Incrementalism

Authored by: Michael Hayes

Routledge Handbook of Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415782456
eBook ISBN: 9780203097571
Adobe ISBN: 9781136223259

10.4324/9780203097571.ch22

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Abstract

Incrementalism is a pluralistic process of policy-making involving mutual adjustment among multiple actors who typically disagree on objectives and start off from very different conceptions of the problem at hand. Incomplete knowledge and time constraints limit attention to alternatives differing only marginally (incrementally) from previous policies. The necessity for bargaining and compromise virtually assures incremental outcomes. Major policy change will occur gradually, if at all, as experience with policies generates demands for modification or expansion in subsequent policy cycles.

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