UAPP225 Lecture 2: UAPP 225 Test #2

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Urban Affairs and Public Policy
David Carter

3/17/17 The Policy Process & Professional Policy Analysis Essential Features of Policy Making • Societal Problems  Players  P • Policy process is a PART of the Process o Policy Analysis- more “science” than “art” o “Usually involves collecting and interpreting information that clarifies the causes and effects of public problems and the likely consequences of using one policy option or another to address them” (Kraft & Furlong, p. 98) o Analysts provide information; government officials make decisions Orientations to Policy Analysis • Scientific o Search for truth and build theory about policy actions and effects • Professional o Analyze policy alternatives for solving public problems • Political o Advocate and support preferred policies Two Variations of Policy An • Analysis for policy o Looking forward, anticipating future o Intended to inform policy debate • Analysis of Policy o How policy was selected, who wielded power, etc. o Looking backwards ▪ How and why the policy developed and changed over time o Intended to understand how and why policy was crafted Policy Analysis – 8 Step Process 1. Define the problem a. Root causes  Problem  Consequences b. What exactly is the problem being faced? c. Where does it exist? d. Who or what is affected and in what wat? e. What is the magnitude of the problem? f. How did it develop or changed over time? g. What are the major causes? h. Why is it a public problem? 2. Assemble some evidence a. Start with what you know b. Locate relevant sources –libraries, journals, government reports, public officials etc. c. Summarize information 3. Construct the alternatives a. List all options that tell you “how” to fix the problem i. Use action language- pass law, repeal law, regulate, inform ii. Start broad with as many reasonable options as you can find (narrow them down later) 4. Select the criteria a. Develop criteria to evaluate the proposed policy i. Is it effective (will it work)? ii. Is the solution efficient (reasonable cost)? iii. Is the solution fair (or Equitable)? iv. Is it feasible (political, technical, administrative)? v. Pros/Cons b. Policy Alternative is not good or bad, the outcomes are good or bad 5. Project the outcomes a. Predict the outcomes of your policy i. People helped, saved money ii. Magnitude of change expected 6. Confront the tradeoffs a. Identify the likely consequences (usually some good and some bad) and highlight them in advance 7. Decide a. Having looked at the trade-offs, now what? i. Present each option realistically ii. Present what you see as the “best” option iii. Group “best” options together 8. Tell your story a. Address your intended audience i. Cabinet secretary ii. Governor iii. Legislator iv. Public b. Provide the audience with the necessary information to evaluate the policy idea i. Can you explain your solution in 1 minute to someone who might not know much about the problem? ii. “Elevator Speech” 3/22/17 Agenda Setting & Power Agenda-Setting • Process by which problems and proposed solutions gain or lose public or elite attention. • Linked to Problem/Definition Framing o What is the problem? o Why is it a problem? o Who’s involved? o What’s causing it? o Why does it persist? o How did it develop? • Differing perspectives o Does everyone agree it’s a problem? • Gaining attention and action • Fierce competition (very political) o Agenda is limited: government can’t do everything o Fight for attention o Defining the alternatives is an instrument of POWER Levels of Agenda • The Agenda Universe o Systematic Agenda o Institutional Agenda o Decision Agenda • Group seeking policy change seek to advance issues closer to the decision agenda (proponents) • Groups that oppose change seek to block issues from advancing on the agenda (opponents) How do issues reach the agenda? • Leadership activity (elite actors) • Group reactions to other groups’ actions/success • Crises and focusing events…..punctual equilibrium • Protest movements o To create a crises • Media coverage or activity • Political changes The Importance of Power • What is Power? o The ability to get what you want and to prevent others from getting power • What is Politics? o Who gets what Power in Policymaking: Who and What Controls the Agenda? • Elite Theory • Pluralism • Advocacy Coalition Theory *”theory’ is an abstract representation of the real world; an attempt to explain how and wh things work the way they do… Elite Theory • Experts or elites dominate policy development o Societal leaders, bureaucrats, and government leaders o Economic elites (the 1%) o Public opinion is less influential; US policymaking is not so “democratic” • “Iron Triangle” – Issue networks/sub-governments o Often composed of Congressional subcommittee, Executive agency & outside interest group o Especially for complicated issues; public doesn’t have enough information o “Military Industrial Complex” & Power Elite – C. Wright Mills Pluralism/ Group Theory • Public policy dominated by “interest groups” o Continuously struggling o Counterbalancing competing interests • Power is widely share among different groups/interests (power is “pluralistic” rather than concentrated among elites) • Interest group – collection of individuals or organizations that have shared interest and seek joint ends through political action Advocacy Coalition Theory • Coalition 1 • Coalition 2 • Mediated by policy brokers or policy entrepreneurs Why do some groups have more power than others? • Resources o Money o Information • Size of membership • Reasons for membership o Direct economic incentives • Material inducements o Congruence of goals with prevailing ideas and values o What E.E. Schattschneider calls “the mobilization of bias” Influence of Informal Actors of Public Policy • Social Movements o Coalitions of Groups o Interest groups o Community organizations o Individual citizens Conditions and Problems • Conditions: situations about which little can be done. Examples? • Problems: situations about which something might be done • Conditions become problems o When knowledge increases o When technology changes o When cultural and political norms change • Predicament: a difficult, unpleasant, or embarrassing situation in which conditions make it hard to develop public policy Why does all this matter? • Powerful groups can shape the agenda • Powerful groups can influence the depiction of public problems • Powerful groups can influence the nature of alternative solution to problems • Powerful groups determine who gets what from our Government through its policies 4/3/17 Policies & Policy Types So your issues in on the agenda…What’s next? • Need to consider the “solution” or policy. • Decision making about which policy designs- “tools” – to adopt Why are we concerned with policy types? • Types of Policy  Analysis of Policy  Politics • Politics  Analysis for Policy  Types of Policy • Because they help us to understand when there is likely to be more conflict over the adoption, enactment, and implementation of policies • Helps us to understand the “game board,” the likely players, and the ease or difficulty of the process Public Policy Types • By how it is codified • By domain or topic area • By typology o Type of policy instrument (tool) o Cost/benefit (who & how many win or lose) o Substantive and procedural o Material and symbolic o Public vs. private good o Liberal and conservative How Policy is Codified • See table 7/1 Policy Domains • Categories of Major Topics o Education o Health o Economy o Environment o Transportation o Equal Rights • Tell us little about the politics that led to their development Type of Policy Instrument • Distributive policies o Pork barrel ▪ Hard to find losers o Transportation, R&D, museums o Low/Moderate Controversy • Redistributive policies o Robin Hood ▪ Change allocation of wealth o Welfare, social security, some tax policy o Highly controversial • Regulatory policies o “Command & Control” ▪ Visible winners and losers o Environmental, consumer protections, media o Moderate-High controversy Cost-Benefit Policy Typology • Interest Group Politics o Costs: Concentrated among very few people o Benefit: Concentrated among very few people • Client Oriented Politics o Costs: Distributed among many people o Benefits: Concentrated among very few people • Entrepreneurial Politics o Costs: Concentrated among very few people o Benefits: Distributed among many people • Majoritarian Politics o Costs: Distributed among many people o Benefits: Distributed among many people Other Policy Typologies • Substantive and Procedural o Endangered Species Act: Listing of the Red Knot o Following steps of the Administrative Procedure Act to achieve ESA listing • Material and Symbolic Policy o Delaware’s Chronic Environmental Violators Law (2002) • Liberal and Conservative o Most commonly used by public o Often carries positive or negative connotations o Extremely broad and hard to define o Can be useful in developing strategies to identified shared values 4/17/17 Tools and choices in policy design • Technically sound design does not trump politics • Tools choice is constrained by resources • Tools are Decision Making • Matters can be really complex or really simple o Cuban Missile Crisis o Speeding ticket • Our constitutional system slows policy decision making • Decisions are made “after” agenda setting – what do we do now? Rational Comprehensive • Analysis of goals and tools is separate • Goals isolated before tools are selected • Good policy is the technically best policy • Extensive Analysis • All important factors considered Bounded Rationality • Goals and tools are “closely intertwined” • Means and ends (tools and goals) are not distinct • Good policy is one where consensus is reached on adoption • Analysis is limited Incrementalism • Based in notions of “bounded rationality” o People cannot process all info o We do the best we can with the info we can process • Decisions are made in increments, which allow for future/continuing improvements • Problem with this theory o Bold steps = doing something in the face of demands or crises o Some decisions must be big leaps ▪ Addressing the Great Depression ▪ Starting wars ▪ Going to the moon Policy Implementation What is Policy Implementation? • Process of putting enacted policies into effect • Most often done by the civil servants or “street level bureaucrats” in the executive branch, but can include many others • Politics matters in policy administration Policy Instruments Commonly Used • Regulation • Government Provisions • Taxing & Spending • Market making (economic interventions) • Education, information, persuasion Significance of Implementation • Policies are generally of no use unless they are implemented • Can be contentious, just like other phases of the policy process • Serious debate occurs, and power comes into play Are goals of enacted policies always clear? • Legislative Intent • Discretionary Authority • Conflicting Goals • Examples o US Forest Service o Federal Flood Insurance Program o Clean Water Act – “Waters of Exceptional Recreational of Ecological Significance” Approaches to Study of Implementation • Case Studies o Can inform both Top Down and Bottom Up, but has limits when done alone • Top Down o Looks at intent set at high level and then what actually occurred; fills gap o Assumes policy goal is clear o Broad policy at large scale o “A” Team • Bottom Up o Starts with those who implement policy o Recognizes broad discretion about “how” o Detailed local dynamics o “B” Team 4/19/17 Challenges to Evaluation of Policy Implementation • Understanding and “translating” the legislative intent • Those evaluating implantation often have different values, and different criteria for “success” and “failure” • Success/failure is often very hard to define and measure Some Reasons for Failure? • Lack of resources • Breakdown at various levels of implementation • Policies have incompatible goals • Poorly defined problem led to selection of wrong tools – not treating the cause • Costs/consequences higher than public will support • Many problems just “wicked” o Just so complex • Attention drift/distraction Responses to these problems • Adjustments in enforcement • More money is put into the program • Challenge to legality or constitutionality • The program is simply ignored • The program is left to locals to improve on and pursue • The program is actually repealed THM on Policy Implementation • Very complex • Pre-enactment opposition often continues and has an influence on implementation • Defining, measuring, and evaluations success or failure of policy implementation is very challenging • Evaluation of policy implementation can lead to policy improvements, but always be aware of the limitations Ethical Considerations for Crafting Public Policy Ethics • Moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior • Right or wrong • Professionals exercise specialist knowledge and skill. How the use of this knowledge should be governed when providing a service to the public can be considered a moral issue and is termed professional ethics. • Deciding what’s “right” and doing the “right” things • The way values are practiced What is the Right thing? • Depends on your value system • Can be different for different people • Those crafting public policy must balance these differing values and perspectives What concerns the people served by public policy? • Policy makers losing objectivity and legitimacy; using their position to play the “politics” game • Potential of corruption – pay to play • Actions that undermine our trust in public institutions and diminish their ability to effectively serve society • Should those with public authority be held to a higher standard due to the potential impacts on society? Why do we have ethical dilemmas in public policy? • Resources are inadequate to meet all demands • People are committed to different values and ideas • People sometimes make small bad choices and then let them “snowball” into routinization of deceit, leading to big problems • Bad judgement 4/21/17 Major Ethical Perspectives • Universalism o Certain behaviors appropriate regardless of context o “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” o Focuses on process and presumes good outcomes • Utilitarianism o Do what promotes the greatest good for the greatest number of people o Focuses on outcomes and neglects process • Altruism o Love of others; human dignity o Focuses on experience of least advantaged o Empathy of others o Focuses on context, outcomes and process • Be sensitive to both the process and outcomes Rights and Fairness • Right – and entitlement to something:
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