I had a great conversation with people from IPEA today (more on social policy trajectories later) and one thing became clear. When thinking about policymaking, I think we should consider three different steps:
1. Agreeing in the objectives we want to achieve (e.g. universal social policy).
2. Agreeing in the existence of different trajectories to achieve that result but also on the right one in each specific case.
3. Identifying the KEY constraint (binding constraint in the terminology that Rodrik and others introduced about growth a while back) and begin by trying to overcome it.
These steps are probably very clear in the policymaking academic literature... but they are too many times missing in real life debates! In fact most often there is lack of clarity about objectives and instruments and, more importantly, about the best way to start.