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Government and Policymaking. Policymaking. The point at which proposed policy programs (outcomes of interest aggregation) become law. What does it take for such programs to become policy (make the transition from a proposed course of action to the adopted course of action?). Decision Rules.

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  • The point at which proposed policy programs (outcomes of interest aggregation) become law.
  • What does it take for such programs to become policy (make the transition from a proposed course of action to the adopted course of action?)
decision rules
Decision Rules
  • What are the decision rules across political systems that move interest aggregation to adopted policy?
  • Constitutions typically contain the decision rules
    • A set of rules and principles concerning decision making, rights, and the distribution of authority in a political system
    • Can be written or based in custom, legal precedent
    • A set of customs and practices
decision rules4
Decision Rules
  • The basic rules governing the decision making process
  • Creation of offices and assignment of responsibility and authority to these entities
  • Examples:
    • U.S. Congress – committee system, two houses with differing rules, rules about reconciliation, etc.
    • British House of Commons – simple majority rule, cabinet dominance
  • A fundamental political act
  • Sets out the rules of the game
    • Functional authority
    • Geographic distribution of authority
  • Most political systems have them, notable exception Britain
    • Highly developed set of customs and conventions supported by ordinary statute
    • Important role of political culture
european union
European Union
  • Constitutional development has not emerged from crisis
      • idea for the union originated in effort to prevent future war)
  • Decision Rules have evolved over the course of 40 years:
      • Impacts 27 countries
      • 495.5 million citizens
geographic distribution of government power
Geographic Distribution of Government Power
  • Decision rules vary along three dimensions:
    • Geographic distribution of authority
      • Federal systems – “separate spheres” of authority
      • Unitary systems – national authority
      • Confederal systems –state authority
    • Separation of powers among branches
    • Executive
      • Various names and duties, ceremonial, head of state, head of government, individual or collective
    • Two forms of representative government:
        • Presidential and parliamentary
    • Legislatures
      • Bicameral, unicameral
    • Limitations on government authority
democracy vs authoritarianism
Democracy vs Authoritarianism
  • Policy making functions vary most dramatically between these two types of systems
  • Competitive elections bring people into policy process
  • Elites dominate the policy making process in authoritarian systems and possibility for non-elite access is low
  • Democratic transition??
democratic presidential regime
Democratic Presidential Regime
  • Two separate agencies of government
  • Executive and legislative, separately elected
  • Branches selected for fixed terms
  • Neither may easily unseat the other
  • Each with specific power in the constitution
parliamentary regime
Parliamentary Regime
  • Interdependent executive and legislative branches
  • Only legislature directly elected
  • Neither branch has a fixed term in office; both (typically) can be voted out of office at any time
  • Confidence relationship between Cabinet and majority (eliminates divided government)
    • If majority votes “no confidence” PM and cabinet resign
    • PM power to dissolve legislature -- elections
  • Cabinet – collective leadership of the executive branch – derived from the legislature
    • Chaired by a prime minister, head of government and selects the other members
mixed systems
Mixed Systems
  • Semipresidential
  • President and legislature separately elected
  • But president may dissolve legislature
  • Cabinet may be appointed by president but may be dismissed by legislature
  • A variety of arrangements for shared control exist
    • France, Russia
limits on governmental power
Limits on Governmental Power
  • Provision of civil rights
    • Protections guaranteed by government
    • Rights of citizenship
  • Establishment of courts
    • Judicial review – judicial limitation of governmental authority
    • Independent versus non independent
  • Amending procedures
comparing structures and functions
Comparing Structures and Functions
  • Assemblies
  • Cabinets
  • Elite Recruitment
  • The Bureaucracy
    • Professionalism
    • Implementation and enforcement
    • May also articulate and aggregate and all but form policies
      • “leave no child behind” – Donna Shalala Children’s Defense Fund