Discussion Questions 95

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Policy beliefs shape public policy. These statements of principle are the mantra of advocacy groups, concerned citizens, and other organized entities at legislative hearings and other policymaking events. Over and over again, these groups state their policy beliefs to policymakers in order to influence public policy…

Introduction


Defined in very general terms, policy beliefs are just statements that reveal what an organization or person believes in, and why the organization or person is currently advocating a particular policy position. Being relatively straightforward, policy beliefs play a key role in the policy process. Advocacy groups, concerned citizens, policymakers, and other organized lobbying entities use their policy beliefs to influence executive and legislative policymakers to pass specific policy changes. As a result, policy beliefs constitute the core of American politics.
Although they often lead to specific policy changes, many like-minded advocacy groups, concerned citizens, policymakers, and other organized lobbying entities have similar policy beliefs. For example, many environmental advocacy groups share a common set of policy beliefs that emphasize environmental protection by increasing governmental regulatory efforts on specific chemical releases into the environment. When different environmental advocacy groups, concerned citizens, policymakers, and other organized lobbying entities share similar policy beliefs, political scientists often categorize them together as one advocacy coalition. ...
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