Unformatted text preview: L10 Understanding the Politics of Public Policy February 8, 2008 1 Outline
Models and theories of public policy Policy process model problem definition and agenda setting policy formulation policy legitimation policy implementation policy evaluation/policy change Instruments of public policy Policy typologies 2 Models of Public Policy
Elite theory (focus on values/preferences of governing elites) Group theory (interest group model) Institutionalism (institutional/bureaucratic model) Rational choice theory (similar to systems model) Political systems theory (ditto) Policy process model (stages model) 3 Policy Process Model Policy Cycle (= Stages= Look at Table 3-1)
Problem definition/ Agenda setting Policy change Policy formulation Policy evaluation Policy legitimation Policy implementation
4 Problem Definition Often difficult to define a problem What is a current problem? Why is it a problem? Definition is based on your own perspective Who's involved?
5 Agenda Setting Systemic vs. government agenda systemic: public is aware of and may be discussing government: considered to be those issues and problems that policymakers are addressing at a certain time What issues would you consider to be on the government agenda currently?
6 Streams of Agenda Setting
Problem stream Policy stream Opportunity for agenda items Political stream
7 Explanations for Agenda Setting: Problems, Politics, Participants Problems mandated items (annual budget) magnitude of problem (nuclear plants focusing events (e.g., Sept. 11, Love Canal) relationship to symbols (Johnnie can't read) failure of private sector to act (elderly) spillover impacts (drunk driving) 8 Explanations (cont'd) Politics political process change change in administration, public opinion, etc. Visible participants president and staff congressional leadership media interest groups
9 Policy Formulation
Debate over alternative policy choices Importance of policy analysis Actors provide their preferred positions Who's involved bureaucracy, executive legislature/staff interest groups
10 Policy Legitimation Appropriateness of government action: proper to act, acceptable to the public (Aug.
2003: Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote the judge handling the matter of Terri Schindler Schiavo, asking him not to remove the disabled woman's feeding tube until a new guardian could "independently investigate" her condition ). Important for garnering support Deals with two major issues Substance of the policy Process of adopting the policy (political)
11 Policy Implementation
Where actual government intervention/real consequences are seen Activities that put programs into effect money spent laws passed regulations formulated Done mostly by executive branch through regulations
12 Policy Evaluation and Change
Step often disregarded in process Difficult to identify the goals of a program and if they were achieved Different types of impacts direct vs. indirect short-term vs. long-term Hopefully, will feed information back into the policy process
13 Instruments of Policy
Regulation Government management Taxing and spending Market mechanisms Education and information 14 Lowi Policy Typology
All government functions categorized as Distributive policy individualized grants and programs provided without regard to resources or negative consequences: pork barrel Redistributive policy one gains from another's loss: controversial: social security, schools Regulatory policy government restriction of choice: consumer protection
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