The Makers of Public Policy

American Power Groups and Their Ideologies


Increasing interest in public policy decisions is revealed in both the dramatic behavior of citizens’ interest groups and the proliferation of journal articles and books on public issues and the policy process. On the one hand are mounting citizen awareness and involvement in the process and, on the other, are efforts of social scientists to analyze and describe more effectively the realities of issues and processes.

In The Makers of Public Policy, R. Joseph Monsen Jr., an economist in a school of business administration, and Mark W. Cannon, a political scientist, endeavor to articulate the ideologies of American power groups as a basis for understanding the motivations of citizens as they join groups in order to influence public policy.

The authors contend that “. . . the widespread ignorance of the influence of interest groups and their ideologies on public policy often handicaps reasoned policy formulation.” Hence, they have undertaken an effort to bring together in a single volume a succinct statement of the goals and ideologies of the major occupational groups which affect public policy at the national level. There are two major exceptions to this generalization: (1) one chapter is included on an ethnic group—the Negroes—who are largely dissatisfied with low occupational status, however; and (2) another chapter is included on the public school teachers who influence domestic policy at the local level.

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