History, Policy Making, and Sustainability

History, Policy Making, and Sustainability

Om Prakash (Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Law University, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0315-7.ch001

Abstract

Public policy and policy making is an inherent task of the institutions and state for the purpose of well-knit and sustainable governance in the society and organisation as well as in the state. The quality of governance is based upon how visionary the public policy is and how far it has been implemented. The aspect of sustainability thrives on the perspective that policy making should be inclusive having inter-generational justice. The chapter attempts to look into how far history has played its role in policymaking of the state and civil society. It also looked into how history had a role in the foreign policy making of the state. Analogies can be drawn from the past experience into the present decision making which can have a reflection in the future as well. Lyndon Johnson's administration prepared internal histories to key policy issues, in hopes of better informing the initial efforts of its successor. The illustrations and examples in the chapter are not confined to the geographical boundaries of any particular nation but rather have a global dimension.
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Introduction

‘The longer you can look back the further you can look forward’, said a great diplomat, writer and also a prolific historian, Winston Churchill. (Clarke, 2012) History, historical analogies, experience from historical events and the great messages and lessons which history leaves behind have been used and are of great significance for policy makers and planners whether in the government or in the private enterprise. The paper attempts to look into how far history has played its role in the policy making of the state and civil society. It also looked into how far history had it role in the foreign policy making of state. Analogies can be drawn from the past experience into the present decision making which can have its reflection in the future as well. Lyndon Johnson’s administration prepared internal histories to key policy issues, in hopes of better informing the initial efforts of its successor. The illustrations and examples are not confined to the geographical boundaries of any particular nation but rather have a global dimension.

History as a discipline is being invoked in the policy making process of the state today globally. The historical knowledge if used properly and in the right direction can have significant impact on the policy making process. It can not only provide variety of perspective but can deepen the analytical insight of the policy planners and framers. History has its own problem due to varying interpretations. Sometimes policy makers choose such interpretation which suits more for his planning purpose. If harnessed cleverly, historical awareness can provide policymakers with invaluable perspectives, patterns and wisdom, thus helping them make more informed decisions.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Sustainability: Sustainability derives from the idea of sustainable development. This is an approach of development which lasts with an inter-generational justice. Sustainability seeks to maintain a balance among resource creation, resource depletion and environmental health.

History: History is an unending dialogue between past and present to shape the future.

Historicism: Historicism connotes that history has a tendency to teach lessons. It is a tendency to show that how historical period, geographical places and local culture and tradition play a significant role.

Foreign Policy: Foreign policy is the policy how a nation seeks to maintain its relations with other nations and with international community.

Policy Making: The process to frame policies by government or private agencies is called as policy making. These are the ideas or plans for making decisions. When it is done by the government it is called as public policy making.

Policy Review: Policy review is a process to evaluate the working of a particular policy. When a policy is not working properly a review is done. Sometime a change in the policy may make it more effective.

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