banking principle

Principle-policy puzzle

In political science, a principle-policy puzzle is a disconnect between support for a principle and support for a policy supporting that principle.

The primary example is the apparent inconsistency between American support of the principle of racial equality, and lack of support of a policy intended to achieve racial equality, especially among those most politically aware. The seeming paradox is explained by noting that lack of support for affirmative action comes from conservative ideology, such that opponents of government policies intended to realize racial equality are not necessarily hypocrites.


The principle-policy puzzle was described in Reasoning and Choice (1991) by Paul M. Sniderman, Richard A. Brody, and Philip E. Tetlock.

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