What is public policy making?

Public policy making is the process whereby changes in the handling of collective problems are introduced.

These changes can be small or very big. When changes are small, they usually involve well-established procedures. Big changes are generally rare and are usually connected with some sort of external shock (wars, economic or political crises, natural events, emergence of charismatic leaders, etc.).

In P-CUBE project, we will concentrate on changes that are neither small nor very big. We will look at what we have called policy innovations, i.e. significantly altered solutions to existing collective problems and/or definition of the problems themselves. These changes can take the form of new regulations, new infrastructure, new services and/or new projects.

Policy innovation is difficult to achieve, yet essential to the advancement or even the survival of our democratic political systems. Irrespective of their scale, these processes have several elements in common: they are the result of interaction between different actors with diverse interests and goals, and the outcome is heavily influenced by how resources are distributed between the actors, as well as by the different ways in which the actors interact. Even more importantly, innovation is only possible when driven by an individual or collective actor (known as a policy entrepreneur), who is able to manage the process and overcome the ensuing obstacles.

With the Policy Game, we are proposing a digital game designed to teach the elements that policy entrepreneurs must take into consideration in their planning, and the ways in which they can try to alter these elements in order to introduce the desired innovation.