On the notion of political feasibility

Majone, G. (1975). On the notion of political feasibility. European Journal of Political Research 3 (3) 259-274. 10.1111/j.1475-6765.1975.tb00780.x.

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In a positive, as opposed to a normative or prescriptive, approach to policy analysis, the critical examination of the conditions of feasibility of public policies assumes paramount importance. A proposal is feasible if it satisfies all relevant constraints. But while the notion of economic or technical feasibility can be explicated by pointing to the corresponding constraints, "political feasibility" is generally used in a much less precise sense; and lack of conceptual precision severely restricts its analytical usefulness. For instance, questions of political feasibility are often confused with considerations of political costs or of political opportunity. I argue that the analyst should always be prepared to translate a judgment of political feasibility or infeasibility in terms of the specific political constraints operating in the problem under consideration. In this paper, three main groups of political constraints are considered: those resulting from the limitation of the available political resources; those relating to the permissible distribution of the benefits and costs of a policy (distributional constraints); and those imposed by the institutional framework.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Human Settlements and Services Area (HSS)
Bibliographic Reference: European Journal of Political Research; 3(3):259-274 (September 1975) (Published online 29 May 2006)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:41
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:35
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/205

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