Developing Societies and the Policy Process

The formulation of policy is a process. It is not merely a one-shot program but rather it is a process participated by a number of political actors such as interest groups and organizations in the society, the law or policy-makers and the citizens concerned (Birkland 10). After the deliberation period, the lobbying and the different methods of seeking to influence public policy, the policy itself is generated. The policy output can be described in four ways—distribution, extraction, regulation and symbolic (Almond, et. al. 132).

In developed countries where governmental and social institutions are stable, these outputs are delivered with no major problems. In underdeveloped and developed countries, however, these policy outputs are not easily displayed. There are several reasons that may explain such discrepancy. One of these is the lack of institutionalization in underdeveloped countries. Because the government tends to be centralized and most major decisions tend to be passed on to the government leaders (Converse & Kapstein, 16). In policies that involve distributions of public goods, in underdeveloped countries, there is the presence of cronies of those in power.

Some of these government leaders tend to favor their friends, especially if their powers are enhanced further. In societies that have authoritarian governments whose powers are extensive, the tendency is for economic growth to become the legitimizing factor. Up to a certain degree, these types of government ensure an acceptable level of economic affluence. Although this is the case, public policy tends to favor the ruling elite, and in policies that involves extraction, the ruling elite are saved from such rules.

Lastly, in underdeveloped nations, which have been under colonial rule, symbolic policies cannot be implemented extensively because of the lack of adherence to such symbols. In most cases, public policy in underdeveloped countries is as fragmented as the society is Reference Almond, Gabriel Abraham, G. Bingham Powell, Kaare Strom, Russell J. Dalton, & Gabriela Almod. Comparative Politics Today: A World View. New York: Addison Wesley Longman. Birkland, Thomas A. An Introduction To The Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, And Models Of Public Policy Making. New York: M. E. Sharpe.