Many argue that political systems are failing to manage key societal problems. This project assesses the accuracy of such widespread impressions by applying contemporary decision theory in a comparative historical analysis of policy decision making. It will clarify whether processes of policy making--including the role of leadership in policy groups--have changed adversely. If not, why have such perceptions spread; if so, what reforms are needed? The aim is to improve policy determination where necessary; to contribute to the training of policy practitioners; and to revive public trust in political institutions.