During the 1980s increasing attention has been given to the view that a vast array of public policies have great potential for health promotion and that this potential ought to be developed. After briefly discussing the basis for this concept and its policy implications, this article turns to a major corequisite for making healthy public policy a political reality: learning how to do it. Where healthy public policy exists, how did it happen? This is a question that calls for a new generation of policy studies, one that is relevant to advocates of healthy public policy within and outside governments. An ecological framework of policy-making is proposed for such studies, delineating the social climate, key players, and strategic action. From it, operational indicators and study methods are suggested, in order to learn some general principles, within a real-world context, of how to develop public policies that are healthful.

You do not currently have access to this article.