Incrementalism is when changes occur gradually. Most often referring to the policy of social change happening in degrees. The use of the term incrementalism is first attributed to Lindblom (1959) and then Wildavsky (1964). According to them, people break down complex problems into manageable steps. They simplify the process. From its inception, there has been a debate on whether incrementalism works to create change or if it actually detracts from change.
Yes, incrementalism works.Show moreShow less
Incrementalism is the basis of change and negotiation. It is the realistic way to achieve policy changes.
Incrementalism is the basis of all change. Changes in nature, such as mutations and evolution occur through the process of gradual transformation. Homo sapiens exist because of small changes (such as an expansion in the cortex) that occurred over generations.
This is also how humans create change. The sciences have developed through continuous incremental changes. Each theory, technique, and/or experiment leading to the next. This is the same kind of seriality (gradual accumulation of small changes) that we see in the social sciences and policy creation. An example of this is the formation of a budget. Budgets are compared to the previous budget with certain areas being increased or decreased. Policies are formed by building off previous decisions, not by considering all possible alternatives.
Changes in nature occur in numerous ways. Evolution occurs through gradual transformations, but the Big Bang was not incremental.
[P1] Changes in nature occur through gradual transformation.
[P2] Homo sapiens exist because of small changes that occurred over generations.
[P3] The sciences have developed through continuous incremental changes.
[P4] Social sciences and policy creation build of gradual changes.
[P5] Incrementalism is the basis of all change.
Rejecting the premises
[Rejecting P1]: Not all changes in nature are incremental (such as the Big Bang).
[Rejecting P5]: Not all change is incremental.