all readings outline

all readings outline - Week 2 (September 8): Theories of...

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Week 2 (September 8): Theories of Policy Process Basic Framework: Policy Stages 1. Agenda Setting 2. Formulation and Legitimation of Goals and Programs 3. Implementation 4. Evaluation 5. Decisions about the future of the program. (But in reality, things rarely happen this way) Allison, “Conceptual Models and the Cuban Missile Crisis” Bureaucratic politics: Policy “results from compromise, coalition, competition, and confusion among government officials who see different faces of an issue Bargaining takes place along regularized channels among players positioned hierarchically within the government. Outcomes are not the result of one person’s decision Organizational Politics Different organizations have different perspectives and incentives and points of views Key aphorism (Miles’ law): “Where you sit depends on where you stand” Lindblom, “The Science of Muddling Through” Critique of rational-comprehensive (root) model: o Limits on intellectual capacities o There is no “best” policy; all policies involve trade-offs. Instead, we “muddle through.” Which is good, because: o It’s impossible to know what good policy is; therefore, we experiment and learn. o Groups on both sides keep tabs, watch each other, respond, adjust, etc. (“partisan mutual adjustment) Sabatier, “Toward Better Theories of the Policy Process” Importance of Policy Communities Importance of Substantive Policy Information Critical Role of Policy Elites The Advocacy Coalition Framework Theories of Change
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Baumgartner and Jones, Agendas and Instability in American Politics, Chapter 1 Punctuated Equilibrium: long periods of statis, short bursts of change; system is strong, but then brittle. Policy monopolies: o Insiders spend their time trying to convince others that “outsiders” are not qualified to make decisions in a given area. (Ex: Housing Finance, off-shore drilling) o Are not permanent Change happens when o Issues get redefined o There are positive feedback cascades o New ideas “catch on” o “Issue Expansion” takes place. Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies , Chapter 1 Nothing is more powerful than an “Idea Whose Time Has Come” Three streams: Problems: “the inexorable march of problems pressing in on the system.” Policies: “the gradual accumulation of knowledge and perspectives among the specialists in a given policy area” Politics: “swings in the national mood, vagaries of public opinion, election results, changes of administration, turnover in Congress.” Policymaking as a set of processes: The setting of the agenda The specification of alternatives from which a choice is to be made An authoritative choice among those specified alternatives, as in a legislative vote or presidential decision. Implementations of the decision
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all readings outline - Week 2 (September 8): Theories of...

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