UAPP225 Lecture 1: UAPP 225 Test #1

17 Pages

Urban Affairs and Public Policy
Course Code
David Carter

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2/8/17 Ch. 1: Problems & the Policy Process What is a Public Policy? • A statement by government – at whatever level - of what it intends to do or not do about a public problem • Biggest part of public policy takes place before the creation of the bill • Public- mediating (linking) institutoGovernmental organizations Public policy Some Major Policies • Civil rights • Regulation of business cycle (Dodd-Frank Act) • Public and private education (ESSA, NCLB, etc) • Worker’s rights (min. wage, children) • Environmental protection • Public health programs • Food and drug admin • Federal communication commission • Interstate highway system • Federal housing authority • Social security and Medicare Why do we study policy? • Public policy profoundly affects citizens • About solving problems • Informs many disciplines • We study public policy for o Scholarly reasons (understand, know, guide) o Practical reasons (make a difference for people) o TO KNOW HOW TO INFLUENCE “The System” Simplified Terms • Politics: “who gets what” • Public Policy: “what government chooses to do or not do” • The Policy Process: the process by which “politics” is translated to “policy” What is a problem? • “Something that is difficult to deal with: something that is a source of trouble, worry etc.” (Webster’s Dictionary) • Vexing, annoying, uneasiness • Threat to ones values? • How do we know what problems exist? What is a public problem? • It is what some significant groups of citizens perceive as a problem. • Normative process • Value laden • What often determines whether or not a problem becomes a public problem, is whether or not it is also seen as being SOLVABLE. 2/10/17 Values: Rights and Fairness • Right – an entitlement to something: o Human right to life, liberty, and security of person o Universal and have very high standard o Moral imperative, moral obligation. “Sacred” • Fairness – o equity of opportunity o Treat everyone the same? o Justice? o Depends on one’s ethical views Problem & Policy Choices are rooted in Western Democracy and Classical Liberalism • People are sovereign – not the government • Policy is made in the public interest o What is the public interest? o Is there one definition? - No Evidence & Argument in the Policy Process • Government does not have one voice or set of goals • Governments are not neutral referees • Participants are not neutral • Analysis and advocacy serve similar ends: policy preferences • Does it matter if we always have evidence for policy claims? 2/13/17 Ch. 2: The Policy System Ways of Thinking About Public Policy • Public Policy Processes- studies of the formulation and implementation of policy in domestic contexts. Includes studies in issue emergence, policy formulation, and implementation. • Comparative Public Policy- Descriptive research on the comparative tradition addressing differences in policy outcomes between countries, or within federal systems. • Public Policy Analysis- A logic of analysis and a mix of techniques in support of public policy decision‐ making. Features economics‐ based “rational analysis” • Public Policy Research- Applied, problem driven, focused on particular aspects of policy (health, energy, environment, defense, etc.) Public Policy Process • Public policy process as a system • System elements o The environment o Inputs o Outputs • Traditional view of policy: the “stages model” • All start with ideas Ideas • Ideas are what drives the policy process forward • Ideas come from individuals and groups in the policy process • How are ideas organized in a way that policy can be made? The Policy Systems • Stages Model • Input – Output Model • Other Models Elements of the systems model • The environmental influences the system • The inputs: public demands for policies • The outputs: policies • The black box (political system) –how does it work? • Feedback influences the system • Boundaries between elements are blurry Systems Model • THE POLITICAL SYSTEM “The Black Box” o The structural environment o The policy environment o The political environment o The economic environment • INPUTS: o Election results ▪ Election results can change policy agendas and priorities ▪ Do election results constitute mandates? ▪ Referenda are clearer statements of preferences o Public opinion ▪ Measuring it: polling • Polls are usually reliable ▪ Polls are about elections and about issues ▪ Polls help people clarify their message ▪ Rarely the only input o Constituents ▪ How do we communicate with public servants? ▪ Is every communication with officials weighed equally? Carefully? ▪ How do interest groups encourage communication with officials? o Interest Group Activity ▪ Mobilize communications to decision makers ▪ Amplify individual voices in policymaking ▪ Constitute an important input to decision makers o Media coverage ▪ Highlight issues ▪ Frame of the stories around issues ▪ Provides avenues of communication for officials • Trial balloons • Strategic leaks o Personal Experiences o Outsiders/Insiders • OUTPUTS: o Laws ▪ Types of Laws • Statue law • Case law o Regulations ▪ Have the force of law ▪ Are often highly technical ▪ Are published in the Code of Federal Regulations o Decisions o No Actions o Taxes o Expenditures • Oversight and evaluation o Oversight: ensuring that programs follow legislative intent o Methods ▪ Reports from Congressional Research Service (CRS), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), or the Government Accountability Office (GAO) ▪ Oversight hearings o Policy evaluation ▪ Through formal studies conducted by government ▪ Through formal studies conducted by consultants and academics o Other Theoretical Approaches ▪ Elite Theory ▪ Pluralism/ Group Theory ▪ Rational Theory ▪ Political Systems Theory ▪ Advocacy Coalition Theory The Structural Environment • Separation of Powers • Federalism • Rules for governance o The Administrative Procedure Act o The Freedom of Information Act Implications for public policy • The united states is a large and growing country • Growth rates are slow, with some acceleration in the 1990;s • The population is aging: what are the implications for public policy? Population Diversity • United States is becoming more racially and ethnically diverse Changes in the labor force • More working women and achieving higher levels of education • Single women earn less than single men • Dual-income families earn the most • Manufacturing jobs declines leaving some out of our economy Policy Implications of the MIP • The economy clearly dominates • Some issues ebb and flow • Do other issues “deserve” attention that they do not get? Policy Implication of the “right track” measure • Measuring the “national mood” • How would you characterize today’s national mood? Policy Implications of GDP growth • Economic growth is a main national goal • Major debates over how to promote economic growth • Keynesian notion of stimulus are often controversial Policy Implications of unequal wealth and distribution • The wealthiest fifth of the population has become more wealthy • All other economic strata have lost their share of national income • The United States has high income inequality o Too much inequality can hurt the economy o Inequality yields questions about fairness o Inequality can yield political action aimed at reducing inequality 2/22/17 Ch. 3: How Did It All Start? Constant Features of the American System • Difficult to change constitutional system • Rules and norms of the legislature and other bodies • Public support for stability • The system is highly fragmented o Separation of powers o Federalism Historical Development of Constitutional Order • DIVIDED POWER (1787-1870) o Jurisdictional questions: whereas opposed to whether o “Gibbons v. Ogden” : National Commerce o Elastic Clause ▪ How you stretch the constitution for federal government o Slavery and the Civil War • STATE ACTIVISM (1870-1933) o Rural to industrial o Who will rein in the industrial powers? o “Lochner v. New York” o States more powerful? o Civil Right Amendments and Acts and Jim Crow Laws (separate but equal) o Plessy v. Ferguson • NATIONAL ACTIVISM (1933-1961) o Great Depression and WW II o Post WW II changes roles of government (infrastructure) o National Security growth o Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas ▪ Couldn’t have separate but equal, everyone had to be equal o Delaware role • NATIONAL STANDARDS (1960-1980) o The reinvigoration of national activism in the 1960’s o Continued activity in federal policy making o Considerable power was returned to the states ▪ Nixon’s “New Federalism”- EPA cast laws of minimal criteria for environment and then the state takes over • END OF “BIG GOVERNMENT” (1980-?) o Started by Ronald Reagan ▪ Started by jimmy carter ▪ Ex: Deregulation of airlines, trucking ▪ Greater concern with deficit o Is government really that small anyway? o Impact of Homeland Security? An Alternative Perspective • The relationship of the citizens to their government o 1945-1960: stability and acceptance of government programs o 1960-1976: social change and growing skepticism o 1976-2008: the end of big government 2008-???: a new relationship emerging Take Home Message • The federal government started small relative to the states • The federal government steadily gained power throughout history • Still, states matter! • Many contemporary debates on the role of government are not new • Constitutional Order continues to evolve • Are we in an era of more obviously shared power between the states and feds? 2/24/17 What Kind of Democracy do we have? • Direct Democracy o We do not have a true democracy o We see direct democracy on the state level with referendums • Indirect Democracy • How do you balance majority rule v. the principle of protection of minority rights? What Kind of a Representative Do You Want? • Delegate o Elected reps • Trustee o Someone you trust with your interest • Politico o Informal politician • Where might we find the reasons for having this government? Features of the American System Ideological and political stability • We tend to believe in small, limited government • If not this, we at least believe in small, limited actions • We tend to be ideologically committed to free enterprise and the protection of private property Ideological Stability • Liberty and equality • Employers v. workers • Left and right • National storylines • Ideology and the political parties • Going forward? Political Stability • Electoral college • Legislative representative • Change of power • Constitutional interpretation • Organized (vested) interests Basic Rules and Norms • The Constitution o Designed to be, in many ways, antidemocratic and pro wealth, business, and property • Americans’ desire for order and stability • A legacy of order and stability (225+ years) • Our cultural disposition to limited change Open Government and policy restraint • More participation means more blocking • Many interest groups block ideas rather than generate new ones • Democracy can be messy and inefficient Fragmentations • Power is divided among o Three branches o Two political parties o 50 states (each with 3 branches) o Over 80 thousand local governments o Thousands of interest groups, citizen groups, and other special interest • Could t
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