PAP 2300 Lecture Notes - Basic Block, Amitai Etzioni, Policy Network

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*Public Administration, Public Policy, and
Policy (Program) Evaluation*
Understanding Public Policy Making
Defining the concept
Explaining the policy making process
Examining and critiquing the various theories of policy making
Policy or Program Evaluation
What is public policy?
What is the policy making process?
What are some of the theories used in explaining public policy making?
How are policies implemented?
What is the essence of policy evaluation?
Public Policy – *know two*
Thomas Dye
- “Whatever governments choose to do or not to do.”
Les A. Pal, (2006)
- “A course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a given
problem of interrelated set of problems.”
Peter Aucoin (1979)
- “Public policy must be considered to encompass the actual activities
undertaken by a government, whether or not a government’s objectives and
strategies are explicit, or are congruent with its activities.
James E Andersen (1984)
- A purposive course of action followed by an actor or a set of actors in dealing
with a problem or matter of concern.
Gregory P. Marchildon (2001)
- The “systematic laying out of the objectives of a government” as well as “the
practical measures that are proposed to achieve those objectives.”
What is in these definitions?
- Policy can be a case of action or inaction
- Policies are specific courses of action
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Explaining the Policy Making Process
- The policy process is continuous. It does not stop since government policies
are virtually always in a state of change.
- Citizens make demands, government has to react
Policy Making Process
- A simplified model of the policy making process:
- Formulation – Implementation – Evaluation
The Policy Cycle – explain with diagram for extra points
- The policy cycle is the term used to describe the lifespan of a policy, from its
formulation, to the review.
- It comprises of:
- Needs assessment & agenda setting;
- Planning & policy formulation;
- Policy legitimation;
- Policy implementation;
- Policy monitoring/evaluation and feedback.
Applied Problem-Solving
1. Problem recognition - Something is wrong and something must be done
2. Proposal of solution
3. Choice of solution
4. Putting solution into effect
5. Monitoring/evaluating results
Stages in the Policy Cycle – explain with diagram circle for extra points
1. Agenda setting
- By Cabinet
- Refers to the process by which the problems of society comes to the
attention of government
2. Policy formulation
- How policy options are formulated within government
3. Decision-making & policy ligitimation
- The process by which government adopts a particular course of action
4. Policy implementation
- Relates to how government put policies into effect
5. Policy evaluation
- Refers to the processes by which the results of policies are monitored
by both states and societal actors, the outcome of which may be the re-
conceptualization of the policy problem and solution
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Types of Policies
1. Regulatory policy
- Designed to limit the actions or behaviour of people or groups so as to
protect the general public or a substantial portion of the public
- Example: ban on smoking in public places
2. Distributive policy
- Perhaps the most common form of government policy
- Government uses general tax revenues to provide benefits to
individuals or groups either through grants or subsidies
3. Redistributive policy
- Take taxes from certain groups of people and give them to another
group.
- Generally thought of as benefiting less advantaged groups at the
perceived expense of the advantaged
-Ex: funding tuition fees
-Spreading money around to help close the gap between the rich and
the poor. Ex: using income taxes
- Among major redistributive policies are those that deal with:
i. Income Stabilization – helping to support those who are
unemployed or retired
ii. Social Welfare – providing either direct payments to
individuals
iii. Health Care Programs – free for Candians
4. Constituent policy
- Intended to benefit the public generally or simply to serve the
government.
- Examples: Foreign and Defence policies for the general public.
- Example: Those directed toward the Agencies of government. Ex:
passing a law affecting the structure and function of a government
Agency. Ex: Reduce the DND budget
Theories of Public Policy Making
a. Classical theories:
- Rational-comprehensive
- Incrementalism
- Bounded Rationality
- Mixed-scanning
- Marxist Analysis
b. Modern theories:
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