INTRODUCTION:The policy-makers perceptions and thinking,guided by his/her values, culminate indecisions to act or not to act.
To make up one’s mind. To engage deliberately in choosing one alternative from the other in the hope, expectation, or belief that the actions envisioned in carrying out the selected alternative will attain certain desired goals. It is goal directed.
“The seed of a decision rest in the deciders initial awareness of dissatisfaction”• Dissatisfaction: ~ stirs the decider to seek out alternatives toward exerting degrees of control over the environment to attain the desired future.
• Decision-making is the most critical of critical junctures. It either ignites action, which may succeed or fail, or choose to forego it.• The deficiencies and uncertainties of decision- making, the imperfect attacks it levies on public problems and the partial results it commands, and its serial progression from one step to the next underscore the value of longitudinal studies of policy development to demonstrate that the ingredients of decision emerge and come together gradually and disconnectedly.
“ A ready illustration of the utility of the longitudinal approach is provided by land-use policy”.Land is intertwined with everyone’s life.1. It gives sustenance.2. shapes the quality of neighborhood and community.3. Provides a foundation of human sovereignty, embodying one’s right to use it for one’s owned determined purpose.
What is Land-use Policy?• It is where the needs of the community clash with those of the owner, necessitating choices between their respective rights and interests. ~The thing about Land-use policy:It is seldom settled definitively all at oncebut is a dynamic, continuously evolvingprocess.
CASE STUDY: THE ADIRONDACK PARKBACKGROUND:The Adirondack Park of New York State is the largest of its kind in the country.Larger than New Hampshire and Massachusetts.A paradox of grand forest, 2,000 lakes, and 6,000 miles of rivers and streams.Created in 1892, subsequently enlarges by the New York legislature.Land Area: 6 million acres.It is both privately (3.7 million acres) and publicly owned.
“What follows is a longitudinal account ofefforts to adjust a public policy concept to changing circumstances.”
STAGE ONE: THE CLASH OF CONCEPTSBACKGOUND:o By mid-nineteenth century, the status of the Adirondacks as a pristine forest was in jeopardy.o Ruthless plundering of lumbermen had become common place.o Swaths of clear-cutting lay waste to thousands of acres, and the remaining limbs and brush invited fires.o The rising demand for paper made wholesale timber cutting for wood pulp irresistibly profitable.o Flooded by vacationers, hunters, and fishermen and increasingly they were becoming a resort for notables, with estates and luxurious camps owned by New Yorks wealthiest financiers and industrialists.
PROBLEM(Proposals): Preservationist: Envisioned a park where wilderness or natural forest would be kept intact. Competing proposal: Adirondack should be managed essentially as a farm for raising and cutting of timber, scientifically planted and harvested to obtain optimal yields, while preserving the earth and its riches for future generation VS. Preservationist: Natural forest could no longer remain a wilderness with its unique values if it were over to selective cutting and replanting
STAGE TWO: THE EXERCISE OF CHOICEBACKGROUND(Choice-making conveyed is crucial):o In the convention to revise the Constitution (1894), the preservationist groups combined to approve a proposed amendment to the constitution mandating that the park and forest preserves “shall be forever kept as wild forest lands.”—mightiest argument was for the safeguarding of the water supply where the other parts of the state depended.
PROBLEM (Hostile opinion by the Adirondack counties): “When we consider the amount of employment afforded by the lumber industry, the thousands of saw mills, tanneries, pulp and paper mills and factories of all kinds of giving labor to hundreds of thousands of poor people and that all this is to be stopped to afford a deer par and fishing ground for a few wealthy pleasure-seekers to air their smoke- dried anatomies is an injustice, the boldness of which is astonishing.”
STAGE THREE: CONTEXTUAL CHANGE NECESSITATES NEW CHOICESBACKGROUND:o Advent of automobiles—enabling thousands upon thousands of people to visit the Adirondacks.o The “forever wild” amendment changed rapidly and drastically, consequently the wilderness concept had to be adjusted in accordance to the new realities.o The flood of humanity imperiled wealthy landowners whose estates were situated within the wilderness and whose privacy and enjoyment would presumably be protected by the wilderness concept ,accordingly they joined in common defense by organizing Association for the Protection of the Adirondacks.—became the most efficient watchdog of the region.
• Because of a destructive floods in 1902, legislature created a Water Storage Commission, which urged that dams be constructed throughout the state.• Scientific forestry enthusiasts joined this cry.• A constitutional amendment was promoted to permit flooding of portions of the forest reserve for the storing of the water to bolster the drinking supply of downstate cities and as a step toward exploiting its power.• The lumber, pulp, and paper industries, because of its dependent on water for their activities and acting through the Empire State Forest Products Association, an alliance was formed between them and the scientific forestry groups.
STAGE FOUR: ADAPTIVE CHOICESForces generated by changes in the policyenvironment, by the alignment of interestgroups, and by the advent of fresh problemsnecessitated the making of new adaptivechoices to bring the wilderness concept intoharmony with changing realities and theirpolitics. See Table 5.1 p 126
STAGE FIVE: PERSEVERING WINNERS, RESURGING LOSERSBACKGROUND:o Periodic resurgence of losers has been a common phenomenon in the experience of major public policy developed and revised for many years. “One battle does not win a war”o For the Adirondack ark: contextual change the shifting needs of the communities and their economies, vulnerabilities in the political armor of the victors the emergence of new leadership in the enemy camp the presence in the policy -making processes of many decisions- or choice-making points>>>>>>>>>>>>These encouraged those who lost a policy battle or two to resurge another day for further combat.<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<
STAGE SIX: PROMETHEAN LEADERSHIP: THE AGE OF ROCKEFELLERBACKGROUND:o A new testing faced the preservationist juggernaut with the ascendance to the governorship of Nelson Rockefeller— whose wealth and ties in the world of business and a formidable electoral appeal quickly established him as a powerful chief executive.o His governorship coincided with the proliferation of cars and highways which expanded visits to all parks.o The ceaseless human stampede both imperiled the wilderness concept and raised the paradoxical question of “how can wilderness areas be preserved in the face of ever expanding human visitation?”o Rockefeller took a giant step toward reassessment when he appointed a Temporary Study Commission on the Future of Adirondack with Harold Hochschild as chairman.
• Having a true appreciation of Adirondacks historic beauty, Hochschild nudged Rockefeller away from his inclination to open up the region to massive recreation opportunities.• The commission’s 1970 report stresses that local communities, occupying large areas with small populations, lacked resources to formulate comprehensive planning . As a result, the commission envisioned a partnership between the latter and a new state agency called the Adirondack Park Agency (APA).• Governor Rockefeller fell into line with the commission report, a luminous milestone in the progression of policy triumphs by the preservationist. Where once, through public policy, they told the people WHAT THEY COULD NOT DO ON STATE LAND, they would now tell them WHAT THEY COULD NOT DO ON THEIR OWN LAND.PROBLEM:Most upstaters were outraged by this seemingly brazen grab of power.
STAGE SEVEN: IMPLEMENTATIONBACKGROUND:o The creation of the APA, brought a new testing of the “forever wild” concept. The agency’s mission to tell the local people of what they could and could not do with their own property ignited problem previously unknown to the park and its protectors.o In its task of implementing and planning, APA had problems with simplifying and speeding its application procedures.o The APA legislation created the Local Government Review Board to reduce citizen resentment.o In the 1980 Adirondack poll showed 81 percent of local citizens favored the abolition of the agency, and 95 percent favored its replacement by a local commission of elected officials.
THE NATURE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF DESICISION-MAKING“Decision making encompasses a wide spectrum of human behaviors and their interaction.”
Decisions are made through a process of several basic facets:1. Power - the capacity to focus on selected public problems, to deal with their essence, and to overcome obstacles and eliminate irrelevancies.2. Gathering Information (empirical and intuitive) - quantity and quality sufficient for the demands of the problem being addressed.3. Design - the capacity to formulate plans and models responsive to the problems being confronted and susceptible to effectuation.
Through the basic facets a subset of other elements are made:• Idealism - the ability to select and promote a set of values.• Implementation - the capacity to direct the execution of a plan of action.• Adaptation - readiness to recognize the existence of a problem and to resolve them.• Analysis - continuing adjustment for the information collected and the formulation of decision.
Conflict model of choice depicts decision-making as a battleground that determines not only the policy but also the fate and fortunes of policy makers. A theory of rational choice under conditions of uncertainty is readily applicable to policy makers and their circumstances of limited information and control over a public problem’s environment. Principle of rational choice – each judgment should be independent of the other: policy-makers must not allow what they think might happen to be influenced by what they would like to happen. Rational decision-making is directed toward attaining optimality, that is, toward producing decisions that maximize an explicit, measureable criterion.
2 TYPES OF DECISION:Programmed decisions - are repetitive and routine, follows established rules, precedents, and strategies and focus, on tasks rather than on problem.Non-programmed decisions - is largely novel, addressed to a problem not previously encountered/experienced, and is typically important.
Varieties of Decision “Public Policy decisions differ in structure and scope.”Some varieties encountered include: Single-valued - directed toward achieving only a single objective. Multivalued Decision - requires the ordering of values and determining the distribution of resources for their support.
“Decisions may be produced by individuals and groups and organizations.”The group, which is characteristic of bureaucratized societies, has access to more resources than does the solitary decider.
Patterns of Decision-Making: Democratic Elitism• According to democratic elitism: those endowed with experience and influence make policy. ~ From one perspective, Adirondack Park policy exemplifies policy-making by a democratic eliteConsequently: “forever wild” was not a policy or concept that the elite conservationists alone could define conclusively. At a succession of intervals they had to convince the public of the worthiness of their contentions.The likelihood: the elite prevailed less because of their own prowess than because their messages were attuned to sentiments and forces ascendant in society.
Policy making is confused with incremental change because of such constraints as imperfect knowledge and information, limited human ability to conceive all the possibilities in a complex social problem. Policy Choice as a CommitmentWhether a particular policy choices will be made or implemented effectively depends on the degree of commitment to their respective goals of political leaders, bureaucracies, group representatives and all those participating in a choice-making process. Policy Choice as a ConflictThe act of policy choice is an act of managing conflict.