POLS 3300 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Pedophilia, Sexually Violent Predator Laws, Child Murder
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WEEK 2 – Reading Notes
MONDAY, September 15th 2014 – SUNDAY, September 21st 2014
1. Pal – Excerpt from Beyond Policy Analysis 1 and 2
2. Martin, Retribution Revisited read
3. Petrunik, The Hare and the Tortoise: Dangerous and Sex Offender Policy in
the United States and Canada
Conceptualizing Interests in Policymaking: A Glossary
oA wide range of actors, including government from all levels, officials,
interest organizations, research groups, journalist, and even other
countries, who share a belief system about a policy area and over time
demonstrate some degree of coordinated activity
oAn important feature is the idea that competing advocacy coalitions mark
oA range of policy actors united by broad ideas about the policy field, ideas
that include assumptions, images, rhetoric, linguistic turns.
oAppears similar to advocacy coalition but had a stronger emphasis on
language ad meaning.
oOriginally developed in the field of international relations, this concept
tries to capture the influence of international group of scientific experts on
policy-making, for example, in the environmental field
oEmphasis on the power of ideas and expertise, as expressed through
professional organizations or individuals.
oThe stable and cozy relationships among congressional committees,
executive agencies (primarily regulatory), and economic interest groups
oImplies long-term, stable interactions among a few actors, insulated from
the rest of the policy process.
oOffered as a critique of the “iron triangle” concept in that most policy
subsystems were actually quite fluid and changing, with actors coalescing
as necessary around issues, not policy sectors.
oThe wide set of actors interested and informed about a policy issue, who
share at least some common language, but who may be opponents on the
oDiffers from the advocacy coalition approach in that policy communities
are presumed to include everyone in a field
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oA subset of actors in the policy community who have consistently higher
level of interest in the policy issue, and interact regularly
oThe most important feature is the discerning of patterns of relations that
have consequences for the development and delivery of policy.
•Public interest groups
oInterest groups that advocate on behalf of the public good rather than the
direct self-interest of their members.
oEmphasis is on advocacy for “causes” and the public interest rather than
•Social movement organizations
oInterest groups rooted in social transformations on the 1960s that led to
new values, new class structures, and new social coalitions (e.g.,
oKey feature is the link between organizations and their social foundations,
as well as the ne dynamics of participation that arise with theses
oA generic concept that expresses the idea that policy does not get made in
a single “system” but in subsystems that consist of microcosms of all the
relevant political and institutional actors
oThis concept was developed in the 1950s as part of pluralist analyses of
•It is expected that policies have some internal consistency among the three
elements of problem definition, goals and instruments
•Second, it is expected for a policy to be vertically consistent in the sense that the
programs and activities that are undertaken in its name are logically related to it.
•Policy statements are normally fairly abstract and general. They must be
actualized through an implementation process that elaborates programs and
activities to give the policy effect.
oFor example, a municipal policy to maintain the livability of the
downtown core assumes programs and initiatives that support business
and residential developments in that area.
oIf the municipality simultaneously had programs to disproportionately
encourage suburban development, these would on their face appear
inconsistent with the larger policy framework.
What is public policy analysis?
•Policy analysis – the disciplined application of intellect to public problems. This
is a process of multidisciplinary inquiry designed to create, critically assess, and
communicate information that is useful in understanding and improving policies.
•You let problems get solved though experimentation, bargaining, and exchange,
rather than exclusively through planning.
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