The Art of Policymaking: Tools, Techniques and Processes in the Modern Executive Branch, Second Edition is a practical introduction to the specific tools, techniques, and processes used to create policy in the executive branch of the U.S. government. George E. Shambaugh, IV and Paul Weinstein, Jr. explain how government officials develop policy, manage the policymaking process, and communicate those policies to stakeholders and the public at large. The authors draw on both their academic and government experience to provide real-world advice on writing policy decision memos, preparing polling questions, and navigating the clearance process. An abundance of case studies show how actual policies are developed and how and why policies and processes differ across administrations. Finally, practice scenarios allow students to apply the tools and techniques they have learned by working through both domestic and foreign policy situations.
Chapter 6: Policymaking Memoranda
Tools of the Trade
The unique constraints associated with policymaking in the executive branch make the decision-making process itself a critical component of all executive decisions. Following standard decision-making procedures and using the appropriate tools to initiate, analyze, and implement policy is critical because it provides continuity and structure that would otherwise be absent in a world that is often characterized by crisis management. Memoranda are key cogs in this system. Although the principals in the executive branch often develop informal means of communication, written memoranda are critical means of communicating and sharing ideas with others. They provide an essential means of framing action-forcing events, explaining the context in which the events are situated, and identifying salient facts the president or other decision ...