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