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Chapter 4

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 3250
J Killingsworth

Public Policy: Challenges and Prospects Chapter 4: Policy Instruments and Design Introduction o Techniques comes in detailing of what tools to use, and in what combination to achieve a given end o Tools vary with the task at hand and can involve expenditures, regulation, partnerships or the exchange of information o Policy design can draw on all of these and more and then be bundled into programs o It is about choosing the most appropriate instrument to deal with the policy problem as it has been defined in order to achieve a given policy goal o Key criterion: efficiency and effectiveness o To be made real, policies have to be expressed of implemented through programs which can use a variety of instruments Inventory and the Dynamics of Instrument Choice o We look upon the Charter for ideas of what the proper scope and limits of government action is in our lives o Issues of legitimacy occur when deciding what instruments to use when implementing policies ex. regulation of chewing gum in Singapore: would be consider outrageous if this happened in Canada o History:  Doern and Phidd: argue there are 5 broad categories that move along a continuum of legitimate coercion and argued governments in a liberal democracy prefer using the least coercive measure possible  Hood and Margetts: NATO scheme- measures the government has to effect policy change including nodality, authority, treasure and organization  Linder and Peters: combined a group of seven major categories- direct provision, subsidy, tax, contract, authority, regulation and exhortation  Lester Salamon: defines a policy tool as an identifiable method through which collective action is structured to address a public problem. His instruments include: enterprises, economic regulation, social regulation, government insurance, public information, corrective taxes, contracting, grants, loans, tax expenditures, vouchers, tort liability o So, what are policy instruments?  "the set of techniques by which government authorities wield their power in attempting to ensure support and effect or prevent social change" - Vedung  It is important to remember that they are about achieving some sort of outcome  It is about the resources and techniques governments have at their disposal  Coercion: measures the extent to which a tool restricts individuals or group behaviour as opposed to merely encouraging or discouraging it  The state has a monopoly on legitimate force and the capacity to issue binding rules and prohibitions  The policy makers purpose is to achieve an outcome in terms of (1) the behavior of individuals; (2) political, social or economic conditions; (3) or services provided to the public. Government can... Do nothing: Static response Rationales: o Problem related o Resource related o Precedent related o Self-corrective system Act Indirectly Affirmative/promoting Affirmative/promoting Negative/restraining Information Information Behaviour o Encourage: persuasion, facts, datao Dissuade: argument Expenditures Expenditures Condition o Cash transfer o Taxes o Grants, loans o User charges o Subsidy/contribution o Service fees o Tax expenditure Service o Fines o Voucher Regulations: Regulations: o Permissions o Criminal law o Non-criminal prohibitions o Licences o Recognitions Act Directly o State agency o Department o Social agency o State corporation o Third party partnership o Company o Non-profit corporation o Nongovernmental organization Acting Indirectly o The objectives are being pursued through the actions and behaviors of citizens, organizations or firms o This can be done through affecting information or values that underpin behavior, the calculus of monetary costs, benefits and resources, or stipulating rules and sanctions attached to certain behaviors o Information based tools are generally considered to be less coercive than regulation based tools Acting Directly o The state is ultimately accountable for achieving its objectives o The most conventional way to do this is through the use of the states own resources to change conditions or provide services o Doesn't involve working with citizens, NGO's or the private sector Acting Indirectly Doing Nothing o Static response: making a deliberate deci
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