Lasswell’s Policy Sciences

… a core concept used in Policy Analysis and Process and Atlas101

Harold Lasswell, 1902-1978

Concept description

Leslie Pal (reference below, p. 25) describes the conception of the policy sciences by Harold Lasswell and his contemporaries.

Pal writes (pages 15):

“The social sciences, particularly economics, political science, public administration, and planning, developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The idea that these disciplines could be integrated into something distinct – the policy sciences – can be conveniently dated from some key publications by American social scientist Harold Lasswell. As early as 1951, he and colleagues were arguing for a distinct approach they termed the “policy sciences of democracy” and a distinct role for policy analysts (Lasswell, 1951). In Lasswell’s view, the policy sciences would integrate the other social sciences in a multidisciplinary enterprise devoted to dealing with public problems and the policy processes of democracy.”

See also: Policy Analysis.

Atlas topic, subject, and course

The Study of Policy Analysis and Process (core topic) in Policy Analysis and Process and Atlas101 Policy Analysis and Process.


Leslie Pal (2014), Beyond Policy Analysis – Public Issue Management in Turbulent Times, Fifth Edition, Nelson Education, Toronto. See Beyond Policy Analysis – Book Highlights.

Lasswell, H. (1951). The policy orientation. In D. Lerner & H. Lasswell (Eds.), The policy sciences (pp. 3–15). Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Lasswell, H. (1970, March). The emerging conception of the policy sciences. Policy Sciences, 1, 3–13.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 27 March 2017.

Image: Wikipedia, at,  accessed 27 March 2017.