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What are issues or interests that draw people to public policy and policymaking and...

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mtowski | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 1, 2013 at 1:47 PM via web

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What are issues or interests that draw people to public policy and policymaking and what are the implications?

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kipling2448 | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 2, 2013 at 1:16 AM (Answer #1)

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There are many issues or interests that draw individuals to the study of public policy and to its practice in the professional realm.  People are diverse and interested in different subjects.  Those with interests in subjects that involve society at large and the individual's place in that society are those who are likely to devote their lives to public policy.  Public policy can involve the question of affordable health care for all citizens of a country, or it can involve questions of law and order.  Any issue that involves the establishment of a legal framework in which the public welfare is the principle concern constitutes "public policy."

This particular "educator" sought, and enjoyed, a career in public policy emanating from a life-long interest in world affairs and national security.  That interest led to an academic career focused on international affairs -- at the time dominated by the Cold War relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union -- and a subsequent professional career advising members of Congress on foreign policy and national defense.  Many of my colleagues on Capitol Hill were similarly driven to pursue careers in government out of an interest in public policy involving areas like environmental preservation, public health, the government's role (or non-role, depending upon one's perspective) in social issues like reproductive rights, gun control, and so on.  The common denominator was an intense interest in how the government addresses issues of concern to millions of Americans.

Regarding the "implications" of those interests and issues, the question is a little too vague to answer.  To the extent that pursuing academic degrees and professional positions oriented toward the realm of public policy constitutes an implication, than I suppose that would be the answer.

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