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Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance

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Applying an Implementation Lens
Balanced Scorecard as a Strategy for Performance Improvement
Building Coalitions
Bureaucratic Politics, Organizational Design and Decision-Making
Cognitive Biases
Defining Policy Problems and Policy Making Under Pressure
Developing Networks for Improvement
Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Instrument Choice
Financing and Fundraising in the Third Sector
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Policy
Implementation and Risk
Implementation and the Budget Context
Implementation Environment
Implementing through Markets
Implementing with Partners
Improving Organizational Performance Through Competition
Learning as a Performance Strategy
Leveraging Diversity
Managing a Global Team
Managing Conflict
Managing Partnerships: Multi-Party Arrangements
Managing Risk: The “New” Way Forward in Managing?
Mission and Strategy
Models of Policy Making
Modernization of Public Sector Organizations
Multi-Level Governance
Network Assessment and Analysis
Operations and Marketing Strategy
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Behaviour
Organizational Culture
Organizational Performance and Management Reform
Organizations
Organizing for Collaboration and Partnership
Organizing for Performance
Overview of Recent Trends in Public Administration
Performance Information as a Management Tool
Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance
Policy Design and Instrument Choice
Policy Evaluation
Public Services in the Age of Restraint - new public service delivery models and the quest to do better with less
Public-Private Partnerships
Recent Trends from Comparative Public Administration
Rules vs. Discretion
TEACHING TOPICS IN POLICY AND MANAGEMENT ANALYSIS
The Crisis of “Governability” (1970s) and its Effects
The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
The Role of Leadership in Strategy and Implementation
The Role of the Board and Strategic Governance in Third Sector Organizations
The Shift to Public Governance
Theories of Human Motivation and Decision Making: Rational Choice
Working in Teams

 
 A Normed Topic in Strategy and Implementation

Policy Analysis and Contemporary Governance

This topic introduces the vocabulary and key concepts of policy analysis, and exposes students to analytical questions that will facilitate the development of sound policy advice. Specifically, this topic explores the value of evidence-based policymaking and the exploration of policy alternatives, and develops students’ understanding of how to accurately pinpoint policy problems and define criteria for “success.” 

Topic Learning Outcome: Upon mastering this topic at the MPP/MPA level, the student will understand the nature of evidence-based policymaking and be able to describe the concepts listed below.

Core Concepts associated with this Topic: Argument Mapping; Boundary Analysis; Brainstorming; Causal Chain; Decision Chain; Decision Point; Evidence-based Policy; Focusing Events; Ideas in Good Currency; Innovation Networks; Instrument Choice; Interactive Policy Analysis; Internal Consistency; Path Dependency; Policy; Policy Actor; Policy Analysis; Policy Capacity; Policy Community; Policy Consistency; Policy Development; Policy Diffusion; Policy Entrepreneurs; Policy Feedback; Policy Goals; Policy Instrument; Policy Window; Public Policy; Rational Choice Theory; Static Response; Wicked Problems.

Recommended Reading

Carleton PADM5116

Leslie A. Pal, Beyond Policy Analysis 4th ed. (Toronto: Nelson Education, 2010), Chapter 2

 

Stephen Brooks, “The Policy Analysis Profession in Canada,” in Laurent Dobuzinskis, Michael Howlett, David Laycock, eds., Policy Analysis in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 21-47.

 

Michael Howlett, (2009). "Policy analytical capacity and evidence-based policy-making: Lessons from Canada." Canadian Public Administration no. 52 (2):153-175. doi: 10.1111/j.1754-7121.2009.00070_1.x.

 

Michael J. Prince, “Soft Craft, Hard Choices, Altered Context: Reflections on Twenty-Five Years of Policy Advice in Canada,” in Laurent Dobuzinskis, Michael Howlett, David Laycock, eds., Policy Analysis in Canada(Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2007), 163-185. 2013.

U of T PPG1001

Atkinson, Michael. “Policy, Politics, and Political Science.” Presidential address at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Victoria, BC, 5 June 2013.

Mansbridge, Jane. 2013. “What is Political Science For?” Presidential address at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, 29 August.

Pierson, James and Naomi Schaefer Riley. 2013. “The Problem with Public Policy Schools.” The Washington Post (6 December).

Thaler, Richard. 2012. “Watching Behavior Before Writing the Rules.” The New York Times (7 July).

NYU GP1022

Kraft & Furlong, Public Policy: Politics, Analysis and Alternatives, 4th edition (2013)

chapters 4-6

Eugene Bardach, A Practical Guide to Policy Analysis, Chatham House, CQ Press, 4th edition, 2012; the 3rd.,2009 edition, Introduction, Part 1, Part 2

Deborah Stone, Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision-making, WWNorton, 3rd edition,2011. Chapter 8

GWU PPPA6006

Eugene Bardach, A Practical Guide to Policy Analysis, Chatham House, CQ Press, 4th edition, 2012.  Part II: Assembling Evidence; Part I Step 3; Appendix B

Congressional Budget Office, Social Security Policy Options, read only pages ix-7, 2010. 07-01-SSOptions_forWeb.pdf

Carl Patton and David Sawicki, Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning, 2nd

Edition (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1993) Chapter 6, “Identifying Alternatives”

Thaler, Richard H. and Sunstein, Cass R. and Balz, John P., Choice Architecture (April 2, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1583509 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1583509

Eggers and O’Leary, If We Can Put a Man on the Moon, 2009.  Preface, Introduction, and Ch. 2.

Flyvbjerg, Making Social Science Matter, Chapter 1, “The Science Wars: A Way Out,” pp. 1-4, 2001.

Berman, (ed), Encyclopedia of Public Administration and Public Policy, 2e, “Policy Sciences Approach,” deLeon and Martell, pp 1495-1498, 2008.

Weimer and Vining, Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, 5th Ed, “What is Policy Analysis?” pp 23-26, 2010.

Piketty, Capital in the 21st Century, “A Debate without Data?” pp 2-3, 2014.

Patton, Sawicki, and Clark, Basic Methods of Policy Analysis and Planning, 3rd Ed, Chapter 6, “Identifying Alternatives,” pp 215-237, 2013.

American PUAD612

Woodrow Wilson, “The Study of Administration” (1887).

Weimar and Vining, Policy Analysis, selections. 5th ed. (2011).

Sample Assessment Questions:

  1. Provide a one-sentence definition of the following terms: Argument Mapping; Boundary Analysis; Brainstorming; Causal Chain; Decision Chain; Decision Point; Evidence-based Policy; Focusing Events; Ideas in Good Currency; Innovation Networks; Instrument Choice; Interactive Policy Analysis; Internal Consistency; Path Dependency; Policy; Policy Actor; Policy Analysis; Policy Capacity; Policy Community; Policy Consistency; Policy Development; Policy Diffusion; Policy Entrepreneurs; Policy Feedback; Policy Goals; Policy Instrument; Policy Window; Public Policy; Rational Choice Theory; Static Response; Wicked Problems.
  2. Why is evidence-based policymaking difficult to achieve?
  3. What are some of the constraints that policy actors face that may be obstacles to the selection of evidence-based policies supported by rigorous policy analysis?
  4. In one paragraph, describe and provide a contemporary example a policy problem.
  5. Why is it sometimes hard to define “success” for policy actions? Please provide one example of a government initiative for which defining success may be difficult, and explain why this is the case.
  6. Lindblom's article, The Science of 'Muddling Through, argues in effect that the rational analysis of policy is impossible for several reasons: we don't have a finite list of alternatives; for any given alternative we don't know exactly who it will affect and what those effects will be; and the people making the decision have different value systems and so will be unable to agree on how to rank the various alternatives. Despite these problems, we have been studying in this course how to do policy analysis. If you were a public administrator, how would you judge when you would use rational policy analysis and what use you would put it to?  [400 words max]
    [This question is from Prof. Steve Chilton's course at University of Minnesota, found at http://www.d.umn.edu/~schilton/3221/3221.Exam3.2003.Spring.html, accessed 5 February 2015] 

Page Created By: Katherine Valiquette, 21 September 2014 edited by Ben Eisen and updated by Ian Clark on 5 February 2015.


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