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Chapter Overview

In this chapter we describe state and local government policy processes and the various actors and interests that typically seek to influence those processes. A diverse set of actors can become involved in the making of state and local public policy. Beginning with the perception of a problem, making it an issue for government action, getting it on the government's agenda for consideration, and finally securing relevant government action all entail the involvement of many parties sharing a stake in the form of government action taken. For many state and local governments the process can become rather complex, featuring a multitude of actors engaged in one or more aspects of policymaking. A general review of competing policy models (e.g., pluralism, elitism, etc.) also are presented in the chapter to stimulate student thought and discussion concerning who has power and influence in the policy process.



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