|PSC 307||Public Policy Analysis WEEKLY TOPICS:|
|Week||Reading||Topic (documentaries shown subject to time available) Speakers|
|Week 1||Dye, Ch.1:||Policy
Gov'ts Do, Why They Do it and What Difference.
What are the purposes of government?
How do the policies tied to each purpose vary in their characteristics?
How are government programs derived from these purposes?
|11-15 Jan||web fun||Pearson's PoliSim, online simulation of lobbying.|
T20-22 Jan(M = MLK)
of Government But
Not Just Looking In.
Who are the actors influential in policymaking from outside of government?
What types of interest groups are there?
What types of activity are characteristic of each type of interest?
How and where can they influence policy?
How do these US influences compare with those in other countries?
and Mass Interaction.
[Lecture on CR mass movement, with transparencies]
ML King, "I have a Dream Speech" as time permits.
PBS videos on civil rights movements -- recommended homework.
How did the civil rights movement try to influence policy from outside government?
Dye describes civil rights policy as a response of a national elite to minority sentiments rather than to the majority. Is he correct?
Voting equality and affirmative action are two different types of equality according to Dye. Is he right on that?
Is feminism a different kind of civil rights movement than the black movement was? [Likewise gay rights, disabled ...]
What are the principal civil rights laws and what do they require?
25-W 27 Jan
Does An Idea's Time Come?
How does an idea emerge from all the debates in the country and get placed on the national agenda?
How are the alternatives for policy sifted and one selected?
What makes this choice authoritative?
How does this decision get implemented?
27 Jan, 7pm
on the Inside of Government.
Presidential State of the Union Address, TV analysis in lounge?
How does the President place items on the national agenda?
What sorts of resources give a player influence in agenda-setting?
What role is played by presidential staff?
Who are political appointees, and at what levels of government?
How far are civil servants involved in setting the national agenda?
What are the agenda-setting resources of congressional leaders?
What incentives do congressional leaders have to be players in this game?
of Politics: Some
Help in Thinking about Public Policy. [Lecture]
What are policy models and are they any use?
Explain the institutional model versus the process model.
Compare group theory (pluralism) with elite theory.
Contrast the rational model with incrementalism.
Compare game theory with public choice theory and systems theory.
How can we tell if models are helping us analyze policymaking?
Rationality, Incrementalism & Garbage Cans [Lecture]
Does the source of an idea make a difference to the eventual policy?
Are there any leaders that succeed across all policy areas?
How close does the rational comprehensive model come to reality?
How close does the incremental model come to reality?
What is the garbage can model of policymaking?
What are the organized anarchies and the four streams?
|Dye, Ch.3:||Policymaking Process:
What are the stages of the policymaking process?
What are the effects of public opinion?
Are elite opinions different from the mass and are they closer to actual policy?
How does the agenda get set and is a nondecision the same as a decision?
How can opinion be mobilized on an issue?
How is policy formulated and by whom?
What makes policy legitimate?
To what degree do the political parties influence policy?
How do the bureaucracies affect policy?
How systematic is policy evaluation?
|Policy Process Introduction
#43: John Kingdon, "Agenda Setting"
Why do some subjects rise on the national agenda while others are neglected?
Why are some policy alternatives chosen over others?
What are the influences of technical problems; politics and participants in the process?
How doe these three "streams" become "coupled"
What windows of opportunity open up for policies?
and Irrationality in Public Policy.
What helps to deter crime?
How well does the American justice system deter crime?
What are the causes of crime?
Does crime pay?
In what way do US values over crime conflict?
the Drug War."
What was the war on drugs intended to do?
What resources were poured into the war on drugs?
How could success in the war on drugs be measured?
How successful was the war on drugs in practice?
|Midterm Essay Test: Wed. Week 6|
and Welfare Policy:
Search for Rational Strategies.
How are "entitlements" different from the term" welfare"?
When were welfare programs created and expanded?
What are the major entitlement programs in the US?
What values support or oppose entitlements?
What reforms have been proposed of entitlements?
|ABC, Surgeon General Koop
on health care systems. (Late 1980s reform)
PBS, Dr. Solomon's Dilemma (late 1990s reforms)
How have health care institutions been reforming to control budget inflation?
How do these reforms impact the doctor-patient relationship?
Should doctors' groups be permitted to exclude elderly or sick patients?
Should doctors have incentives to treat patients without regard to cost?
What are the costs and benefits of limiting patient stays in hospital?
Should doctors who spend more per patient be fired from their group?
22-24 Feb(No Fri)
PBS, "The GI Bill."; PBS, "Learning in America." as time permits.
What are the goals of US education policy?
Which groups contest education policy?
What reforms of education do the public support?
How much influence do standardized tests have -- and how useful are they?
Which reports evaluating US education have been most influential?
What has been the federal role in education?
How have market competition theories impacted education in recent years?
What reforms have been implemented in elementary & secondary education?
How does the federal government fund and affect higher education?
What groups compete to influence higher education?
Is religion effectively separated from educational institutions?
What are externalities and how do these affect public choice?
What are the costs to industry of regulation, and the costs to society of pollution?
Should the environment be regulated by command and control or by market incentives?
What types of externalities are there?
What interest groups are active in environmental policy?
What have been the major pieces of legislation on the environment?
What are the possible statutory measures to preserve the environment?
Spring". Rachel Carson as policy entrepreneur.
The Dam: an official letter about an environmental problem in Pennsylvania.
What does it mean to be a "policy entrepreneur?"
What were Rachel Carson's qualifications for being an authority on the environment?
What event triggered her interest in changing policy?
What opposition did Carson provoke?
What medium did Carson use to raise consciousness of the environment?
How effectively were scientific data employed in the policy debates over pesticides use and abuse?
What were the roles of opposition scientists and grass-roots lobbying?
What role was taken by the chemical industry? The Interior department?
Can a public debate -- beyond the experts -- decide public policy on technical matters?
Are congressional hearings appropriate for changing policy on technical matters?
Did Carson's thesis depend on a new world-view of "ecology" and interdependence of life?
Did Carson argue for banning pesticides or for controlling their use?
for Serious Games. [Strategy
How can we apply game theory to nuclear deterrence?
What are the weaknesses of nuclear deterrence?
Why do we have three types of nuclear weapons platform instead of one?
What arms control agreements have been made, and why was one not enough?
Why does the US maintain security alliances with other nations?
What types of military threats does the US face?
Winter Break R-F
How do officials have problems brought to their attention?
Why do problems fade from view at times?
How do budgets influence which problems are paramount?
8-10 Mar(No Fri 12)
#44: Lindblom, "Science of Muddling Through"
documentary: PBS, "The Marshall Plan"
How does incrementalism affect economic policy?
Contrast fiscal and monetary policy.
Contrast the classical theory with the Keynesian theory.
Contrast monetary policy with supply-side policy.
What is the role of the Federal Reserve Board?
How has GDP grown in the US over recent decades?
What are the relations among income, production, unemployment and inflation?
How does fragmentation affect economic policy?
How is discretion over the budget limited by entitlements?
What is the budgetary process?
Is US budgeting annual and comprehensive?
Banfield, "Influence and the Public Interest
What case studies were the basis for Banfield's ideas?
How is the need for central decisionmaking in tension with social choice?
How do individual choices interact to give a community choice?
How can a mixed decision-choice process be developed?
Lowi, "Distribution, Regulation, Redistribution: Functions ...
Does politics make policy -- or the reverse?
What are the three categories of policy and how do they differ?
How do the policy actors differ in the three categories?
How do the impacts of the types of policy differ?
How do ideas float around in the environment, some growing in influence?
Who make up policy communities?
Who advocate for policy changes?
How are policy choices limited to available alternatives?
Special Interests | Lecture notes
| Tax diagram NEW
What are the most valuable federal tax types?
Which is fairest: universal, progressive or flat tax?
What effects would a flat tax have?
How are tax laws influenced by special interest groups?
If interests dominate, why did the 1986 tax reform act happen?
What affect do taxes have on economic growth?
Have tax cuts been effective in stimulating growth?
|22-26 Mar||Spring Break: No classes. Week 11 is advising week.|
29 Mar-2 Apr
Trade & Immigration: Elite-Mass
How large is world trade?
What does the US import and export?
Explain the theory of comparative advantage.
What international institutions oversee world trade?
What US treaties permit free trade?
What US laws control immigration and what is their effect?
How does political agitation and resistance affect which policies pass?
What actors play roles in the political stream?
How does the national mood limit policy choices?
How do political organizations contribute to policy choices?
How is consensus built in the political stream?
How does the system senses changes that make some policy changes acceptable and others not?
|Health Care Reform Act,
March 2010: lecture
notes | White
House | AlabamaNEW
What are the goals of the health care reform?
When will the provisions come into effect?
Will the reforms actually increase or decrease federal costs?
How were the reforms put through the House and the Senate?
Who supported or opposed the reforms?
Will the reforms achieve universal coverage?
Which groups will benefit? Which will pay for those benefits?
5- 8 Apr
|Dye, Ch.12:||American Federalism:
Institutional Arrangements and Public Policy.
How does a relationship among institutions condition US federalism?
|(Good Fri)||Kingdon 8:||Policy
Window, and Joining Streams | Table
How do opportunities appear to join the 3 streams of policy activism and get a policy passed?
What are the three streams of policymaking?
How and why do policy windows open and for how long?
How does coupling promote some policy solutions but not others?
|Research ePaper due Sunday, 6pm, 11 Apr. Requirements page|
Security: Terrorism & Nondeterrable Threats
Jeremy Lewis: Terrorism Notes and Index.
PBS Frontline, "Beslan" video. [Contains distressing scenes of terrorism; you may close your eyes at times, so long as you read the notes.]
In what way does terrorism present any real threat to the US?
How can the US defend against terrorism?
In what ways can the US infringe on civil liberties to ensure security?
How was the DHS created?
What is the role of intelligence in fighting terrorism?
Things Up [notes needed]
Overall, what does Kingdon's research show?
|Dye, Ch.15:||Policy Evaluation:
Happens After a Law is Passed.
How are the consequences of policy evaluated?
What types of benefits and costs are there?
What methods of evaluation are available?
What are the qualities of using experiments in policy?
What defenses are available against critical findings of evaluations?
Are all problems tractable by policy programs?
In what ways can the free market improve productivity?
How does the division of labor increase productivity?
How can selfish struggles in the market produce the greater good of all?
What are the differences among the "real", "nominal", "market" and "natural" prices?
What should a government properly do for the economy?
Should we buy goods closer to home?
Should we be generous -- or thrifty?
What is wrong with monopoly?
How should taxes be designed?
John Stuart Mill.
What is the role of pleasure and pain in society?
Can the greater moral good of each person add up to the greater moral good of the whole society?
Should government step in to increase pleasure and reduce pain?
Are some pleasures more valuable than others?
Is seeking pleasure compatible with the Golden Rule?
How does Kingdon analyze the 1986 Tax Reform Act and the 1993 Health Care Reform Act?
Do Kingdon's concepts add up to something that helps us to analyze further case studies of policy -- or is it mere sophistry without real value?
|R 29 April, 14:30, Comprehensive FINAL Essay examination|