.What is contributed to public policy analysis by Wayne Parson

By Hamid Bohloli 

Parsons (1995) offers a broad discussion about public policy analysis models and theories and suggests that `Policy analysis is an approach to public policy that aims to integrate and contextualize models and research from those disciplines which have a problem and policy orientation’ (p. XV). He has built his reference book `Public Policy: an introduction to the theory and practice of policy analysis’ on four main pedestals sections from one to four are `Meta analysis’, `Meso Analysis’, `Decision Analysis’ and `Delivery Analysis’ respectively. Because this categorising could play a core role in distinguishing of public policy processes theories from each other let me, to sum up main preferences of these accounts:

۱) Meta analysis is in whole an `analysing analysis’ which Parsons (1995) explains it as: ‘Meta analysis is analysis concerned with the activity of analysis, in another sense, Meta analysis is concerned with understanding the idea that analysis of public policy proceeds by employing metaphors: we analyse by describing something in terms of something else. Public policy, as other forms of political analysis, uses metaphors or methods as devices to explore the `unknown’ (Landau, 1991: 353) and possibly unknowable world of politics. The choice is, as Landau observes, not between models and no models, but an open and `hygienic’ use so as to form a critical awareness of their assumptions, origins, and significance'(p.1).

۲) `Meso analysis is the analysis of problem definition, agenda setting and the formation of policy’ (Parsons 1995, p.85) which has framed relevant theories to policy analysis in policy process with a problem-focused inquiry and `improving the quality of policy’ (Hill 1997, p.2) .Read more ›