Is there a third-world policy process?
The introduction to this special issue asks what is distinctive about public policy making in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In field after field, some political scientists have argued for distinguishing Western polities from developing polities, whereas other have argued for inclusive treatment. The essay assesses these divergent perspectives as they relate to public policy making. On the one hand, it is clear that the systemic frameworks of policy - the institutions, participants, resources, the weight of the state relative to the society, and the capacity of the state to work its will - all vary as between developing and Western countries. The same is true for the scope of policy activity, the configuration of issues, and the actual content of policy. On the other hand, the policy process - the constraints, the ripe moments that produce innovation, the tendency for policy to have unanticipated consequences, and so on - appears to display regularities that transcend the categories of Western or Third World state. The essay goes on to explain the divergences of policy in terms of disparate access to resources, levels of economic development, and social patterns. The convergence of process is explained in terms of the deeper exigencies of human problem solving in highly structured contexts. © 1989 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Volume / Issue
Start / End Page
Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)
International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)