What is Policy Network Theory?

This world is evolving everyday. Humans are getting more opinionated and sensitive to social issues. Economy cannot be ignored either. With so many global problems happening at the same time, its fate remains uncertain. What can we say about the prices? Coke no more costs just 5 cents. Technology, on the other hand, is making things convenient for all. They don't affect only the average person on the street, but also government. The trend we have now asks us to have cushion. Failure to respond to this means hurting the mother-ship. This is how government feels. To lessen the damage, it now has to bend and this is where policy network theory does its work.

As we know by now,  every policy has influence from a wide variety of groups such as think tanks, industry lobbyists, media and many more. What about programs? They are not fully in hands of government agencies. Some are contracted out to nonprofit and for profit organizations. Many policies make this a requirement. The reason can be anything ranging from making sure that the right group of people receive the assistance to getting things done in cost efficient manner. So you see, government no more operates on its own. Its role is reduced to being an actor among many actors working on the same goal. This togetherness is called policy network. In a formal way, it can be expressed as the network of main governments, public agencies, private companies, nonprofit organizations, think tanks and citizens. 

Theoretically, policy network is at odds with the concept of old public administration. The main issue is that while the first one emphasizes that power must be dispersed among all those who are involved in making of the policy, the latter depends highly on bureaucratic steps of decision making. As a result, policy network prefers the definition of governance over government. This, however, does not mean an end to the power of this entity. Actually, that would bring anarchy in the system, for when too many groups work together towards one goal without much restriction, competition of power and manipulation become apparent.

Policy network demands government to exercise the power through governance in a way that it encourages shared values and fair choices through facilitation and proper allocation of resources Making of rules and regulation is another thing that needs to be involved in this so that groups within the network do everything in legal way, going in favor of public interest.

No comments:
Write comments