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Public Policy

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  1. Public Policy

  2. Public Policy • Authoritative decisions – government • What is the relationship between the policy and the desired goal or “outcome”? • Connection between interest articulation and public policy? • Evaluation of outcomes – asking the normative questions.

  3. Government and What it Does • Produce goods and services: • Consumer goods: • Transportation • Clothing • Industrial products (cars, refrigerators, etc) • Consumer services: • Postal • Police • Basic human needs • Potable water • Electricity The ratio of governmental production of goods to services varies with the type of political system.

  4. Public Policies Four major types: • Extractive: • Government removes resources from the domestic/international environments • Distributive • Government moves resources around its domestic/international environment • Regulative • Government uses its authority to induce behavior at individual or collective levels • Symbolic • Government uses its persuasive abilities to persuade citizens; build community.

  5. Policy Profiles • Nightwatchman • Lockean state, law and order, preservation of property • Police • Intrusive regulation, severe resource extraction (coercive of citizens, must “volunteer”) • Welfare • Extensive distributive activities: health, education, employment, housing, income support (higher taxes) • Regulatory States • A response to complexity – state oversight of public and private service provision and behavior (food safety, workplace safety, etc)

  6. Extraction • All political systems extract from their societies (specifically) and from their environments (generally). • Forms: • Taxation • Direct taxes • Indirect taxes

  7. Distribution • Allocation by government of money, goods, services, honors, opportunities to groups in the society. • Expenditure areas: • Health • Education • Defense • Foreign aid

  8. Welfare State • A set of government, sometimes private policies in the areas of pensions, health, sickness, accident insurance, unemployment benefits, etc. • Private component – private donations to nonprofit organizations

  9. Regulation • Governmental exercise of political control over societal behavior (individual/group). • States policy profiles in this area vary widely – cultural interests in regulation key. • Methods vary: coercion, financial incentives, moral exhortation (“Just say No”) • Bans on use of drugs • Sin taxes • Public information campaigns • Regulations against abuse of citizens, animals, environment • Regulations to promote safety – traffic cameras, gun control, citizenship rights, etc.

  10. Community Building and Symbolic Policies • Symbolic outputs occur for the following reasons: • To increase compliance (law) • To persuade voters (elections) • To accept hardship/sacrifice (service) • To build community/national identity/civic pride (socialization) • To enhance governmental legitimacy (new political structures in Iraq – 2004)

  11. Outcomes: Domestic Welfare • Consequences? Impact on lives? • Domestic actions impacted by not directly controllable international events. • Actions can have unintended consequences (positive or negative). • Important to evaluate/measure outcomes for effectiveness/desirability of policy.

  12. Outcomes: Domestic Security • Fundamental role of Government: • Domestic law and order most fundamental from Hobbesian view – domestic economic stability most fundamental from Lockean view. • In context of high crime are the fundamentals of daily life possible?

  13. International Outputs • War – global and civil conflict • Russia/USSR – 24 million deaths between 1900-1995 • Third World countries • United Nations • Peacekeeping efforts • National security – enormous costs, on rise since 9/11

  14. Political Goods and Values • Goods and values related at the system, process and policy levels of analysis • System goods reflect the functioning of the political system as a unit. • Process goods reflect the domestic functions of the political system components – democracy, citizen participation/political competition. (Effectiveness and efficiency are desired here). • Policy goods reflect the outcomes of the system components – economic welfare, security, citizen freedom (fairness).

  15. Political/Economic arrangements for achieving political goods • Advanced Industrial nations • Industrial authoritarian • Repressed political participation, encouraged private enterprise (economic inequality predominated) this combination generated unrest - demise of authoritarian Regimes. • Market oriented and social democracies • Taxes, welfare and regulation/size of government re-considered by both – environment new issue

  16. Political/Economic arrangements • Pre-industrial nations • Neo-traditional • Saudi Arabia, rentier state selective modernization • Personal rule • Sub-Saharan Africa • Clerico-Mobilizational regimes • Iran – religious authority • Technocratic-repressive • South America – business, military, civil technocrats repressed allowed economic growth • Technocratic-distributive • South Korea suppressed political participation encouraged economic re-distribution – has since expanded democracy • Technocratic-moblizational • single party political systems Mexico, Taiwan