PAP3350 Class notes Fall 2013

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Public Administration
Joshua Zaato

PAP3350: Public Policy development Joshua Zaato [email protected] Lecture 1 (Sept 11 ): Introduction to Public Policy and Public Policy Making Our overarching objective is to:  Understand the importance, nature, and limits of public policies, the success criteria and factors  Identify the numerous stakeholders, processes, and methods that lead to the formulation of better public policies o What do they bring to the table  Learn, know, and master the instruments, tools, and methodological approaches used for the designing evidence based policy making  Improve our ability to evaluate public policy performance and the master the latest and numerous assessment and evaluation methods What is public policy?  A public policy is a complex phenomenon consisting of numerous decisions made by numerous individuals and organizations in government  In this class we will define a “Public policy as anything a government chooses to do or not to do” o Whether or not to bomb Syria o Ruling for same sex marriage in Ontario o Can be quiet, or very controversial  When we talk about public policy therefore, we fundamentally mean the actions and in-actions of government. Public policies therefore involve a choice made by government o Must decide whether or not to do something  This choice is usually made by individuals staffing the various government ministries, departments, and agencies  Public policies could therefore be “negative or a non-decision”. This happens when a government decides to do nothing but maintain the status quo Understanding public policy  “Public policy is a complex phenomenon consisting of numerous decisions made by numerous individuals or organizations in government”  One way of understanding public policy is to link certain policy outputs and outcomes to the nature of the political regime o In the liberal democracies, public policies are the results of compromises, bargains and settlements (The USA) o Many areas in the US the government can do whatever they want, while in New Jersey, since the governments differ, public policy administration is more difficult  A second approach is through what Hancock refer as policy determinants o The relationship between public policies, characteristics of the democratic society and the international system  A third approach is to focus on the policy content, and idean that the nature of a policy problem and the solution (Finish) Introduction to the policy cycle  Agenda setting  Policy formulation  Decision making  Implement the policy  Policy evaluation o Policies are always changing o Not a linear course of action o Different actors involved in each step Merits of the Policy Cycle  It breaks down the complexity of the process into a number of stages and sub-stages so that each can be investigate separately or in relation to the others  It allows for numerous and complex cases to be analysed in a comparative manner and at each stage of the cycle o We know that is a logical manner at which stage a particular policy is, and then determine its success at that stage  It can be used at the local (agency), national (Government), and international (UN) level for policy analysis o It can also be used to determine what each jurisdiction is doing at any particular time  Since different stages can be studied separately, it can be used to determine where more resources/training is needed Demerits of the policy cycle  IT can be misunderstood to mean that policymakers use a very systematic, linear, and logical system all the time o In reality, the policy process is non-linear, sometimes impromptu and difficult to map out  It is a one-size fits all approach? Magical bullets are few and non-existent  There are no indications as to who and what drives the policy from what stage to the other and why. Different actors and factors play different roles for different reasons o For instance, what forces and drivers move a policy from adoption to implementation and why? o Citizens are actors, stakeholders, and players as well  As an analytical tool, it is very good, but not as an actual and practical tool o In short, there are usually no linear progression of the policy process and implied by the ideal model Is an improved model possible?  Instead of seeking a universalist approach, models and magical bullets, focus on policy sectors, the agency levels, fields or domains o For instance, most policies usually occu at the agency specific levels (health, education)  Different societal factors play a significant role and impact public policies o In a homogeneous society like Ghana, issues of multi-culturalism are non factos in the policy process o On the contrary in a society like Canada, these policies are paramount  Public policies involve multiple actors, with competing demands, needs, and resources o In the USA, lobbyists play a big role in policymaking using their financial and political power/clout  Context of the societal state, and international levels matters o The range of policy instruments available can enhance or restrain policymakers o Aid givers and takers create different power asymmetries Policy competencies  Policy Acumen consists of: o The accumulated knowledge and experience in the policy process, including understanding of the key players, their interests and resources o A broad understanding of policy practices in other countries and policy sectors to learn best practices  Healthcare in Canada vs the US  Gun control in Canada vs the US o Such an acumen is needed to develop a solid foundation for judgement about policy feasibility Analytical skills  The second major competency required for effective policy is analytical skills for diagnosing a situation and developing appropriate strategies  For instance, cost-benefit analysis enables policy makers to compare and contrast the cost and consequences of various options available  Stakeholder analysis and consultation is also a critical factor to policy success Managerial expertise  This refers to public managers capabilities to perform key policy functions that finally shape their ability to shape policy  Some of these policies include planning, organizing, staffing, directing, and controlling  Managerial expertise is also very important in coordinating and direction the activities of multitude of actors who might be involved in policy formulation, implementation and other policy functions th Lecture 2: (Sept 13 ): Theories and models of public policy analysis  How to state public policy  And some of the theories used over the years are policy analysis o Tools, things needed for the job Approaches to public policy Analysis The Philosophical Approach  The philosophical approach concentrates on the values which the political system should set for itself o The philosophical approach is normative; it is based on values and norms o Looking at public policy with your values and norms and how it will impact them  Plate, represented bets the philosophical tradition of politics o He said that it was the duty of the philosopher-king to establish the ideal society based on justice  Also known as the traditional approach, involves the analytical study of ideas and doctrines which have long formed the core part off political though  This approach has been criticized on the ground that it cannot be scientific as it ignores objective reality The Positivist approach  At the root of the positivist approach to public policy is the application of welfare economic models to public problems  Welfare economics argue that individuals acting through the market and market mechanisms, should expect to make most social decision o The market is the most efficient mechanism for allocation society’s resources  But, markets do not always work properly and efficiently all the time, resulting in what can be referred to as Market Failure o “If private markets yield economically inefficient outcomes or socially inequitable outcomes, the government intervention was justified to remedy the situation”  Qualitative analysis Behaviouralism: A Positivist approach  Those who sought to make public policy analysis scientific argued that hypotheses could be verified on the basis of objective quantifiable data  It ignore the value or values and norms in the study of politics  They focused on the tangible aspects of political life to the neglect of value-laden perspectives  Their objective was to establish a discipline that was “scientific” and “objective” Types of market failure There are a few types of markets failures that have universal acceptability  Public goods and services (Tangible and intangible)  Pure Private goods and services  Natural monopolies  Imperfect information o Free information of quality  Tragedy of the commons o The depletion of public resources by individuals acting independently in their own self- interests Critics of Positivism  It does not reflect the reality if public policymaking and analysis on the ground  Real public policy making and evaluation is a political, not a technical decision  It is influenced by partisanships, norms, values and political ideologies of the ruling party not the efficiency and financial imperative  “The neglect of political variables by welfare economics has led to its critics to described it as a “myth, a theoretical illusion” that promotes “a false an naïve view of the policy process” The Post-Positivist Approach  Post-positivist are a loose collection of scholars united by their rejection and opposition to the positivist approaches  Post-positivist put a lot of emphasis and significance on ‘contextual socio-political factors’  They argue that welfare economics are wrong because of their fixation on quantitative analysis, objective separation of facts and values, generalised findings  Instead, they focus on subjective reflection, normative analysis and argumentation as more fruitful tools for understanding policy analysis Theories of public policy  In order to better understand public polices, it’s better to put it in context o National context, educational context  IT is for this reason that policy analysts put theories and models or understanding policymaking into two main categories o The individual and societal level  Simplistic theories in public policy assume that both policy actors and policy analysts are capable of a high degree of rationality that allows the to understand causal affets o Smoking will lead to cancer  More complex models on the other hand assume that either policy actors nor analysts are capable of much rationality, especially with regard to causation o Gun registration will not lead to lower gun violence on the streets Micro Level Models: The rational comprehensive theory  At its basics, it assumes that for any problem, there is a rational and logical alternative or solution, waiting to be discovered  Under this approach, when an individual decision maker is confronted with a problem o You carefully draw up ma list of goals, values, and objectives related to the problem o You rank them based on a hierarchy of them importance o Carefully examine and consider all the alternative for dealing with the problem  This should enable you to weigh the consequences of each alternative by considering the cost and benefits, merits and demerits of each o Finally, you settle on the alternative that will maximise your objectives and values  IT suggest that for every problem, a set of alternative solutions exits Criticisms of the rational model  IT becomes useless in times of crisis when speed is of the essence o 9/11, SARS, swine flu  Most problems facing decision makers are poorly defined o Youth employment, crime levels, poverty  It also assumes that policy makers have no resources and time constraints o Personnel, money, technology  Many of the alternatives are not value neutral, they are based on value judgements and ideological considerations o Ranking them is therefore not rational and objective th Lecture 3 (Sept 18 ): Class, Group, and Institutional Approaches to Policy Analysis  What motivates bureaucrats and public policymakers? Marxist Social Theory  The best known of the Marxist social theories is Karl Marx’s Manifesto of the Communist Part o The communist Manifesto o The platform of the Communist party (what is it you want to do?)  It sees the policy process as a class struggle between workers (labour) and the owners of capital o Largely based on ownership o The owners of property own those who do not own property and therefore sell their labour to the property owners  In this class theory, Marx argues that public policies are a reflection of the interest of the capitalist class o Power is not evenly distributed o The capitalist citizens (rich) have more power than the labourers  That means that public policies are made for the benefit of the privileged few in society Policies As the interest of the Bourgeoisies  He sees the state as an instrument in the hands of capitalist to be used for the purposes of maintaining the capitalist system and the interest of the bourgeoisies o To maintain the capitalist system o It is skewed towards the interest of the bourgeoisies o Occupy wall street making the same argument  With regard to public policy making I particular, Marxist see how particular policies serve the interest of capital, not ordinary citizens  For instance the bailing out of wall street and not main street in the current financial crisis  Tax cuts and loopholes for the wealthy o The rich get more from the state than the poor Criticisms of Marxist social theory There will come a time when labour will rise up and revolt against the capitalist in a revolution The communist manifesto was a cll for labour to rise up and overthrown the capitalist structure  First, even if it is true that public policy serves only the interest of capital, it cants be concluded ipso facto that a policy was enacted at the behest of capital o You can’t prove that capitalist sent instruction to policymakers to draft a policy in their interest  It can also explain why some policies are adopted despite open condemnation and opposition from capital o For instance tax hikes in France and Healthcare reform I the USA o Capital also hates some labour laws in most developed countries (Wal-mart)  Also, elections are not just capital are more potent and have resulted in more voter friendly policies than capitalist o Or instance, most social welfare programs in capitalist societies have become sacred policies that even capitalists cant change  When? When will the revolution happen to overthrow the capitalist society? Pluralism  Pluralism is based on a number of assumptions: o That the state is democratic – Power is dispersed and not monopolizes by the corporate elite o Individuals are free agents employing a variety of resources to organize that make demands of the system o Authorities make decisions that represent compromises brokered between competing interest groups– a sort of market place  Must understand these assumption  They are the foundation on which pluralist theory rests Who Govern? (Robert Dahl, 1961)  Main research question  “In a political system where nearly every adult may vote but where knowledge, wealth, social position, access to official and other resources are unequally distributed, who actually governs?” A questions of (in)Equality  At the core of pluralist theory is the question of equality of resources and its impact on public policy making  “If because they are unequal in other conditions of democracy are unequal in power to control their government, then who in fact governs?”  And “how does a democratic system work amid (in)equality of resources So, Who Governs?  “The answer is not the mass nor its leaders, but both”  The leaders usually cater to the interests of the masses after seeking their mandate to rule them  “They then turn to use this mandate to weaken and possible eradicate any opposition to their rule  Public policies in the democracy are the contested results of ordinary citizens, represented by interest groups and that there is an equal distribution of power Rebuttals and Objections  Pluralism does not address power asymmetric in society  “It is impossible to compare the importance of different decisions, so one can’t assume that they are equally important” (ibid)  If policies are the contested results, how come one group gets all they want, when they want it and how they want it while others don’t  Some interest groups are invited consulted, and given a prominent role in the policymaking process while others are peripheral Institutionalism  While public choice and pluralism focus on the individual and group analysis, institutionalism focuses on the role of institutional in policymaking  Why do institutions such as the government, churches, corporations, interest groups and universities exist at all?  Institutionalists seek to explain the full range of social behaviours and organizational activity behind policymaking  What role do institutions play in fashioning constraints and providing opportunities for policymakers? Neo-institutionalism  Neo-institutionalism seeks to identify o How rules, norms, and symbols affect political behavior o How configurations of government institutional affect what the state does o How unique patterns of historical development can constrain, subsequent choices about public problem solving  Institutions are not neutral arbiters in the public policymaking and evaluation process, they have a vested interest th Lecture 4: (Sept 25 ) – The Roles of Ideas, institutions, and Objectives  The role and impact of different political systems on public policymaking  The role of different domestic and international players in the policy process o NAFTA influences Canadian public policymaking  Who are Policy entrepreneurs in the policy process?  What roles do they place in the making and implementation of public policies?  Try to identify some policy entrepreneurs in canda o Who are they? What do they do? Can we identify them? Political systems and public policy making  Different political system play different roles and impact public policy making differently o Changing the governmental party every 4 years in America o The country’s values o The amount of parties in the system o Different jurisdiction for different governmental members (federations) o EX: Moving a whole village to create a highway for the 2008 Olympics  As such, they type of political systems, federal/unitary, affects the policy process differently  In a unitary government o “The existence of a clean chain of command or hierarchy linking the different levels of government together in a superordinate/subordinate relationship reduces the complexity of policymaking”  In countries like Ghana, Japan, UK, the central government retains power and authority over all policymaking but can delegate that authority through o Decentralization and Devolution Policymaking in a federal system  The presence of two existing autonomous levels of government is the main feature of public policymaking in a federal system o The struggles between provinces  In Canada, the USA, Nigeria, federalism has been cited as a major reason for their weak policy capacity o Obama care in the USA o Bokoharam/Sharia in Nigeria  Federalism makes public policymaking a long, drawn out, convoluted process that is also expensive and time consuming  Inter-governmental and jurisdictional turf wars contribute to weak policy capacity and federalism embodies both o The building of the Ottawa light-rail is a prime example of this, everybody had to be happy for the project to start Legislatures and Policymaking  Different types of legislatures also present challenges and opportunities to the policymaking process in different countries o Canada has two types of legislatures: Bicameral, Unicameral  Five main types of legislature can be identified: a. A clear separation of the Executive and the Legislature (USA) b. No separation between the legislature and the executive (UK and Canada) c. A hybrid system where some legislatures are part of the executive (Ghana) d. A bicameral system (upper/lower. Commons/senate). These are found in the UK, US, and Canada e. Unicameral system (just one house). (Ghana)  Must look at all the possible scenarios in picking a system of government Impact on policymaking  All things equal, policymaking is relatively harder in the 1 and 4 types o Where there is clear separation between executive and legislature o Where there is a bicameral legislature nd rd th  Also, policymaking is relatively easier in the 2 , 3 , and 5 types (especially with majority governments) o The government and legislature are the same o rdWith majothty, there can be no opposition  The 3 and the 5 represent the best routes to policymaking o Executive president that can veto policy o Can select his cabinet from the house o With an unicameral house and majority, the policymaking process becomes stronger Policy Entrepreneurs  Policy entrepreneurs are people who, from outside formal governmental positions, introduce, translate, and help implement new policies o Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook o Celebrities endorsing PETA o Most observers viewed the public entrepreneurs as central figured in the drama that is public policy making  Policy entrepreneurs can be individuals or organizations (NGOs) who specialize in identifying problems and finding solutions to them o They provide critical policy resources such as new ideas on issues and the technical support for solutions  In order to move their ideas and preferred solutions from the incubation to enactment they need allies  These entrepreneurs are important because sometimes the formal process can be very clogged  These policy entrepreneurs as individuals and organizations are willing to invest their resources in return for future policies in their favour (Kindgon, 1984) Who are Policy Entrepreneurs? Policy entrepreneurs:  Advocate new ideas, develop proposals, and identify best practices in the industry  Define and reframe problems in the public sphere, thereby bringing maximum publicity and public support to it  Use their numerous resources to specify policy alternatives and solutions to “wicked problems” and help set the decision-making agenda  Through collaboration, networking and teamwork, they are able to broker ideas among many policy actors Activities of Policy Entrepreneurs  New Idea generation and problem framing activities that public managers might be afraid to engage in  Because of their relative technological advantage, they are able to engage in policy dissemination, strategic planning, and project demonstration activities more effectively o For instance, marijuana legalization in the US  They are able to use their extensive networks to cultivate bureaucratic insiders, supporters and advocates for their preferred policies o Gender advocates are able to court support through these means  They can and are able to court high profile elite businesses, celebrities, religious/NGO groups to make their case o The movie and performance arts industry has been used effectively for these issues Lecture 5 (Oct 2 ): Fundamentals of Agenda Setting Outline  What is agenda setting?  What are some policy determinants  Some policy ideas and windows  Agenda setting styles What is Agenda-Setting?  In order to better understand Agenda-Setting, answers to the following questions are important o Why do some issues end up getting government attention while others do not? o Why do government feel the need to respond or act on some issues while ignoring others? o How come when some people, institutions, and actors speak, the government listens while it ignored other with similar concerns?  Therefore, agenda setting is about the recognition of a problem, issues, concern, and demand by the government (Howlett and Ramesh, 2003)  Problems are not objective, just sitting there waiting to be seen and recognised, Problem recognition is a socially constructed process o Either society or the government must recognize the problem, someone must bring it to attention Agenda setting patterns  There are three recognized models of agenda setting o Outside initiation model o Globalization model o Inside initiation model Outside initiation model is associated with liberal pluralist societies  Asserts that issues first arise in civil society and NGO groups and ae then expanded sufficiently to reach first the public agenda, and finally the government attention;  They key role under this model is played by social groups (MADD); and,  Pluralist for instance argue that public policies are the contested results of various actors and stakeholders in the society Mobilization and insider initiation models Mobilization is associated with totalitarian regimes  Issues are simply placed on the formal agenda by government with no necessary input from the public until a formal announcement is made  Issues are mostly the preferences of the rulers and a very few elite  The policy process under such a system is controlled, closed and monopolised Insider initiation model (associated with corporatist regimes)  Here, influential and powerful groups (lobbies) with access to policymakers initiated a poli
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