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American Guv Jan 15.docx

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Political Science
Political Science 2244E
Donald Abelson

American Guv Jan 15 Public Policy • Why study public policy o They represent issues that affect you o Healthcare controversy- who is insured etc.  Its such an important point bc it affects millions of americans  Getting let off leads you to be concerned about it greatly bc you no longer have coverage o Education policy  Brown v board of education  Ppl struggle to buy expensive homes in certain areas so their kids can go to a better school o Transportation policy o Addressing from the macro level  But we need to narrow it down • How to study public policy o Competing approaches  Pluralism • James Madison writings • AN APPROACH THAT RECOGNIZES THE FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE OF GROUPS AND HOW THEY COMPETE WITH EACHOTHER FOR POLITICAL ATTENTION • De tocquville- americans grouping together to advance a bundle of interests • Groups are the most important in politics • The gov’s role in overseeing group competition should act as a mediator o To ensure that the rules of the game are followed o The gov are prepared to watch groups duke it out but want a relatively level playing field  Some pluralist interpret this as everyone having the same resources  In reality it means that they all have a chance • Compared to refs in hockey o Everyone should be the same under the gov • To understand pub policy you need to understand how groups compete with eachother • When a decision is made; it reflects the result of group competition  Elite theory approach • Made popular by C. Wright Mills wrote the book “the power elite” o Govt privileges some instances the access of some over others • In the 50s American policy was being overrun by certain elite groups o Congress, pentagon, US defence contractors o Emergence of cold war • Closely linked to Marxist and neo Marxist • Want to understand public policy; you need to understand the relationships that exist among key stakeholders in American society o They are well equipped and organized enough to affect pub policy change • If you look at these key groups things make sense • They all come from similar socio economic backgrounds • Eisenhower who was someone that was high up- warned about the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX o Most presidents when running say they will introduce legislation that will curb the ability of special interest groups • George Washington warned the American peo
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