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Can incrementalism work? Show more Show less
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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.

No, incrementalism does not work. Show more Show less

Incrementalism detracts from progress. It stops people from demanding change and is an unfit response to a crisis.
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Incrementalism doesn’t work in times of crisis.

In extraordinary times (such as a pandemic) small changes do not suffice.
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The Argument

In extraordinary times, incrementalism does not work. Incrementalism (such as only banning large gatherings) did not work in halting the spread of COVID-19. Places that took more comprehensive measures had the best results. Incrementalism will also not work to restore the economy after the pandemic. The economy pre-pandemic will not be returning soon. For some time, the entire travel, tourism, and entertainment industries will not return to “normal”. These industries and all the people employed by them will not survive small changes. To address The Great Depression, the American government had to adopt full employment policies. We will again need such comprehensive reform.[1]

Counter arguments


[P1] Incrementalism does not work in times of crisis.

Rejecting the premises




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This page was last edited on Friday, 15 May 2020 at 01:07 UTC

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