PAPM 2000 October 15, 2013.docx

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Public Affairs and Policy Management
PAPM 2000
Graeme Auld

Agenda: 1) Problem Definition 2) "Streams" approach 3) Constructivist approach • With problems, we do not think of problems as a 'condition' like an illness, because it would mean that there is not much that we can do about it • Think of it as a problem that is solvable • Problems can take on many dimensions and many forms • At the outset, may not be certain there is a problem or not • So just thinking that there may be a problem is the starting point o Come to conclusion by accumulation of information that the government would maintain • Maybe through a sort of social condition • Could be through statistics • How does the government conduct educational tests every so often to determine where students are  Will compare to students around the world • Poverty is reflected in educational results: no food and no nourishment means that performance is worse • Correlation between economic well being and academic capabilities • Have to think philosophically • In order to have a problem, must deviate from what we think should be-> you think there is an idea and because situation deviates, we think we have a problem • Because we are relating an issue to what should be a normative approach, there is judgement involved here • This plays a big role in the constructivist approach • About a judgement and own sense of moral code and culture • Cognitive abilities -> what can and can't be understood • Not necessarily based on something that is indisputable • Come to a conclusion that it is a problem • Statistic's Canada does highlight a certain phenomena (has to be some sort of problem) • Secondly, it is not obvious that data collects, usually academic community that highlights a particular issue • The media is a problem -> they are always looking for a story, they also push the government • By the very nature, media uses their skills to find an issue • Use government and push the public into believing there is a problem • If there is a problem, then the government feels the need to act and change things • Public belief is that problems may be on the rise and getting worse • Proved that they have better awareness • Any government may be pressed to do something • Academia is also a significant change -> maybe there is a protest (which would highlight that there is a problem) makes you wonder if there is something going about • Crisis of some sort • What specifically is the problem is subject to debate -> gaps within the security blanket are subject to debate • Ex. The Financial crisis which galvanized people into thinking there was a problem • It was during this episode that people put their attention to what happened -> people focus on the inequities in society • Has to be, in order for government to act, timing is everything • Has to be a public mood, need and demand to act • Has to be political interest and so on • If there are problems and a political/public mood of the problem, then at some point, the stars align, at this point is the right time for something to happen • All begins with agenda setting o PM Harper is going to be putting on a speech where the agenda is determined o The public agenda => what gets put on it is a function of what is getting general attention by the public o Also a function of getting a lot of attention from the government -> may not necessarily align o Misalignment that can occur, how are agendas set? • "Metaphor" -> there is a policy window/there is a launch shuttle • There must be all things aligning, temperature, speed, etc. Everything has to align perfectly so that a launch can be put together • There is a launch window • Stream theory says there are 3 different streams that occur independently of each other o 1) Problem o 2) Solution o 3) politics • Also a problem stream: o Media, academics, individuals highlighting that there is a problem, may be coming at it from a different angle, which is why sometimes they aren't necessarily on the same page -> highlighting different prospects of the same thing • People who look for solutions, universal healthcare, user fees, etc. whole litera
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