Chapter 1: introducing the policy process

Report
An Introduction to the Policy Process
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCING THE POLICY
PROCESS
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
1
Overview
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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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
2
Public policy is shaped by several
contexts
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Social
Institutional
Political
Economic
Other contexts?
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
3
Public policy involves
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Groups
institutions
Structures
Solving Problems
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
4
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
5
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
6
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
7
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
8
How can we overcome these attitudes
toward “politics”
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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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
9
WHAT IS PUBLIC POLICY?
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
10
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
11
These definitions share ideas that
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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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
12
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
13
Forms of policies
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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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
14
IDEAS AND PROBLEMS IN THE
POLICY PROCESS
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
15
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
16
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
17
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
18
Why do we study public policy?
• Theoretical/scientific reasons
• Practical/applied reasons
• Political reasons
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
19
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
20
Public Policy Processes
Studies of the formulation and
implementation of policy in domestic
contexts. Includes studies in issue
emergence, policy formulation, and
implementation
Comparative Public Policy
Descriptive research on the comparative
tradition addressing differences in policy
outcomes between countries, or within
federal systems
Public Policy Analysis
A logic of analysis and a mix of techniques
in support of public policy decisionmaking. Features economics-based
“rational analysis”
Public Policy Research
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
21
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.
Sociology
Relationship to public
policy
The political process is the
process through which
policies are made and
enforced.
“Sociology is the study of social life, social Community and group
change, and the social causes and
activities are an important
consequences of human behavior.
part of policy making,
Sociologists investigate the structure of
because groups of people
groups, organizations, and societies, and often form to make demands.
how people interact within these contexts”
Table 1.3: Selected Disciplines That Study Public
Policy
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
22
Discipline
Description
Relationship to public policy
Economics
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.
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
The study of the management of
administration 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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
23
Discipline Description
Relationship to public policy
Public
policy
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.
The study of what governments
choose to do or not to do, including
studies of the policy process, policy
implementation and impact, and
evaluation.
Table 1.3: Selected Disciplines That Study Public
Policy (continued)
From Thomas A. Birkland, An Introduction to the Policy
Process, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
24
Evidence and argument in the policy
process
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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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
25
Anecdotes
Evidence
from
scientific
study
Description
Stories told to illustrate
a problem or the
failure of a policy, such
as “DARE kept my
children off drugs” or
“welfare queen”
stories.
How used
To justify starting or
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
26
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, 3rd ed. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.
27

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