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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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- Spring '08