Allow me to be start this paper by commenting that prior to reading the Pal and Brook text I had a very limited amount of knowledge with respect to the Politics of Public Administration, Policy Analysis as a discipline and Public Policy. The reading of the text was at times difficult, however after detailing notes and reviewing the material at length it eventually made sense and began to fit together in the over view of my political science studies. In this paper, I will attempt to critic Leslie A. Pal's book, Beyond Policy Analysis while concentrating on the Rational Decision-Making Model and incorporate some of the thoughts presented in Stephen Brooks' book, Public Policy in Canada-An Introduction.
For over fifty years the Rational Decision-Making Model has been at the heart of what people do when conducting policy analysis and for that same amount of time it has been criticized and challenged. (Pal, p. 20) The Rational Decision-Making Model has as its steps; an emphasis on determining goals, developing options, selecting & designing a preferred option, implementing and evaluating. Many of the criticisms of the Rational Decision-Making Model are come from critics both external and internal to the discipline of policy analysis, with each having its own validity. To be able to understand the Rational Decision -Making Model and its usage in policy analysis I will begin by first putting for the definition and over view of what Policy Analysis is and then detailing each step of the Rational Decision-Making Model and the critics of it. .
Pal begins his text by putting forth the statement that Public Policy Analysis is in trouble. (Pal, p.1) Upon analyzing the text I tend to agree with him as not only do his arguments, and the similar arguments of Brooks, make sense in the context of the writing, but I myself can envision the problems that public policy analysis will be presented with in the future as the past factors that have caused a re-evaluation of Political Analysis continue to cultivate.