As you may know, popular and controversial talk host Glenn Beck just released “The Overton Window,” a novel that’s already topped the bestseller list. What you may not know is that the book’s title comes from a model of policy change developed by the Mackinac center’s vice president, Joe Overton, in the mid-1990s. After Overton’s untimely death in 2003, their current president, Joe Lehman, developed a formal Overton Window presentation to train hundreds of think tank executives around the country and the world.

The Overton Window of Political Possibility is a model developed to explain public policy change. When public policies in a given area, such as education or labor, are arranged from freest to least free, only a relatively narrow window of options will be considered politically acceptable. This window of politically acceptable policies is not defined primarily by what politicians would prefer; rather, it is defined by what they believe they can support and still win re-election. Hence, the window shifts to include new policies or exclude old ones not when ideas change among politicians, but when ideas change in the society that elects them.

For more information on this concept, visit Mackinac’s Website.


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply


Other Publications by

More On These Topics

Event Video - Ending the Public Employee Union Stranglehold on State Politics

Cascade Policy Institute | September 14, 2015
The Executive Club and Cascade Policy Institute were pleased to welcome David Nott, president of Reason Foundation, at the Executive Club’s September 2, 2015 dinner ...  read more

Event Video - Mark Skousen's View of What Leads to Economic Growth May Surprise You

Cascade Policy Institute | August 20, 2015
Cascade Policy Institute presents Professor Mark Skousen, named “one of the top 20 most influential living economists,” as he reveals “What Hidden Forces Lead to ...  read more

Event Video - Aging Roads? New Ideas!

Cascade welcomed transportation expert Adrian Moore, Ph.D., Vice President of Policy for Reason Foundation, at a special event at Multnomah Athletic Club on April 29, ...  read more