By T. H. Rigby
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Extra info for Authority, Power and Policy in the USSR: Essays dedicated to Leonard Schapiro
Although this is the first explicit reference to policy, much that I could say about it is already implicit in my analysis of authority and power, and it would be tedious to spell it out in detail. Nevertheless, Authoriry, Power and Policy in the USSR a few points must be specified. Policy is understood in this book as the action flowing directly from a set of related authoritative decisions and 'non-decisions' in some specific area of social activity. While the burgeoning literature on public policy in Western countries over the last decade has failed to produce an agreed definition of policy, it is usually employed in much the sense proposed here.
Discussions and criticism about the technical aspects of policy and the effectiveness of implementation may by implication convey doubts or proposals about the proper ends of policy and the measures for achieving them. They may also serve as 'cover' for making claims on resources. Apart fi·om influencing the climate of opinion in which policy is made, such discussion and criticism may occasionally play a major part in directing attention to a matter and so turning it into an 'issue' requiring resolution: the campaign against the pollution of Lake Baikal is an outstanding if exceptional example.
The tension between formal and substantive rationality may lead the state to undermine the former by regulative and redistributive interference with the market as well as the provision of educational, health, transport, power and other services outside the market framework. 20 What he did not foresee was that, while agencies of the rule-applying kind continue to be required, these are strongly overshadowed by others of a predominantly task-achieving kind. For on the one hand, the state (partly disguised as 'voluntary' or 'cooperative' organisations) takes over and runs nearly all spheres of social action; on the other, the market is reduced to a minor role in the overall coordination of social action, which is now handled Conceptual approach to authority, power and policy 19 administratively, through the bureaucracies of the state and the stateparty.
Authority, Power and Policy in the USSR: Essays dedicated to Leonard Schapiro by T. H. Rigby