The political arena
The Political Arena
Once you have assessed the type of political system you are dealing with, whether it is in the workplace, government, professional association or the community, the particular entities that are responsible for the problem and proposed solutions need to be identified.
A common mistake made by advocates is to start the process by targeting the wrong people or person. If you want to change worker safety standards you need to target not only your employer but also those who set the standards which may be government. If you want to influence the allocation of resources to a new community development program you need to determine where the resource allocation decisions are made.
Once you have identified the appropriate political arena, the formal and informal functioning of the arena should be analyzed. Questions to be answered in an analysis of the political arena include:
- What is the entity's structure?
- What are the stated mission and goals?
- What subgroups or committees have responsibility for the issue?
- What are the formal and informal methods of communication by the entity?
- What is the budget process? How might an individual influence it?