Chapter

Using the Politics and Power Approach

Richard Hoefer

in Policy Creation and Evaluation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735198
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918560 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199735198.003.0003

Series: Pocket Guides to Social Work Research Methods

Using the Politics and Power Approach

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The Politics and Power Approach to understanding social policy creation is described and applied to the 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Law. This approach focuses on who wins and who loses based on their relative power resources at different points in the policy process. Introducing a policy process model combined with differential power analysis, this chapter provides readers a way of understanding policy through looking at how influence, persuasion and decision-making are conducted by system insiders and those who want to be on the inside. A discussion of elitist and pluralistic approaches to understanding policy decisions is included as background to the analysis of TANF. These theories are important in that they describe the relative weight of “the people” in the thinking of decision-makers.

Keywords: policy analysis; politics and power model; TANF; social policy; elitism; pluralism

Chapter.  9123 words. 

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