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CHAPTER ONE. The Study of Public Policy. Introduction. Policy study Policy analysis Policy advocacy Stages in the policy process (policy cycle) Problem identification and agenda setting Formulation Adoption Implementation Evaluation. The Policy Cycle. Advantages to this approach

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chapter one

CHAPTER ONE

The Study of Public Policy

introduction
Introduction
  • Policy study
  • Policy analysis
  • Policy advocacy
  • Stages in the policy process (policy cycle)
    • Problem identification and agenda setting
    • Formulation
    • Adoption
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation

Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

the policy cycle
The Policy Cycle
  • Advantages to this approach
    • Centers attention on officials and institutions and the factors that influence and condition their actions
    • Policymaking usually incorporates these stages
    • Flexible and open to change and refinement
    • Presents a dynamic view of the policy process
    • Not culture bound

Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

what is public policy
What is Public Policy?
  • Definition : A relatively stable, purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern
  • Patterns of action over time
  • Policy outputs vs. Policy outcomes

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what policies do
What Policies Do
  • They emerge in response to policy demands
  • They involve what governments actually do, not just what they say they are going to do
  • Policies may be either positive or negative
  • In their positive form, policies are based on law and are authoritative

Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

categories of public policy
Categories of Public Policy
  • Substantive and Procedural Policies
    • Substantive policies: what government is going to do
    • Procedural policies: how government is going to do it
  • Distributive Policies
    • Allocate services or benefits to particular segments of population
  • Regulatory
    • Restrict or limit certain behaviors
  • Self-Regulatory
    • Also restrict behaviors, but are controlled by the regulated group

Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

categories of public policy7
Categories of Public Policy
  • Redistributive Policies
    • Involve deliberate efforts by the government to shift the allocation of resources among broad classes or groups of the population
  • Material Policies
    • Provide tangible resources or substantive power to the beneficiaries
  • Symbolic Policies
    • Have little real material impact on people
  • Most policies are neither wholly material or symbolic

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categories of public policy8
Categories of Public Policy
  • Collective and Private Goods Policies
    • Collective goods – if something is provided for one person, it must be provided for all (national defense)
    • Private goods may be broken into units and purchased by individuals
    • The more something is considered a collective good, the more likely people are to accept its provision by government

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approaches to policy study
Approaches to Policy Study
  • Political Systems Theory
    • Comprised of those identifiable and interrelated institutions and activities in a society that make authoritative allocations of values that are binding
    • “Black box”
  • Group Theory
    • Public policy is the product of group struggle
    • Access – the opportunity to express viewpoints to decision-makers
  • Elite Theory
    • Policy reflects values/preferences of a ruling elite
    • The few govern the many

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approaches cont
Approaches (cont.)
  • Institutionalism
    • Concentrates on the formal and legal aspects of governmental institutions
    • Has little to say about what drives the policy process
  • Rational-Choice Theory
    • Applies microeconomic theory to the analysis of political behavior
    • Rational self-interest
    • Individuals are the units of analysis
  • There is no consensus on which is the “best” approach

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methodological difficulties in studying public policy
Methodological Difficulties in Studying Public Policy
  • Methodological problems afflict all research, but they do not negate the need for it
  • Important to resist the notion that collecting empirical data is of prime importance and that the more data one has, the more one can explain
  • No need to assume that if something cannot be counted, then it does not count
    • However, careful, rigorous analysis has not been used as frequently as would be desirable
  • Important to remember that there is plenty of room for the study of policy using both case studies as well as more general and comparative techniques

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