Public Choice: assumes people make rational choices and people want more for less. We favor
policy in our best interests.
• An approach that belongs to a main view in the social science: debate of agency vs.
• Some variants, especially when political sociology is included
o Grounded in political economy
• Main approach to public policy in the US
• Views policy as a result of competition, society’s divided into groups who compete to try
to influence policy. The main drivers of policy are groups in society. It looks at all groups.
• Policies the reflection of various groups in society.
• It is difficult for individuals to influence policy other than voting.
• Interests are going to make individuals get together form a group and influence policy.
They make a case in front of parliament. Lobby groups/interest groups.
• The states seen as a repository of these demands. Society places demands on the
• Not only material interests but other issues beyond material issues such as identities.
• Resources are key. The ability of individuals to come together over resources
determines the affect they have over policy. The more you have the more you influence
• In capitalist systems pluralists argue businesses have more influence over policy
especially on economic activity.
• It forces us to look outside of the state.
• Weak players who may be able to influence policy- minority groups get a sympathetic
view, environmental groups
• The separation between state and non-state actors especially in the global south are
blurred where there are weak states.
• Groups outside the state push policy sometimes it is very rigid.
• One of the main criticisms is that it neglects international factors. You have to look at
international dimensions. • You cannot analyze policy without tracing it back and it may be from the international
• Sometimes ideas and values have an influence such as relgion not always about how
much money you have or your res