Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: October 04, 2011 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412994163 | Print ISBN: 9781412959636 | Online ISBN: 9781412994163| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The concept of policy impacts refers to the effects and consequences of public policy on individuals, groups, the broader society, and the natural world in which we live. All policies have intended targets but are more or less successful in attaining their stated goals. This entry examines the nature of public policy in political science, discusses several taxonomies for understanding the targets for public policy, and also discusses the linkages between the design of policies and their final outcomes. Public policies are the mechanisms used by governing authorities to allocate benefits, burdens, and regulations for the society. Public policies are what governments and their agents produce , including statutes, budgets, resolutions, proclamations, programs, and direct contacts with people. Policies must be understood as nested in one another. Thus, the U.S. Constitution is a fundamental public policy. Statutes passed by Congress or state legislatures also are policies, as are the guidelines ...