According to this 9th century vizier, policy is what you end up with once you’ve figured out what works. You throw a few balls in the air and if they don’t fall to the ground with a thud, bingo, you have a policy. Or to use another analogy, you lob a handful of ideas at the wall, and if something sticks you call it policy.
If this is so, it may undermine the raison d’être of policy wonkery, which implies a much more deliberate process.
‘The basis of government is jugglery. If it works, and lasts, it becomes policy.’
Source: ninth century wazir quoted in Bernard Lewis, The Middle East (London: Phoenix, 2004), p. 155
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