A diamond in the rough: digging up and polishing Harold D. Lasswell's decision functions
Weible CM, Cairney P & Yordy J (2022) A diamond in the rough: digging up and polishing Harold D. Lasswell's decision functions. Policy Sciences, 55 (1), pp. 209-222. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11077-022-09451-9
As part of Harold D. Lasswell’s policy sciences, the decisions functions emerged to explore and understand comparative policy processes. The decision functions specified different categories of purposes, roles, and responsibilities performed, to various extents and ways, by all governments. These included intelligence, recommendation, prescription, invocation, application, appraisal, and termination. Additionally, the decision functions were not necessarily sequenced or in any government unit. Over time, the decision functions morphed in meaning and use, eventually supplanted by the policy cycle. This commentary digs up and polishes the decision functions and argues for their inclusion in contemporary policy process theories and research. We end with new questions and paths for advancing knowledge and contributing to Lasswell’s vision in realizing greater human dignity.
Policy cycle; Policy sciences; Policy process theories; Human dignity; Political equality
Policy Sciences: Volume 55, Issue 1
|Publication date online||28/02/2022|
|Date accepted by journal||29/01/2022|