Analysis and action: The political will and public will approach

Amber N.W. Raile*, Eric D. Raile, Lori A. Post

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Addressing complex social problems requires the implementation of public policies in support of positive social change efforts. Both political will and public will are crucial elements of such efforts. This article details an approach for analysis and action consistent with other action research approaches that facilitators can use in analyzing and subsequently helping to build political will and public will to address social problems. This article outlines a basic toolkit for action researchers working in the public policy arena. Four basic and iterative tasks, based on formal conceptual definitions of political will and public will, make up this approach for analysis and action. These tasks are stakeholder identification, assessment of stakeholder views of problems and solutions, alignment of problem and solution understandings, and the building of firm commitments and mutual accountability. Action researchers working to bring about positive social change through public policy can use this approach to structure their efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-254
Number of pages18
JournalAction Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Political will
  • public policy
  • public will

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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