Chapter 1: introducing the policy process

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Transcript Chapter 1: introducing the policy process

An Introduction to the Policy Process

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCING THE POLICY PROCESS

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Overview

• • • • Public policy is made in the “public’s” name Public policy making is about problem solving Many disciplines study public policy We study public policy for – Scholarly reasons – Practical reasons From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Public policy is shaped by several contexts

• • • • • Social Institutional Political Economic Other contexts? From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Public policy involves

• • • • Groups institutions Structures Solving Problems From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Politics and the policy process

• • • What is politics?

What is a political community?

What do political philosophers say about political community?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Political philosophy and public policy

• • • • Machiavelli: Practical political advice The Enlightenment and a science of politics – The Social Contract (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau) The organization of government – Montesquieu –

Publius

– American statesmen, from Washington to Wilson The organization of human societies – Marx – Weber – Rawls From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Definitions of politics

• • Lasswell: “Who gets what, when, and how” Dictionary definitions – “the art or science of government” – “political activities characterized by artful and often dishonest practices.” (This dictionary defines artful as “skillful” or “wily.”) – What are some examples of this second aspect?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Why do people dislike “politics”

• • • Interest group activity The opaque legislative process The closed system of tawdry deal-making From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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How can we overcome these attitudes toward “politics”

• • • • • Consider the “art and science of government” Study how politics works Study how people think it works Compare democratic politics to other systems Help citizens understand the system so that they can participate in it From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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WHAT IS PUBLIC POLICY?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Definition

“The term public policy always refers to the actions of government and the intentions that determine those actions.” “Public Policy is the outcome of the struggle in government over who gets what.” “Whatever governments choose to do or not to do.” “Public policy consists of political decisions for implementing programs to achieve societal goals.” “Stated most simply, public policy is the sum of government activities, whether acting directly or through agents, as it has an influence on the life of citizens.”

Author

Clarke E. Cochran et al.

Clarke E. Cochran et al.

Thomas Dye Charles L. Cochran and Eloise F. Malone B.Guy Peters.

Table 1.1: defining “public policy”

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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These definitions share ideas that

• • • • • • Policy responds to a problem The policy is made in the “public’s” behalf Policies have goals Policies are made by governments Policies are implemented by public and private actors Policy can be action or inaction From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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What is a policy?

• A statement by government—at whatever level—of what it intends to do or not to do about a public problem From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Forms of policies

• • • • Constitutional provisions Laws Regulations “Policies are revealed through texts, practices, symbols, and discourses that define and deliver values including goods and services as well as regulations, income, status, and other positively or negatively valued attributes.” (Schneider and Ingram) From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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IDEAS AND PROBLEMS IN THE POLICY PROCESS

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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What is a problem?

• • • "a source of perplexity, distress, or vexation.” What are some problems today?

How do we know what problems exist?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Western democracy and classical liberalism

• • People are sovereign—not the government Policy is made in the public interest – What is the public interest? Is there one definition?

– How does policy affect all of us?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Democratic politics:

• • • Are you interested in politics and policy?

Are you interested in every issue that could arise?

Does lack of interest imply a lack of a stake in public policy?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Why do we study public policy?

• • • Theoretical/scientific reasons Practical/applied reasons Political reasons From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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How have you been involved in public policy?

• • • • Are you an elected official?

Did you vote based on issue preferences?

Have you ever joined a group to promote or oppose an action?

When might you do any of these things?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Public Policy Processes

Comparative Public Policy Public Policy Analysis Public Policy Research

Studies of the formulation and implementation of policy in domestic contexts. Includes studies in issue emergence, policy formulation, and implementation

Descriptive research on the comparative tradition addressing differences in policy outcomes between countries, or within federal systems A logic of analysis and a mix of techniques in support of public policy decision making. Features economics-based “rational analysis” Applied, problem driven, focused on particular aspects of policy (health, energy, environment, defense, etc.)

Table 1.2: A Public Policy Morphology

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Discipline Description

Political science The study of political relationships; that is, the study of the processes by which societies seek to allocate political power and the benefits of such power.

Relationship to public policy

The political process is the process through which policies are made and enforced.

Sociology “Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Sociologists investigate the structure of Community and group activities are an important part of policy making, because groups of people groups, organizations, and societies, and how people interact within these contexts” often form to make demands.

Table 1.3: Selected Disciplines That Study Public Policy From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Discipline

Economics

Description

The study of the allocation of resources in a community, however defined. Economists study markets and exchanges. Welfare economists seek to understand the extent to which an overall community’s welfare can be maximized.

Relationship to public policy

There are many economic factors that influence public policy, such as economic growth, productivity, employment, and the like. The tools of economics are often used to promote policies or to explain why policies succeed or fail.

Public administration The study of the management of government and nonprofit organizations, including the management of information, money, and personnel in order to achieve goals developed through the democratic process.

The management of public programs is an integral part of the policy process. PA scholars study the motivation of program implementers and targets, help research innovations to improve service delivery.

Table 1.3: Selected Disciplines That Study Public Policy (continued) From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Discipline Description

Public policy

Relationship to public policy

The study of what governments choose to do or not to do, including studies of the policy process, policy implementation and impact, and evaluation.

We give this label to the highly interdisciplinary study of the public policy process. Policy scholars develop theories about how the policy process works, and develop tools and methods to analyze how policy is made and implemented.

Table 1.3: Selected Disciplines That Study Public Policy (continued) From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Evidence and argument in the policy process

• • • • • Government is not monolithic Governments are not neutral referees Participants are not neutral Analysis and advocacy serve similar ends: policy preferences Does it matter if we always have evidence for policy claims?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Anecdotes Evidence from scientific study Description

Stories told to illustrate

How used

To justify starting or a problem or the failure of a policy, such as “DARE kept my children off drugs” or “welfare queen” stories.

stopping programs by providing an easily understood story with obvious conclusions and underlying normative or moral principles.

Strengths/rationale

Anecdotes are good for staking out a position on an issue, or for motivating people to believe a certain way. They are less useful as part of serious analysis, because they do not delve deeply into how programs work.

Conclusions reached through scientific study of a problem or of the outcomes of a policy.

To justify starting or stopping programs by providing the most scientifically sound information that policy makers can use to make decisions.

Scientific evidence is much stronger than anecdotes in understanding how and why things work the way they do. However, the results of scientific study are often controversial and unpopular, and sometimes run counter to popular expectations.

Table 1.4: Anecdotes and Evidence

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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Does the DARE program “work”?

• • • Why was the DARE program so popular?

What does it mean to say a policy “works”?

Other policies with little evidence of effectiveness?

From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy Process, 3 rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

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