Lecture 2 POLC66.docx

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Public Policy

Lecture 2 – September 10 2013.  Public policies relates to political science. Political science is interested in the origins and durability of regimes. Regimes are a form of government. Political science endures despite challenges, and how they change. How a regime forms a group of people, war making, taxation influence how regimes change, etc.  Public policy more emphasis of process – governments comes up with rules and policies and how they make decisions. Public policy is interested in the consequences of these policies. There’s a tension between experts and democracy. Experts can say we tested a chemical substance but citizens say they don’t want this chemical in its food. They should label it. Incorporating expertise and creating democracy.  We combine the insights in different disciplines in order to reach policies that are more accountable. (Economists, lawyers, sociologist)  Public policies are interested in the process, consequences, improving, tension between expertise and democracy,  Deductive theory- begins before the process of investigating.  Inductive theory– moves from the particular and detailed to more abstract.  Another decision you have to make is whether you’re looking at individuals, institutions, or groups of people – levels of analysis  The Policy Cycle  Public choice theory – What level of analysis use? Individuals. The core assumption is that individual human beings act to maximize their interest. Each of us is greedy who will do what they can do to improve their decisions. Individuals are driven by self interest. (interest maximizers) The individual politicians are to maximize power by getting elected. Bureacrats interest to increase benefits/money. We are egoistic, interest maximize. Politician make promises to voters who want their interests served but sometimes doesn’t go through with promises. Why is the government too big? Weaknesses – doesn’t really capture whats out there. Governments hasn’t been growing their budget but cutting them back. Doesn’t get to ritualistic – do we always make decisions based on self interest? Or what is expected of us? It’s to weighed to logic of interest and miss appropriateness because its the right way to do and it’s the interest of the majority.  Marxism – Two groups: those who have economic power and those who don’t. Public policy reflects the interest of people who have the capital means of production. Capitalist hold politicians on a string. (Controls politicians)  Neo-Marxism – there’s social policies that help people. There’s a partial autonomy that is geared to capitalism. The social policies are tactical consessions to avoid revolution. Class analysis, what constitute a class?  Notion of economic interest being the only interest i
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