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

Forum on the Future of America's Transportation Infrastructure

John Charles | September 11, 2014
Cascade president and CEO John Charles  presented on the demise of the highway trust fund at a Portland town forum on August 4, 2014. The forum, sponsored ...  read more

John Charles discusses the dangers of the Metro regional government

John Charles | February 19, 2014
In December 2013, Cascade President and CEO John A. Charles spoke to the Clackamas County Americans for Prosperity group about the dangers of the Metro ...  read more

John Charles Debates Tigard's Light Rail Ballot Measure

John Charles | February 17, 2014
During January’s Tigard Initiative Public Forum, John Charles debated a Tigard City Counselor on the merits of the Tigard ballot measure that would place restraints ...  read more