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Class:762 305 - PRIN PUBLIC POL
Subject:PLANNING AND PUBLIC POLICY
University:Rutgers University
Term:Fall 2009
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Public Policy -Course of action or inaction taken by government entities with regard to a particular issue. Includes passage of laws, approval of regulations, spending money, tax breaks.
Reasons for Gov. Involvement EMP 1) Economic - correcting a market failure -> bailouts 2) Moral - seen as the right thing to do even without public pressure ex. Social Security for elderly and disabled 3) Political - shift in public opinion/rise of social movement pressing for action; gaining support for re-election -> Gov. Hunt in flag case
What gov does/Policy instruments RGMTMME 1) Regulation: government decrees that either require or prevent citizens from doing something 2) Government management: providing services/programs directly to citizens, such as education, defense, and public parks 3) Taxing and spending: used to achieve policy goals. Spending example - direct payment of money to citizens through Social Security; tax policy - promote/discourage certain activities, like tobacco tax 4) Market mechanisms: Using the market to allow the laws of supply and demand to wor
Governmental Agenda List of subjects that are getting attention
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Decision Agenda List of subjects within the governmental agenda that are up for an active decision
Elite theory Policy-making theory that emphasizes how the values and preferences of governing elites, which differ from those of the public at large, affect policy development
Group theory Policy-making theory that sees public policy as the prodyct of a continuous struggle among organized interest groups; tends to believe that power in the US political system is wifely shared among interest groups; each of which seeks access to the policy-making process
Problem Stream -A situation that is not defined as a problem/issue, and for which alternatives are never envisaged or proposed, will never be converted into a policy -The feeling that a current or foreseen situation is wrong and that something should, and can, be done to modify and/or improve it is thus a prerequisite for turning an issue into a policy -Necessary to be able to demonstrate that the problems mentioned can actually be attributed to causes within human control and thus that action can be taken to change the s
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Policy Stream -How an issue rises or falls on an agenda has to do with the stream of policies -Concerned with the formulation of policy alternatives and proposals; new policies will never be shaped if there are no ideas or policy proposals on which they can be based and developed -Important aspect of the streams model is linked to the idea that such proposals and solutions, which must be technically feasible, are not initially built to resolve given problems; rather they float in search of problems to which they can be t
Politics Stream -Although they take place independently of the other two streams, political events, such as an impending election or a change in government, can lead a given topic and policy to be included or excluded from the agenda -The dynamic and special needs created by a political event may change the agenda -3 forces: Public opinion, organized pol groups, government Public opinion: role of media in expressing national mood, voices heard through polls and constituents direct communication Organized political groups
Kingdon's Public Policy Streams explained -The model underlines the existence of three distinct, but complementary streams, in policy-making. It is the coupling (the coming together of the streams, opening a policy window) of these streams that allows, at a given time and in a given context, for a particular issue to be turned into a policy -It is when the streams meet and coincide that an issue is transformed from a mere topic and/or problem into a concrete policy, that is, a compelling problem is linked to a plausible solution that meets the test
Problem v condition Problem: existence of an unsatisfactory set of conditions for which relief is sought, either through private means or from the gov. Commonly used in discussion of societal issues that call for a governmental response in the form of public policy Condition: circumstances affecting the way in which people live or work, esp. with regard to their safety or well-being; consider values, (fairness), comparisons (what could happen), and categories
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Criteria for public policy proposal survival Similar to evaluation step of the policy analysis 1) Technical feasibility: Will it work? 2) Value acceptability: Issues of equity (redressing imbalances/unfairness) and efficiency (benefits that are being realized from that expenditure, whether they justify the costs, and whether the benefits can be achieved at a lower price 3) Anticipation of future constraints: Will public opinion approve of this? Will politicians approve? Will it fit with the budget constraints?
Steps in policy analysis process 1) Define/analyze problem: What is the problem faced? Where does it exist? Who is effected? What are the major causes? 2) Construct policy alternatives: What policy options might be considered for dealing with the problem? 3) Develop evaluative criteria: What criteria are most suitable for the problem and alternatives? What are the costs of action? Social/political feasibility? 4) Assess alternatives: Which are better than others? What kind of analysis could help determine if one is better tha
What causes a policy window to open? -Policy window=opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions, or push attention to their special problems -Open from a change in the political stream (change in admin, shift in public opinion), because a new problem captures attention of gov officials and those close to them, because a problem becomes pressing -When these streams come together, or couple, a policy window opens -Can be predictable (scheduled renewal of a program) -Spillover: when the appearance of a window for one subj
What causes a policy window to close? -Problem doesn't seem solvable/no viable policy alternative -Interest changes/overshadowed -Change in administration -Problem solved
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Policy entrepreneur and motivations -Advocate a policy -Willing to invest resources in hopes of some return (money, time, reputation) -Connect policy streams Motivations: personal interest, "groupie" (enjoy doing it), affect/shape policies (want it solved in a way that parallels their values/feelings/opinion/personal gain
Policy Process Model 1) Agenda setting: how problems are perceived and defined, command attention and get onto the agenda 2) Policy formation: Design/drafting of policy goals and strategies for achieving them, (use of policy analysis) 3) Policy legitimation: Mobilization of pol support and formal enactment of policies. Includes justifications/rationales for policy action 4) Policy implementation: Provision of institutional resources for putting the programs into effect within a bureaucracy 5) Policy and program evaluatio
Inside government actors: Administration 1) President: influences AGENDA; only one who can single-handedly set agenda, BUT can't dominate alternatives; influence is greater when he's popular; puts pressure on other gov officials to adopt his agenda 2) Staff: influences ALTERNATIVES; many resources (take part in detailed negotiations with diff. dept., the Hill, and major interest groups, producing the admin's proposals which clarify the admin's bargaining positions as the proposals move through the legislative process 3) Appointees: influenc
Inside government actors: Civil Servants -Influence IMPLEMENTATION, alternatives and agenda less often -Work hard b/c if policies don't work can lose job -Expertise/longevity/relationships with pol. officials and interest groups -Line bureaucrats focus on existing policies -Staff bureaucrats research on new policies -ONLY GROUP TO DIRECTLY AFFECT IMPLEMENTATION
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Inside government actors: Congress 1) Elected officials: influence AGENDA AND ALTERNATIVES; legal authority; incentives to enhance their Washington reputation, develop good public policies, and satisfy constituents 2) Congressional staff: influence ALTERNATIVES and some evaluation; research alternatives and bring to elected officials; draft legislation; arrange hearings; resources include close to Congress and admin; incentives to get ideas drafted into policy, getting promoted, helping their sen/rep get re-elected so they can keep their
Inside government actors: Judiciary -Influence IMPLEMENTATION and EVALUATION (in terms of interpreting laws and legality), agenda setting -Judicial review, longevity, interpret constitution get last word -SC ruling is law unless overturned by legislative act of Congress which can again be declared unconstitutional
Scientific policy report -Search for "truth" and build theory about policy actions and effects -Use scientific method to test hypotheses -Policy relevance less important than advancing knowledge -Limits: too theoretical and not address info needs of decision makers
Professional policy report -Analyze policy alternatives for solving public problems -Synthesize research/theory to understand consequences of policy alternatives -Evaluate current programs and effects -Limits: research/analysis too narrow due to time and resource constraints; neglect causes of public problems
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Political policy report -Advocate and support preferred policies -Use legal, economic, and political arguments consistent with value positions -aim to influence policy debate to realize organizational goals and values -Limits: too ideological/partisan and may not be credible
How do problems capture the attention of people? -Event like a crisis or disaster -Symbols: reinforcement for something already taking plae and focuses attention in agenda setting; capture in a nutshell some sort of reality that people already sense -Secondary events that reinforce something must be done
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 Public Policy-Course of action or inaction taken by government entities with regard to a particular issue. Includes passage of laws, approval of regulations, spending money, tax breaks.
 Reasons for Gov. Involvement EMP1) Economic - correcting a market failure -> bailouts
2) Moral - seen as the right thing to do even without public pressure ex. Social Security for elderly and disabled
3) Political - shift in public opinion/rise of social movement pressing for action; gaining support for re-election -> Gov. Hunt in flag case
 What gov does/Policy instruments RGMTMME1) Regulation: government decrees that either require or prevent citizens from doing something
2) Government management: providing services/programs directly to citizens, such as education, defense, and public parks
3) Taxing and spending: used to achieve policy goals. Spending example - direct payment of money to citizens through Social Security; tax policy - promote/discourage certain activities, like tobacco tax
4) Market mechanisms: Using the market to allow the laws of supply and demand to wor
 Governmental AgendaList of subjects that are getting attention
 Decision AgendaList of subjects within the governmental agenda that are up for an active decision
 Elite theoryPolicy-making theory that emphasizes how the values and preferences of governing elites, which differ from those of the public at large, affect policy development
 Group theoryPolicy-making theory that sees public policy as the prodyct of a continuous struggle among organized interest groups; tends to believe that power in the US political system is wifely shared among interest groups; each of which seeks access to the policy-making process
 Problem Stream-A situation that is not defined as a problem/issue, and for which alternatives are never envisaged or proposed, will never be converted into a policy
-The feeling that a current or foreseen situation is wrong and that something should, and can, be done to modify and/or improve it is thus a prerequisite for turning an issue into a policy
-Necessary to be able to demonstrate that the problems mentioned can actually be attributed to causes within human control and thus that action can be taken to change the s
 Policy Stream-How an issue rises or falls on an agenda has to do with the stream of policies
-Concerned with the formulation of policy alternatives and proposals; new policies will never be shaped if there are no ideas or policy proposals on which they can be based and developed
-Important aspect of the streams model is linked to the idea that such proposals and solutions, which must be technically feasible, are not initially built to resolve given problems; rather they float in search of problems to which they can be t
 Politics Stream-Although they take place independently of the other two streams, political events, such as an impending election or a change in government, can lead a given topic and policy to be included or excluded from the agenda
-The dynamic and special needs created by a political event may change the agenda
-3 forces: Public opinion, organized pol groups, government
Public opinion: role of media in expressing national mood, voices heard through polls and constituents direct communication
Organized political groups
 Kingdon's Public Policy Streams explained-The model underlines the existence of three distinct, but complementary streams, in policy-making. It is the coupling (the coming together of the streams, opening a policy window) of these streams that allows, at a given time and in a given context, for a particular issue to be turned into a policy
-It is when the streams meet and coincide that an issue is transformed from a mere topic and/or problem into a concrete policy, that is, a compelling problem is linked to a plausible solution that meets the test
 Problem v conditionProblem: existence of an unsatisfactory set of conditions for which relief is sought, either through private means or from the gov. Commonly used in discussion of societal issues that call for a governmental response in the form of public policy

Condition: circumstances affecting the way in which people live or work, esp. with regard to their safety or well-being; consider values, (fairness), comparisons (what could happen), and categories
 Criteria for public policy proposal survivalSimilar to evaluation step of the policy analysis
1) Technical feasibility: Will it work?
2) Value acceptability: Issues of equity (redressing imbalances/unfairness) and efficiency (benefits that are being realized from that expenditure, whether they justify the costs, and whether the benefits can be achieved at a lower price
3) Anticipation of future constraints: Will public opinion approve of this? Will politicians approve? Will it fit with the budget constraints?
 Steps in policy analysis process1) Define/analyze problem: What is the problem faced? Where does it exist? Who is effected? What are the major causes?
2) Construct policy alternatives: What policy options might be considered for dealing with the problem?
3) Develop evaluative criteria: What criteria are most suitable for the problem and alternatives? What are the costs of action? Social/political feasibility?
4) Assess alternatives: Which are better than others? What kind of analysis could help determine if one is better tha
 What causes a policy window to open?-Policy window=opportunity for advocates of proposals to push their pet solutions, or push attention to their special problems
-Open from a change in the political stream (change in admin, shift in public opinion), because a new problem captures attention of gov officials and those close to them, because a problem becomes pressing
-When these streams come together, or couple, a policy window opens
-Can be predictable (scheduled renewal of a program)
-Spillover: when the appearance of a window for one subj
 What causes a policy window to close?-Problem doesn't seem solvable/no viable policy alternative
-Interest changes/overshadowed
-Change in administration
-Problem solved
 Policy entrepreneur and motivations-Advocate a policy
-Willing to invest resources in hopes of some return (money, time, reputation)
-Connect policy streams

Motivations: personal interest, "groupie" (enjoy doing it), affect/shape policies (want it solved in a way that parallels their values/feelings/opinion/personal gain
 Policy Process Model1) Agenda setting: how problems are perceived and defined, command attention and get onto the agenda
2) Policy formation: Design/drafting of policy goals and strategies for achieving them, (use of policy analysis)
3) Policy legitimation: Mobilization of pol support and formal enactment of policies. Includes justifications/rationales for policy action
4) Policy implementation: Provision of institutional resources for putting the programs into effect within a bureaucracy
5) Policy and program evaluatio
 Inside government actors: Administration1) President: influences AGENDA; only one who can single-handedly set agenda, BUT can't dominate alternatives; influence is greater when he's popular; puts pressure on other gov officials to adopt his agenda
2) Staff: influences ALTERNATIVES; many resources (take part in detailed negotiations with diff. dept., the Hill, and major interest groups, producing the admin's proposals which clarify the admin's bargaining positions as the proposals move through the legislative process
3) Appointees: influenc
 Inside government actors: Civil Servants-Influence IMPLEMENTATION, alternatives and agenda less often
-Work hard b/c if policies don't work can lose job
-Expertise/longevity/relationships with pol. officials and interest groups
-Line bureaucrats focus on existing policies
-Staff bureaucrats research on new policies
-ONLY GROUP TO DIRECTLY AFFECT IMPLEMENTATION
 Inside government actors: Congress1) Elected officials: influence AGENDA AND ALTERNATIVES; legal authority; incentives to enhance their Washington reputation, develop good public policies, and satisfy constituents
2) Congressional staff: influence ALTERNATIVES and some evaluation; research alternatives and bring to elected officials; draft legislation; arrange hearings; resources include close to Congress and admin; incentives to get ideas drafted into policy, getting promoted, helping their sen/rep get re-elected so they can keep their
 Inside government actors: Judiciary-Influence IMPLEMENTATION and EVALUATION (in terms of interpreting laws and legality), agenda setting
-Judicial review, longevity, interpret constitution get last word
-SC ruling is law unless overturned by legislative act of Congress which can again be declared unconstitutional
 Scientific policy report-Search for "truth" and build theory about policy actions and effects
-Use scientific method to test hypotheses
-Policy relevance less important than advancing knowledge
-Limits: too theoretical and not address info needs of decision makers
 Professional policy report-Analyze policy alternatives for solving public problems
-Synthesize research/theory to understand consequences of policy alternatives
-Evaluate current programs and effects
-Limits: research/analysis too narrow due to time and resource constraints; neglect causes of public problems
 Political policy report-Advocate and support preferred policies
-Use legal, economic, and political arguments consistent with value positions
-aim to influence policy debate to realize organizational goals and values
-Limits: too ideological/partisan and may not be credible
 How do problems capture the attention of people?-Event like a crisis or disaster
-Symbols: reinforcement for something already taking plae and focuses attention in agenda setting; capture in a nutshell some sort of reality that people already sense
-Secondary events that reinforce something must be done
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