Theories of Public Policy Spring 2009

Theories of Public Policy Spring 2009 - Outline Uses of...

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Outline Uses of Models Types of Models The Policy Process 1
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Simplify and clarify our thinking about politics and  public policy Identify important aspects of policy problems Help us to communicate with each other by  focusing on essential features of political life Direct our efforts to understand public policy better  by suggesting what is important and unimportant Suggest explanations for public policy and predict  its consequences 2
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There are 4 questions you should be able to  answer about each of the theories or models you  will be exposed to: 3
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1.  Who participates in policy making?  2.  How are policy decisions made?  3.  What are the underlying assumptions  of  the theory/model?  4.  If the author is right, what are the  consequences for the general public of policy  decisions made in accordance with  the  particular theory/model? 4
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Public policy as institutional output  Who:  executive, legislative, and judicial branches How:  policy is authoritatively determined,  implemented, and enforced by these institutions  (legitimacy, universality, and coercion) Implications/assumptions:  individuals have little  impact; structure/design affects outcomes 5
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Public policy as political activity Who:  voters, interest groups, legislators, presidents,  bureaucrats, judges How:  ID problem, set agenda, formulate policy  proposals, legitimate policies, implement policies,  evaluate policies Implications/assumptions:  who participates has a  critical or determinant impact on the process 6
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Public policy as group equilibrium
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