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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3: Policy Formation – Problems, Agendas, and Formulation Introduction • The federal paperwork reduction process is an example of policy formation o Paperwork perceived as a public problem o Congress responded with Federal Reports Act o Paperwork put on the policy agenda o Paperwork Reduction Act signed into law – renewed in later years • Policy formation : the total process of creating, adopting and implementing a policy • Policy formulation : the crafting of alternatives or options for dealing w/a problem • Legislature is the primary institutional force • Defining problems, setting agendas, and formulating proposals are functional categories – they are frequently interrelated and smudged together Policy Problems • Why are some problems acted on and others neglected? Why are problems defined in one way and not another? o Public problems affect a substantial amount of people, have broad effects, including consequences for persons not directly involved (difficult to solve by individual action) • Policy Problem : a condition or situation that produces needs or dissatisfaction among people, who then desire govt. action o Ex: Problem is H5N1 Virus • “ A problem is only a problem if something can be done about it” o Hurricanes and other natural disasters are not likely to become public problems because govt. can do nothing to prevent them - but the preparation before such natural disasters to react to the destruction and after-math do become public problems • Definitions change over time as values and conditions change o Problems are defined NOT only by their objective dimensions but also by their social constructs (ex: a wealthy person may not worry about unemployment rates rising, whereas an industrial worker may perceive increasing joblessness as a major threat to their well-being) • Difference between a condition (meth in Oregon) and a problem. A condition becomes a problem when: 1. there is a criterion or standard to address it (tipping point) 2. conditions are unacceptable 3. appropriate for govt. to handle the issue (there is a solution connected to it) • Causation: What causes a problem is important to determine, otherwise remedies can be misguided. To deal effectively with a problem one must treat its causes rather than its symptoms. • Tractability : How difficult will the problem be to fix? o tangible problems – something you can fix such as scarce jobs, poorly managed public-housing projects, or an overburdened criminal-justice system, can be eased by improving the incentives and resources available to people and agencies...
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This note was uploaded on 04/02/2008 for the course PA 480 taught by Professor Maxwell during the Spring '08 term at Arizona.
- Spring '08