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public policy

Definition of Public Policy

(noun) Any course of action or procedure by a an individual or group with authority and power that determines decisions, priorities (particularly funding), and actions that affect members of a society such as a town or country.

Example of Public Policy

Public Policy Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: pub·lic pol·i·cy

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /ˈpʌblɪk ˈpɑləsi/
  • British English – /ˈpʌblɪk ˈpɒlɪsi/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: public policies
  • A policy maker makes policies.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Ferrante, Joan. 2011. Sociology: A Global Perspective. 7th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Shepard, Jon M. 2010. Sociology. 11th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation. (https://en.wikipedia.org/).

Cite the Definition of Public Policy

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “public policy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved December 7, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

public policy. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “public policy.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed December 7, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“public policy.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 7 Dec. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/public-policy/>.