Edit: Thank you for your helpful comments. Based on them, I decided to modify my Question.

I am wondering how decisions are made in politics. In particular, what are the skills the politicians involved need to have for the creation of policies?

Following the example of the European commission (see How to review the decision-making of the different functions of the European Union?), the basic steps for creating a policy are:

  1. The current state of the system, its advantages and disadvantages are assessed.
  2. Based on expert reports, the policy is created.
  3. The policy is passed on to an external committee.

From this perspective, politicians mainly need to be able to

  • efficiently work in a team,
  • incorporate knowledge from various fields,
  • must be able to understand scientific arguments.

Questions: When it comes to creating a policy, what makes a politician different from any other profession where these 3 faculties are required? What are the difficulties a politician is facing when creating an agenda/policy?

I am happy to hear any comments on that. Any suggestions (books, articles, documentaries) on how I could deepen my understanding of the decision processes in politics, especially on how policies are created, are very welcome.

  • 7
    Welcome to Politics SE! This question is far too broad to be answerable in a few paragraphs, because of the wide variety of decisions that a politician has to make, and the wide variety of contexts (wider policy, implementation details, emergencies, among others). If you can edit your question to narrow it down, then it may help with creating an answer. – Joe C Jan 24 at 13:29
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    This may be too cynical, but the decision process often seems to be "make a decision" then "look for reasons to support that decision". Douglas Adams had something similar in one of his Dirk Gently books: Instead of software that takes data and uses logic to output a decision, there is software that takes data and a decision and outputs the logic to deduce the latter from the former. In the book it had been sold exclusivly to the US gov. (although the Department of Defense was still using the beta pre-release...) – James K Jan 24 at 14:14
  • Thank you for your suggestion to narrow my question down. I hope now, given a concrete context, my question is more clear. – Butters Jan 24 at 14:52
  • @Hulk: I dunno... I think a general answer is possible, without getting bogged down in specificities or lost in abstractions. – Ted Wrigley Jan 25 at 12:16
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    I'm still missing basic, essential parts of the process in the question. In particular, the split between the civil service and the politicians, and the path to power for politicians (whether that's elections or violence). There are rare democratic processes where a group comes together for a purpose and achieves something, but we typically refer to those as NGO's (non-governmental organizations) to make it explicit they're not politicians. – MSalters Jan 25 at 16:03

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