Introduction to PolWonk

A policy wonk is a “person who studies or develops strategies and policies, especially one who has a keen interest in and aptitude for technical details.

Since The Lobbyist is more policy focused, I have decided not to link my Manila Times column titled Zilch to this online policy magazine.  My Manila Times column is published every Tuesday while PolWonk will appear every Friday.  PolWonk which will cater more to policy analysis, my first love.

A policy wonk is a “person who studies or develops strategies and policies, especially one who has a keen interest in and aptitude for technical details.  I hope I will not be an arm chair advocate rather, more grounded.  If you look closely, wonk is the opposite of the word know.  Some would often refer to wonks as nerds, too much bothered by details when what matters most is implementation and how the lives of people would be affected by public policies.

Wonks tend to occupy ivory towers.  Often, least understood because they tend to be too legalese, use too many jargons or speak in very technocratic manner.  I hope to be the opposite of these.  If you don’t get it, let me know and I will try to adjust things.

Finally, what is policy? Thomas Dye defined public policy as “anything a government chooses to do or not to do.” Shaun Young defines policy-making is the fundamental activity of governments. It is through the public policy-making process that governments establish the framework within which all citizens (human and corporate) must function; and it is the process via which governments decide both which societal goals to pursue and how to (best) pursue them.”

Why do I like public policy work? Academic training and professional experience has moulded me to be a policy wonk.  I bring these in the field of politics and knowing who gets what, when and how would give a technical person a leverage in getting politics to serve the ends of policies.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Malou Tiqiua is the Founder/General Manager of PUBLiCUS Asia Inc. A noted political management expert in the Philippines and Asia, she brings over 20 years of professional experience in public, private and the academe combined. Author of the comprehensive book on electoral campaigns in the Philippines, "Campaign Politics", Malou is a graduate of the University of the Philippines with a Political Science degree and a Master of Public Administration. She completed her second master's degree (MA in Political Management) from the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University.
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