This chapter defines the constituent elements of a policy. It refers to public policy as the power games in a specific institutional context played out between various public actors who make a concerted effort to resolve a collective problem in collaboration with or in opposition to para-state and private actors. It adds that public policy is a large number of legislative and administrative activities aimed at the resolution of real problems. The constituent elements of public policy comprise a solution to a public problem, the existence of target groups at the root of a public problem, intentional coherence at the very least, the existence of several decisions and activities, the intervention programme, the key role of public actors, the existence of formalised measures, and the decisions and activities that impose constraints. Lastly, the chapter explains the policy cycle.
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