POLS 226

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Published on 12 Oct 2012
School
U of S
Department
Political Studies
Course
POLS 226
Page 1 of 11
Page 1 of 11
January 10, 2012
Definitions of Public Policy
- The definitions that exist are very vague.
Governments do a lot more than they used to.
- Populations tax more now, and the expectations of them have increased.
- Regulations are a form of law, and have the ability to set out specific policies.
Subsidies
- Paid by government to other levels or specific firms.
January 12, 2012
Essay Proposal
- Worth 10% of your final grade.
- Late penalty is 10% per week.
- Electronic copy must also be submitted by email.
- Proposal should be 1-2 pages double-spaced with clear explanation of topic, as well as
draft of argumentative thesis.
- Minimum of five scholarly sources.
- Description of preliminary topic needs to be clear.
- Title page:
o Title of your essay must be included.
o Your name and student number.
o POLS 226
- Format:
o Needs to be clear, precise and grammatically correct.
o Each paragraph needs to be subparagraph to thesis statement.
- Thesis statements
o Needs to be debatable, narrow, and related to a policy issue.
January 17, 2012
What is theory?
- Ideas/facts observed/unit of analysis/subject/predict
- It is an explanation of why things happen the way that they do.
- Investigators strive to remove the economical desire from their work…
Social class is the basis for conflict in society, as some classes are dominant over others.
Deductive/inductive reasoning
- Deductive reasoning is using existing information to reach a conclusion.
o Conclusion must be based on information previously presented and cannot
contain new information.
- Inductive reasoning
o Process of reasoning in which conclusion is very likely to be true, given the
premises. To ascribe policies in relations to type based on limited observations of
particular tokens or to formulate laws of recurring patterns.
o Deductive reasoning does not make assumptions.
- Both types are sued fairly frequently.
o Normative influences can hold quite a bit of sway.
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o In most disciplines, hypothesis can affect opinion greatly.
o The method fundamentally depends on performance and/or experimental tests, or
imperial examination of data in a structured way in order to validate or refute the
predictions.
o Explanations of why things happen are models of reality.
Purpose of theory and policy
- We have it because it will simplify and clarify our thinking of government and politics.
- Help identify important political forces in society
- To direct inquiry into politics
- Suggest explanations for political advantages and outcomes.
Structuralism theories
- Share the assumption that the outcome of public policy is largely but not solely
determined by ten nature of structure, or structure of politics, bureaucracy or society.
- Examples of structuralist theories:
o Marxism
o Environmental determinism
o Institutionalism
o Incremetnalism
o Systems theory
o Policy is open to influence in a competitive environment.
o Dynamic theories share an assumption that policy is open to influence in a
competitive environment.
Pluralism
Game theory
Public choice
o Structuralist theories
Division of society into classes: the relationship to the means of
production. Access to capital to make cash money.
Class is a basis for conflict.
Class and quality: you have subordinate and ordinate causes.
o Legitimation policies?
There is an attention paid by states to general needs to support the general
interest of capital by providing subordinate classes with benefits to reduce
their dissatisfaction with the classes created with a capitalist economy.
Accumulation policies directly support profit-driven business activity.
o Ideology reinforces structural mechanisms in society.
Globalization Framework
- International treaty in terms of trade and expansion in technology have made the state
ineffectual in many policy areas.
Institutionalism and incrementalism
- Policy outcomes are determined by the structural configuration by the state itself.
- Incrementalism refers to slow and small adjustments to past decisions.
- Influence is the kind of adoptive policies by the state.
- Functionalism:
o Behaviour fuels the system.
o Inputs such as political demands or policies influence the process.
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Pluralism
- Based on the observation that interest groups influence the outcome of government
decisions.
- Society is a collection of individuals with their own interests.
- Individuals have a greater chance of achieving their goals if they partner with others with
similar goals.
January 19, 2012
Methodology
- Special form of procedure
- An orderly arrangement of ideas and a body of practices and rules within a discipline
Deductive vs. Inductive Reasoning
- Deductive: based on evidence followed.
- Inductive:
Structuralist vs. Dynamic theories
Major policy-making contributors:
- Federalism
- Public opinion
- Constitution
Contextual influences
- Canada is more tolerant, more knowledgeable, etc. when compared to the U.S.
- Canada is often compared to the U.S.
- English and French are the dominant cultures in Canada.
o English Canada is a liberal system based on Toryism.
o French Canada is pre-feudal delayed by its feudal past (quiet revolution in 1960s).
What Canada borrows from the UK:
- Parliamentary government and constitutional conventions.
- From the US, we borrow their federal government structure.
- The constitution is a fundamental law.
Quiet revolution in the 1960s
- Institutional shift away from the Catholic church
- Largely responsible for education and healthcare policies
- There was an ideological shift away from preserving rural life…
- Pearson’s government wanted to demand
Trading has increased with the U.S. after NAFTA.
January 24, 2012
Every policy cycle is a tool/mental shortcut.
Key feature of bureaucracy
- It should be non-partisan.
- In reality, bureaucrats usually have sort of discretionary power.
Efficiency
- The government expects goals will be accomplished at a reasonable cost within a
reasonable amount of time.
Rationality
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Document Summary

The definitions that exist are very vague. Governments do a lot more than they used to. Populations tax more now, and the expectations of them have increased. Regulations are a form of law, and have the ability to set out specific policies. Paid by government to other levels or specific firms. Electronic copy must also be submitted by email. Proposal should be 1-2 pages double-spaced with clear explanation of topic, as well as draft of argumentative thesis. Description of preliminary topic needs to be clear. Title page: title of your essay must be included, your name and student number, pols 226. Format: needs to be clear, precise and grammatically correct, each paragraph needs to be subparagraph to thesis statement. Thesis statements: needs to be debatable, narrow, and related to a policy issue. It is an explanation of why things happen the way that they do. Investigators strive to remove the economical desire from their work .

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