. It comes with none of the encumbrances of public administration." Does it really? As in the old public administration, it seems to me, there is in the new public policy the same simplistic quest for the technological fix, the same whimsical choice of topical issues, the same self-deception about possible influence on governmental decision making, the same emphasis on an in-

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nocuous reformist theory, the same untrustworthy trust in the "case" as a source of insight and, above all, the same anti-intellectual attitude toward basic or theoretical research. At the hard end of things, one writer is merely more candid than others when he writes that "policy research which is not oriented toward human purposes is inadequate. The internal standards of a discipline are inadequate guidelines for making research choices and encourage perpetuation of fraudulent academic claims on scarce resources. . .. Policy research which has no policy implications is simply a drain on public resources which the academic community can ill afford" (Johnson, 1975, pp. 177-8). What is worthwhile to investigate is not a function of theoretical considerations that make for the long-term building of a respectable and respected political science; it is dictated by ideological and financial considerations congenial to the political interests. At the soft end, there is a good deal of plain fakery about the new public policy: almost anything goes by prefixing the noun "policy" (as if it were a concrete property of the thing identified). If once one spoke of "political decision," one now speaks of "policy decision;" if once one analyzed "issue voting," one now analyzes "policy voting;" if once one thought of "social problems," one now thinks of "policy problems;" if once one studied "budget outlays," one now studies, "policy outputs;" and so on ad nauseam, After a decade of writing about "public policy" nobody seems to know what the new dispensation is all about. This symposium is symptomatic. Alas, the easy substitution of "policy" for "political" is a clue. What is attempted as a differentiation in reality is only a differentiation in language. There is no such differentiation in French where politique (politics) is politique (policy), or in German where Politik (politics) is Politik (policy). The use of a single term in these languages suggests that there is no politics apart from policy and no policy apart from politics. The differentiation that can be made is analytic and does not refer to something concrete. It does not follow, however, as some would argue, that there is a different kind of political process with every kind of policy. This fragmentalist view is untenable because it ignores the various levels of abstraction on which scientific investigations may be conducted. There are generic processes of politics or policy-making that are discoverable quite independently of particular substantive issues. If there is a difference between the new public policy and the old public administration, it is that the former is more hysterical than the latter. Doomsday is written over much that goes as the new policy analysis. But the prophetic impulse is no substitute for intellectual clarity. While the old public

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administration was an intellectual wasteland suffering from undue constriction of scope, theory, and method, the new public policy is an intellectual jungle swallowing up with unbounded voracity almost anything, but which it cannot give disciplinedby which I mean theoretically enlightenedattention. It was partly against the specious scientism and naive reformism of the old public administration (and political science generally) that the pragmatic, interventionist political science of the behavioral persuasionwhat Harold D. Lasswell calls "policy science"had been directed. "The basic emphasis of the policy approach," Lasswell (1951, p. 8) wrote in an early formulation "is upon the fundamental problems of man in society, rather than on the topical issues of the moment." His was a long-range program of intervention in the political process. With a few exceptions (Easton, 1950; Eulau, 1958; Horwitz, 1962; Barton, 1969; Merelman, 1976), this aspect of behavioral political science has eluded critical attention.1 Although scientific interventionism was implicit in the political science of Charles E. Merriam (see Karl, 1974), it was explicitly articulated by Lasswell as early as 1930: "The problem of politics is less to solve conflicts than to prevent them; less to serve as a safety valve for social protest than to apply social energy to the abolition of recurrent sources of strain in society." This redefinition of politics, Lasswell continued, "may be called the idea of preventive politics." Once so defined, the role of the political scientist is eminently clear: "Our problem is to be ruled by the truth about the conditions of harmonious human relations, and the discovery of the truth is an object of specialized research; it is no monopoly of people as people, or of the ruler as ruler." Just as the medical practitioner intervenes in the interest of the individual person, so the political scientistthe term "policy scientist" is of later vintageintervenes in the interest of the human collectivity. This intervention leads the political scientist into the "field," into contact with the people not just to find out what they want but what they need, for "people are poor judges of their own interest" (Lasswell, 1930, p. 197). Space limitations do not permit me to present the interventionist argument in detail. Suffice it to say that by 1950 Lasswell had pretty much developed the general view of what he sometimes calls "policy science," sometimes "policy approach." The choice of the term "policy science" has
1 For other aspects of Lasswell's multifaceted view of the enterprise, see Lipsky, 1955; Eulau, 1968; Greenstein, 1968; Rogow, 1969. Lasswell's own writings are numerous. For those most germane to the argument concerning intervention, see especially Lasswell, 1963; Rubenstein and Lasswell, 1966.

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always struck me as unfortunate because it conceals the breadth and depth of the intellectual synthesis proposed by Lasswell. Given its indebtedness to the experimental pragmatism of James, Dewey, and Mead, one might better call it "policy pragmatics." Scientific intervention proper-the discovery of conditions, causes, and consequences-is only one among several intellectual tasks which also include the clarification of goals, the identification of trends, the creation of constructs of the future, and the making of decisions concerning alternatives that promise optimal achievement of societal preferences. The battery of these five tasks is remarkable because, the term "policy science" notwithstanding, no scientific claims are made except for the one task clearly designated as scientific. The Lasswellian synthesis removes the ambiguity attached to scientific investigation in the political or policy context. In that context, scientific inquiry is a form of intervention but not of advocacy. The distinction between intervention and advocacy is critical. The function of advocacy is performed by two other intellectual tasks in the synthesisgoal-setting and decision making. Similarly, the problem of historicity is handled by trendthinking and the provision of developmental constructs. As an intervener in the political or policy process, the political or behavioral scientist is expected to bring maximal objectivity to bear on his investigations. To achieve this objectivity his primary commitment is to the canons of science. Although scientific investigation is not unrelated to the four other intellectual tasks of the synthesis, it can proceed relatively unencumbered by considerations derived from the philosophy of science. Lasswell would probably agree with a remark by Clifford Geertz (1973, p. 5), the anthropologist, that "if you want to understand what a science is, you should look in the first instance not at its theories or its findings, and certainly not at what its apologists say about it; you should look at what the practitioners of it do." Yet, the synthetic perspective locates the scientific component in the total context of the interventionist program and does not treat it as if it had to carry all alone the whole burden of political or policy analysis. By recognizing that scientific investigation follows rules and warranties of its own, the synthetic view of policy pragmatics frees the behavioral scientist from concern with problems not amenable to scientific investigation but simultaneously sensitizes him to the relevant context and nonscientific strategies. The requirements of an interventionist program of policy analysis are thus manifold. In what I call the "consultative commonwealth " - a developmental construct-skill specialists in the five intellectual tasks of policy pragmatics are guided by "professional norms and modes of conduct [that] are acknowledged components of individual and collective choice making, at the level of

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both policy and administration" (Eulau, 1973, p. 189). The political scientist's contributions to the entire interventionist program is, therefore, limited. His particular responsibility is to make available a body of valid and reliable knowledge from which biases and other sources of error have been removed as much as possible. This view of policy science or, as I prefer to think of it, policy pragmatics, is very different from some current conceptions of the political scientist's role in policy analysis.
The Proper Domain of Policy Analysis: Martin Landau,

University of California, Berkeley * I suppose that the question before usWhat is Policy Analysis?has been stimulated by the fact that policy analysis is an exceedingly popular enterprise these days. It is "relevant," is nurtured by government and foundation alike, and possesses a high technology which makes it all the more appealingif not glamorous. The rather voluminous literature which has appeared in recent years is an indication of the popularity of this mode of address. It certainly is the "in thing" and is deserving of some comment. I Any reading of the literature on "policy" makes it abundantly dear that it is not a well-defined concept. Nor is there evident that kind of extensional definition which points to discrete behaviors easily recognized by those who work the area. The concept, as Max Born might say, is not decidable: were we to invite those colleagues heavily invested in policy analysis to define the term, the distribution of responses would be such as to indicate that there is no standard rule of usage which would help us identify an instance of policy. The lack of such a rule allows for a wide range of use within which policy analysis is seen as a subset of the concept political, as co-extensive with this concept, as extending to other dimensions (inter-disciplinary), or as a means of mounting an integrated attack on social problems. Alternatively, there are those who treat policy as a matter of valueas a statement of fundamental principle; those who restrict the term to strategy, design, or program; and those for whom the term comprehends values, goals, and means. Debates on policy per se frequently seem to be matters of issue, but more often than not they are semantic differences. If this is a correct reading of the literature,
*I wish to thank the Center For Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences for supplying me with so splendid an opportunity to work.

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then policy itself denotes a "fuzzy set," and its analysis is more scientific in its trappings than in its substance.

There are those who proclaim policy analysis to be a new specialization, a new field: in political science, a new subfield. This stands as a curiosity. The goal of policy analysis is the solution of practical problems. Because of this objective, it cannot recognize the limits of any field established for purposes of analysis. By its nature, it must follow its problems wherever they go. It cannot ignore anything that may be relevant to a solution. To the policy analyst, then, the entire attention span and the whole of the operational domain of political science would only be the beginning. For public policy, vast and complicated as it has become, reaches into every substantive area of life. And to be faithful to his objective, the policy analyst would soon have to engulf all of social science and a hell of a lot of hard technology to boot. With so extensive a domain of inquiry, the enterprise is bound to be disordered. In the post-World War II period the then new public administration took as its domain of inquiry the entire range of governmental policy. This was rationalized as a corrective to an "iniquitous" policy-ad ministration dichotomy which was seen as the foundation of a then developing theoretical science of administrative behavior. The latter was deemed to be abstract, distant from the real troubles of mankind, andin some cases-simply whoring after the natural sciences. The slogan of this campaign, not at all unfamiliar to us today, was "the purer the science, the less it is relevant." Debate, as might be expected, was acrimonious, and centered on the complementary concepts of discipline and field. Alas, what would now have to be called the old public policy simply could not sustain itself as a distinctive field. Unable to maintain any appreciable degree of disciplined and systematic effort, it soon fell prey to that type of introspective analysis which signals an identity crisis. Articles, many written by the faithful and appearing with increasing frequency, lamented the lack of a controlled focus, the absence of theoretical power, a research that was random and scattered, and a scope of inquiry so broad as to defy classificationin short, the intellectual disorder of the enterprise. Today's public policy cannot be any more successful. No field of inquiry, no specialization, can be built upon an unrestricted and indefinite domain. And in the case of public policy analysis, the odds are even less: for policy analysts cannot be autonomous in the selection of problems to study; many of the problems they are called upon to deal with are, as Aivin Weinberg puts it, "trans-scientific;" and they are necessarily and legitimately subject to

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political and social constraints that would be deemed outrageous interventions in any academic discipline or theoretical science. If we are to make sense of policy analysis, it would be well to conceive of it as applied social science. And it would be even better to remember that it is the findings of a theoretical science that ace to be applied.

As regards policy itself, the general ambiguity of this concept does not obscure one cardinal propecty that all of its variable uses have in commona policy proposal is attended by risk or uncertainty. That is, all policies belong to the class of unverified propositions. Policies are hypotheses. A policy proposes an intervention to alter some existing circumstance or mode of conduct. If well formulated, it will contain a description of the desired state condition and the set of means which promise to realize that condition (i.e., to attain its goals). It should be clear, thus, that policy proposals engage the future tense: they fall into that tense. The object of any policy proposal is to control and direct future courses of actionwhich is the only action that is subject to control. Accordingly, they are assertions of fact of the if-then form, and the one thing we know about them is that their truth value has not been determined. All policies, therefore, carry with them some probability of error and cannot be accepted as correct a priori. I should note that whether a policy proposal is engineered, or the outcome of a bargain, or the result of conflict, or the product of historical forces, or whateverits epistemological status is not altered. It remains hypothetical. I may extend this by suggesting that when a policy proposal is carefully and fully formulated, it can be taken as a theory. Just as a scientific theory serves to reduce the surprise value of its empirical domain, so a policy serves to order its task domain. If it is successful (i.e., correct), it will produce no surpriseeverything will proceed as plannedwhich, of course, would be a singular rarity. In science itself, all theories and hypotheses ace regarded as risky actors; all are deemed to be ecror prone. And that apparatus which we refec to as scientific methodology has only one function-to pcevent and eliminate error. This, in my view, is the primary task of policy analysis. Elsewhere,1 I have dealt with this problem at some lengthand there is no real point in cehearsing my discussion of the ways in which policies and programs may be held accountable. It should suffice to say now that the
"On the Concept af a Self-Correcting Organization," Public Administration Review 33 (1973): 533-552.
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notion of accountability which derives from this conception of policy is empiricalnot ideological or representational. Our tendency is to treat policies as matters of value, not as empirical claims. This is especially to be noted where a policy is rather complex. In fact, the more complex a policy, the more difficult it is to assess its truth value. In such a circumstance, we tend to make our judgments on the basis of ideological factorsit is easier to do this than to suspend judgment, especially when there is a demand for a decision. But a reliance on ideological factors enables rationalization to displace validationa form of displacement fully as ubiquitous as goal displacement. Fixed a priori commitment to a particular policy involves a commitment as to its correctness, and effectivenessin advance of knowledge. The enemy here, as in science, is dogma. It is subjective certainty masking objective uncertainty. It is the failure to understand that every policy contains an objective content which is only one choice out of many. It is that kind of stance, so common and so understandable, that "imputes to a policy the merit of its motives." We need, however, to consider the error potential of any policy. In the first instance, it requires a description of the condition to be acted upon. Any such description must contain assumptions as to causation and, therefore, presupposes an explanation. All of which is clearly problematical. Then there is the proposed solution which of necessity incorporates a presumptively valid explanation as well as the statement of the goal. Here, I might note, feasibility studies which are limited to the goal are obviously incomplete, since its attainment may not erase the undesired condition. It may turn out to be causally irrelevant; it may yield untoward second order effects. And third, there is the problem of instrumentation, of selecting the appropriate methodology. The selection of a course of action is a function of knowledgea knowledge of causation, and is rather similar to the selection of a therapy. The diagnosis may be correct, the cure may be recognizable, but the therapy may be wrong, risky, or a "missing goal." And even if correct, there is the matter of administration, what we now call implementationfor the manner in which it is executed can vitiate a program when everything else has been anticipated correctly. This is the ground for my conception of policy analysis. Policy analysis is the search for error all along the way. It is not a field in the usual academic senseunless we wish to say that the study of error is a specialty. I do not. I would much rather say that its task, as regards any policy, is to probe in the interest of error prevention and to learn in the interest of error correction. This is what Kenneth Boulding calls the "institutionalization of disappointment"a system of criticism which permits policies to be tested in such

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manner as to enable a self-correct ing capacity. Those aspects of policy analysis which partake of this spirit should be preserved and extended: the rest should be cast aside.

Is Policy Analysis a Case Study? Charles 0. Jones, University of Pittsburgh

I very much like this puzzling question for the clarification it demands and the issues it raises. Surely no one can see such a question and not react by asking "What on earth does it mean?" And that leads us to a dialogue on two important, yet misunderstood, concepts. But certain issues are joined, too. In particular, the question invites us to consider the connections, if any, between what we do as scientists and what we do as analysts. These brief remarks are directed primarily toward clarification of concepts so that we might better understand our roles. Let's begin with the case study. Surely we can get quick agreement on what it constitutes. In general, the case study has been described as limited in time, scope, methods, decision making focus, and comparative base. From this description, it would appear that The American Voter is a case study and American Business and Public Policy is not. Yet, of course, the latter is called a case study, and the former has seldom, to my knowledge, been so labeled. So let's go to another interpretation of case study-that it concentrates on some aspect on public policy, as distinct from some aspect of political behavior. By this criterion American Business and Public Policy is a case study because it deals with trade policy. The American Voter is not because it deals with voting behavior in some presidential elections. But wait a minute. Is not political behavior important for public policy? Do not some political scientists seek to generalize about the policy implications of voter participation and decision? Conversely, are students of policy issues not interested as well in the political roots of decision making? Perhaps it is a matter of research method. Often it seems that the case study is characterized by "inferior" research methods. It is not truly "scientific." It is not primarily quantitatively-based. Yet, there is no reason to believe that rigorous scientific methods in problem definition, data collection, and data analysis cannot be employed for accomplishing any of the goals stated above. Another type of judgment which may distinguish the case study from other types of scholarship would be this: the case study focuses on a single issue, whereas other studies cut across issues. The advantage of the latter is, of

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course, that of increased generalizability. Yet single issue analysis may in fact involve in-depth probing of multiple decision points from the definition of a problem to feedback on policy and evaluation of effects. Multiple issue analysis, on the other hand, may only focus on one decision pointe.g., voter understanding at election time. Obviously, the matter of generalizability depends on what one is trying to do. Clearly it is just as unacceptable to generalize vertically from a horizontal base of analysis as it is to generalize horizontally from a vertical base of analysis. Leaving unresolved for the moment the matter of just what a case study is, let us turn now to policy analysis. Elsewhere I have identified a number of interpretations of the term "policy analysis" (Jones, I975a,b). There is no need to repeat those here. Suffice it to say that the perspectives will differ depending very much on who is asking what to be done. This is the essence of the distinction between discipline research and policy research identified by James Coleman (1972). It is one thing for the scholar to identify an important policy topic and demand of himself/herself that research be done. It is quite another matter for the decision maker to identify an important policy topic to be researched, and ask a scholar to participate in that research. A further distinction can be made where the decision maker requests research and analysis from an employee of the organization. Clearly, we have with these three situations possibly and potentially important differences in motivation, focus, approach, methods, time-table, scope, and results. And these differences may appear even if the central issue is the same in all three instances. Further, a distinction may also have to be made among the contributions of these various types of study and research. It is quite conceivable that the self-starting researcher may produce a contribution to policy analysis and the sponsored or directed researcher may not. The maxim, "Gold is where you find it" is as applicable to the political decision maker as it is to anyone else. Vet another complication in specified policy analysis is the matter of what distinguishes it from other kinds of analysis. Must it only treat substantive questions? Are policy process questions also significant for policy analysis? Is policy analysis limited to single-issue questions? Or might it not encompass a number of issues and decisions? Is policy analysis limited to particular methods? Time periods? Decision points? These begin to sound very much like the questions asked of the case study. And so let's begin again. "Is Policy Analysis a Case Study?" It is now possible to answer that question with a very definite "maybe." It clearly depends on what one means by each of the terms. Well, that does not take us very far. But the advantage of the exercise is not in finding an answer; rather it's in the

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looking. For in the search for meaning, we discover that both terms confuse as much as they clarify. They have developed in common usage to describe quite uncommon sets of activity. What the question leads us to conclude is that much more interesting and useful classifications must be developed. For examplej research and analysis could be distinguished by some of the following criteria (American Political Science Association, 1973; Jones, 1975a,b): A. Data Base 1. Aggregate statistics within limited time period 2. Aggregate statistics over time 3. Interviewelites 4. Interviewsystematic sample survey 5. Interviewunsystematic sample 6. Documents 7. Secondary materials 8. Otherobservation, mail questionnaire; indexes B. Data Analysis 1. Primarily quantitative 2. Primarily nonquantitative 3. Comparative between time periods 4. Comparative between units a. cities, counties, metropolitan areas b. states and/or regions c. interest groups d. populations e. political parties f. countries g. miscellaneous governmental units 5. Comparative between issues 6. Not primarily comparative C. Explanatory Goal 1. Process 2. Outputs 3. Budgets 4. Characteristics of units 5. Intergovernmental relations 6. Perceptions of decision makers 7. Attitudes important for policy D. Policy Subject 1. Single-issue

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2. Cross-sectional 3. No special issue emphasis E. Intended Contribution 1. General knowledge (process or substance) 2. Decision making (process or substance) F. Effects of Research 1. Disciplinary 2. Public policy (process or substance) Once we have begun to distinguish among research efforts by these criteria, we will be in a much better position to analyze contributions to the discipline and to political decision making. If in some small way these remarks contribute to that purpose, they will have accomplished their aim. The Medical Metaphor: Robert Axelrod, The University of Michigan Policy science is aimed at improving human welfare, just as medical science is aimed at improving human health. The concept of "welfare" need not be precisely defined in order for policy researchers to advance the conduct of public policy, just as "health" need not be precisely defined in order of medical researchers to advance the conduct of medical practice. This utilitarian conception of policy science has a number of implications for the conduct of policy analysis. 1. Policy research is inherently interdisciplinary. It must take advantage of such fields as economics, psychology, and sociology as well as political science. This is just as medical science needs to take advantage of knowledge gained in chemistry and physics as well as biology. But beyond the use of traditional disciplines, there is now an emerging sense of a common set of paradigms, questions, and tools beginning to develop for policy science, and this will probably continue. Conceivably there will even be a shared core curriculum for policy analysts just as there is now a shared core curriculum for medical researchers who get the M.D. degree. 2. Policy science includes fundamental as well as applied research. In medical science, some of the most important work currently being done involves DNA and the molecular basis of reproduction. It is not clear whether the applications of this basic research will be in the curing of cancer the improvement of genetic counseling, the identification of dangerous substances, or the prevention of inherited diseases. Likewise, fundamental research in the social sciences is an important part of policy science. Thus research into topics such as attitude change can have greater value, even if it is not clear in advance whether the applications of a specific project will be to

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aid a voter to understand the appeals being directed at the public, or to aid a President in making a more sophisticated foreign policy decision in time of crisis. The unremitting insistence on research with a clear and immediate application is a serious mistake, and the generally undistinguished work for NSF's Research Applied to National Needs (RANN) is just an example of this.1 3. While policy research need not be applied to be promising, there are two principles that can be kept in mind concerning the potential value from a policy point of view of a given theory. One principle is that ceteris paribus a causal theory is more useful than a correlational description. Thus, as a guide to action, it is more useful to know that smoking causes cancer than it is to know only that smokers tend to get more cancer than nonsmokers. The second principle is that the usefulness of a theory will be increased if its independent variables are subject to control, and if its dependent variables are of social significance. Thus it is more useful to know whether or not violence on television increases violence on the streets than it is to know whether or not comets cause sheep to blink. A caution is in order here, since what may appear to the untrained eye as a mere curiosity can in fact hold the key to the discovery or verification of an important and fundamental theory. Fossils can help inspire a theory of evolution, and the low suicide rates of Jews in 19th century France can provide strong support for a theory of social alienation.2 4. Policy science can be aimed at improving human welfare and still be scientific. This is where the analogy with medicine is most revealing. A researcher can devote his or her life to the amelioration of suffering, and precisely because of this devotion maintain the highest standards of objectivity in the evaluation of a given experimental drug. Obviously a policy scientist may have a favorite theory, or a favorite policy, or even a favorite candidate. But that need not prevent him or her from expanding the range of our scientifically based knowledge.3 5. We should be aware of the tendency to conceptualize a field too narrowly in practice, even if we define it broadly in principle. For example, most medical doctors tend to think of themselves as treating disease. This
See the report of the Simon Committee, "Social and Behavioral Programs in the National Science Foundation," (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1976), pp. 70-79. 2 See Arthur Stinchcambe's discussion of Durkheim in Constructing Social Theories (N.V.: Harcourt, Brace, 1968), pp. 24-28. 3 It is well to heat in mind, however, that personal preferences, intellectual fashions, and economic incentives will affect whether a given topic is studied or ignored. These factors will also affect how much proof is required to attain acceptance of a given explanation.
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often has the effect of their waiting for the patient to come to them with a problem, and has the consequent effect of an under emphasis on the potential of preventive medicine and public health measures. Likewise, too many policy scientists tend to think in terms of what economists call "consumer sovereignty," This has the effect of their taking the preferences of individuals as given, and has the consequent effect of an underemphasis on the potential of leadership, persuasion, and education. Of course there are also important differences between policy science and medical science. The state of the art of policy science is certainly not as advanced as the state of the art of medical science. But the recent advances in such policy related fields as econometrics, voting behavior, and experimental social psychology suggest that progress in the social sciences will proceed at an accelerating pace. A more profound difference arises from the fact that in medicine a disagreement about goals is the exception rather than the rule. In public policy, however, disagreement about goals is intrinsic. Therefore, the analysis of policy must include not only a scientific study of the consequences of alternative choices, but also a humanistic study of what should be sought and why.
REFERENCES

The Interventionist Synthesis: Heinz Eulau Barton, Weldon V. 1969. Toward a policy science of democracy. Journal of Politics, 31 (February 1969): 32-51. Easton, David. 1950, Harold Lasswell; Policy scientist for a democratic society. Journal of Politics, 12(August 1950): 450-77. Eulau, Heinz. 1958. H. D. LasswelTs developmental analysis. Western Political Quarterly, 11 (June 1958): 229-42. 1968. The maddening methods of Harold D. Lasswell: Some philosophical underpinnings. Journal of Politics, 30 (February 1968): 3-24. 1973. Skill revolution and consultative commonwealth. American Political Science Review, 67 (March 1973): 169-91. Geertz, Clifford. 1973. The interpretation of cultures. New York: Basic Books. Greenstein, Fred I. 1968. Harold D. Lasswell's concept of democratic character. Journal of Politics, 30 (November 1968): 696-709. Horwitz, Robert. 1962. Scientific propaganda: Harold D. Lasswell. In Herbert J. Storing, ed., Essays on the scientific study of politics. New York: Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, pp. 225-304.

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Johnson, Ronald W. 1975. Research objectives for policy analysis. In Kenneth Dolbeare, ed., Public policy evaluation. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, pp. 75-92. Karl, Barry. 1974. Charles E. Merriam and the study of politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Lasswell, Harold D. 1930. Psychopathology andpolitics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1951. The policy orientation. In Daniel Lerner and Harold D. Lasswell, eds., The policy sciences. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press. 1963. The future of political science. New York: Atherton Press. Iipskyj George A. 1955. The theory of international relations of Harold D. Lasswell. Journal of Politics, 17 (February 1955): 43-58. Merelman, Richard M. 1976. On interventionist behavioralism: An essay in the sociology of knowledge. Politics and Society, 6 (1976): 57-78. Rogow, Arnold A. (ed.), 1969. Politics, personality, and social sciences in the twentieth century: Essays in honor of Harold D. Lasswell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Rubenstein, Robert, and Harold D. Lasswell. 1966. The sharing of power in a psychiatric hospital. New Haven: Yale University Press. Schick, Allen. 1975. The trauma of politics: Public administration in the sixties. In Frederick C. Masher, ed., American public administration: Past, present, future. University, Alabama: University of Alabama Press, pp. 142-80. Is Policy Analysis a Case Study? Charles O. Jones. American Political Science Association. 1973. Political science and state and local government. Washington, D.C.: American Political Science Association. Bauer, Raymond A., Ithiel de Sola Pool, and Lewis A. Dexter. 1963. American business and public policy. New York: Atherton. Campbell, Angus; Philip E. Converse; Warren E. Miller; and Donald E. Stokes. I960. The American voter. New York: Wiley. Coleman, James. 1972. Policy research in the social sciences. Norristown, N.J.: General Learning Press. Jones, Charles O. 1975a. Policy analysis, political science, and public administration. Paper delivered at the National Conference on Public Administration) Chicago, Illinois. 1975b. Policy analysis: Academic utility for practical rhetoric. Paper delivered at the Midwest Political Science Association meeting, Chicago, Illinois.