Over the past two decades, policy analysis has developed as a collection of formal methods to enhance policy design and implementation. Interpretive and critical methods for policy analysis have recently been advocated as a way to clarify the parameters of policy problems and thereby improve policy formulation and implementation. The heuristic basis for interpretive and critical policy analysis is consistent with contemporary findings in the psychology of decision making. Formal methods for interpretive and critical policy analysis are elaborated and illustrated via application to the drafting of the U.S. Amateur Sports Act (PL 95-606). It is shown that the methods illumine decision processes that have caused sport development to become subordinate to the administrative rationalization of American Olympic sport governance.
Laurence Chalip is with the Department of Kinesiology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2611.