There are many different policy models, but the two we are focusing on are the Institutional Model and the Process Model. Dye said that the Institutional Model of policymaking is how government institutions go about forming public policies. Dye emphasized the fact that the public policies government institutions put into place reach society as a whole, not just a portion of it compared to smaller organizations and their policies. Dye also said these policies are tied to the law, therefore citizens can be punished if they violate them.
Dye explained that the Process Model focuses more on the people involved not only in the government institutions passing public policies, but ordinary citizens as well. The Process Model emphasizes individuals and how they influence public policy making. Dye said that the Process Model loosely follows a string of political actions. These actions include activists bringing awareness to an issue (what Dye said is problem identification) all the way to policies being implemented to address that issue (Dye called this policy identification).
As we discussed a little bit in class today, the major difference between the Institutional Model and the Process Model is that the Institutional Model focuses on how policies are put into place via our current government institutions (i.e. courts, Congress, etc.) while the Process Model takes on a more micro-level approach by looking at the individual people who bring awareness to these policies or actually do the policy making. I personally think that the Process Model is a more useful way to consider public policy making, because it starts before a policy has even formally begun making its way through a government institution, such as Congress. It starts as soon as people label something an issue, become passionate about it, and advocate for it. The Institution Model is important, but from my understanding it doesn’t really come into play until later in the Process Model when that issue has become a specific public policy and is being pushed through government institutions.