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  • 1. 1Understanding the PoliticsUnderstanding the Politicsof Public Policyof Public Policy
  • 2. 2OutlineOutline Models and theories of public policyModels and theories of public policy Policy process modelPolicy process model– problem definition and agenda settingproblem definition and agenda setting– policy formulationpolicy formulation– policy legitimationpolicy legitimation– policy implementationpolicy implementation– policy evaluation/policy changepolicy evaluation/policy change Instruments of public policyInstruments of public policy Policy typologiesPolicy typologies
  • 3. 3Models of Public PolicyModels of Public Policy Elite theoryElite theory Group theoryGroup theory InstitutionalismInstitutionalism Rational choice theoryRational choice theory Political systems theoryPolitical systems theory Policy process modelPolicy process model
  • 4. 4Policy Process ModelPolicy Process ModelPolicy CyclePolicy CycleProblem definition/Agenda settingPolicy formulationPolicylegitimationPolicyimplementationPolicy evaluationPolicy change
  • 5. 5Problem DefinitionProblem Definition Often difficult to define a problemOften difficult to define a problem What is a current problem?What is a current problem? Why is it a problem?Why is it a problem? Definition is based on your ownDefinition is based on your ownperspectiveperspective Who’s involved?Who’s involved?
  • 6. 6Agenda SettingAgenda Setting Systemic vs. government agendaSystemic vs. government agenda– systemicsystemic: public is aware of and may be: public is aware of and may bediscussingdiscussing– governmentgovernment:: considered to be those issues andconsidered to be those issues andproblems that policymakers are addressing at aproblems that policymakers are addressing at acertain timecertain time What issues would you consider to be onWhat issues would you consider to be onthe government agenda currently?the government agenda currently?
  • 7. 7Streams of Agenda SettingStreams of Agenda SettingProblem streamPolicy streamPolitical streamOpportunity foragenda items
  • 8. 8Explanations for Agenda Setting:Explanations for Agenda Setting:Problems, Politics, ParticipantsProblems, Politics, Participants ProblemsProblems– mandated itemsmandated items– magnitude of problemmagnitude of problem– focusing events (e.g., Sept. 11,focusing events (e.g., Sept. 11, Love Canal)Love Canal)– relationship to symbolsrelationship to symbols– absence of private meansabsence of private means– spillover impactsspillover impacts– analogy to other problemsanalogy to other problems
  • 9. 9Explanations (cont’d)Explanations (cont’d) PoliticsPolitics– political process changepolitical process change» change in administration, public opinion, etc.change in administration, public opinion, etc. Visible participants (entrepreneurs)Visible participants (entrepreneurs)– president and staffpresident and staff– congressional leadershipcongressional leadership– mediamedia– interest groupsinterest groups
  • 10. 10Explanations: Saliency and ConflictExplanations: Saliency and ConflictInfluences on Agenda SettingLevel of salience is HIGH Level of salience is LOWLevel of conflict is HIGH Crime, Gun control WORST CHANCEAbortion rightsLevel of conflict is LOW BEST CHANCEAirline safetyPork-barrel projects (e.g.,research grants, waterprojects)
  • 11. 11Policy FormulationPolicy Formulation Debate over alternative policy choicesDebate over alternative policy choices Importance of policy analysisImportance of policy analysis Actors provide their preferred positionsActors provide their preferred positions Who’s involvedWho’s involved– bureaucracy, EOPbureaucracy, EOP– legislature/stafflegislature/staff– interest groupsinterest groups
  • 12. 12Policy LegitimationPolicy Legitimation Appropriateness of government actionAppropriateness of government action Important for garnering supportImportant for garnering support Deals w/two major issuesDeals w/two major issues– Substance of the policySubstance of the policy– Process of adopting the policyProcess of adopting the policy
  • 13. 13Policy ImplementationPolicy Implementation Where actual intervention is seenWhere actual intervention is seen Activities that put programs into effectActivities that put programs into effect– money spentmoney spent– laws passedlaws passed– regulations formulatedregulations formulated Done mostly by executive branch throughDone mostly by executive branch throughregulationsregulations
  • 14. 14ImplementationImplementation It’s important to recognize that whenIt’s important to recognize that whenexecutive branch agencies implementexecutive branch agencies implementpolicy, they are often MAKING LAW.policy, they are often MAKING LAW. How can this be?How can this be? Delegation of Authority/PowerDelegation of Authority/Power
  • 15. 15Delegation of AuthorityDelegation of AuthorityLegislature confers upon an administrative agencyLegislature confers upon an administrative agencylawmaking power that it could exercise itself.lawmaking power that it could exercise itself.• Raises important constitutional issuesRaises important constitutional issues Why would Congress do this?Why would Congress do this?
  • 16. 16Why Does Congress Delegate?Why Does Congress Delegate?Two ModelsTwo ModelsGood Government ModelGood Government Model "Nonpolitical" officials"Nonpolitical" officials Experts in areaExperts in area Discretion and FlexibilityDiscretion and FlexibilityShift-the-ResponsibilityShift-the-Responsibility Time and ResourceTime and Resource Avoid the responsibilityAvoid the responsibilityof making a "bad"of making a "bad"decisiondecision Serve the constituencyServe the constituencythrough caseworkthrough casework
  • 17. 17Bureaucratic DiscretionBureaucratic DiscretionDelegation has given agencies more leeway inDelegation has given agencies more leeway indetermining the policies that they aredetermining the policies that they areimplementing.implementing. How do we control these agencies and theirHow do we control these agencies and theirpower?power?
  • 18. 18Limits on DiscretionLimits on Discretion Administrative ProceduresAdministrative Procedures Scientific and Economic Decision RulesScientific and Economic Decision Rules Congressional and Presidential OversightCongressional and Presidential Oversight
  • 19. 19Administrative ProceduresAdministrative ProceduresAdministrative Procedure Act (1946) -- setupAdministrative Procedure Act (1946) -- setupprocedures to deal with the shortcomings ofprocedures to deal with the shortcomings ofdelegation.delegation. Important ComponentsImportant Components– Right to seek judicial reviewRight to seek judicial review– Rules to develop regulations (informal rulemaking)Rules to develop regulations (informal rulemaking)
  • 20. 20Informal RulemakingInformal Rulemaking Also called “notice-and-commentAlso called “notice-and-comment RequiresRequires three major stepsthree major steps– Notice of intended rulemaking in theNotice of intended rulemaking in the FederalFederalRegisterRegister– Opportunity for interest parties to submitOpportunity for interest parties to submitcommentscomments– Consideration of comments and response to theConsideration of comments and response to thecomments in the final rule.comments in the final rule.
  • 21. 21Economic/Scientific AnalysisEconomic/Scientific AnalysisThings such as:Things such as: Risk AssessmentsRisk Assessments Peer ReviewPeer Review Cost-Benefit AnalysisCost-Benefit Analysis Role of OMBRole of OMB
  • 22. 22Presidential OversightPresidential Oversight Appointment PowerAppointment Power Budgetary PowerBudgetary Power ReorganizationsReorganizations Guidelines for EnforcementGuidelines for Enforcement Executive OrdersExecutive Orders– E.O.s 12291 and othersE.O.s 12291 and others
  • 23. 23Congressional OversightCongressional OversightCommittee HearingsCommittee Hearings Budgetary PowerBudgetary Power Investigations (GAO)Investigations (GAO) Informal (phone calls, letters, etc.)Informal (phone calls, letters, etc.) Enactment of a statuteEnactment of a statute DeadlinesDeadlines Legislative VetoesLegislative Vetoes– ruled unconstitutional in INS v. Chadaruled unconstitutional in INS v. Chada Police Patrol vs. Fire Alarm OversightPolice Patrol vs. Fire Alarm Oversight
  • 24. 24Policy Evaluation and ChangePolicy Evaluation and Change Step often disregarded in processStep often disregarded in process Difficult to identify the goals of a program andDifficult to identify the goals of a program andif they were achievedif they were achieved Different types of impactsDifferent types of impacts– direct vs. indirectdirect vs. indirect– short-term vs. long-termshort-term vs. long-term Hopefully, will feed information back into theHopefully, will feed information back into thepolicy processpolicy process
  • 25. 25Instruments of PolicyInstruments of Policy RegulationRegulation Government managementGovernment management Taxing and spendingTaxing and spending Market mechanismsMarket mechanisms Education and informationEducation and information
  • 26. 26Lowi Policy TypologyLowi Policy Typology Distributive policyDistributive policy– individualized grants and programsindividualized grants and programs Redistributive policyRedistributive policy– one gains from another’s lossone gains from another’s loss Regulatory policyRegulatory policy– government restriction of choicegovernment restriction of choice