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Policy Formulation, Adoption, and Implementation

Policy Formulation, Adoption, and Implementation

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Policy Formulation, Adoption, and Implementation

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  1. Policy Formulation, Adoption, and Implementation Peters, Chapter 4-6

  2. Stages of the Policy Process • Problem Definition (Issue formation)  • Agenda Formation  • Policy Adoption  • Policy Implementation  • Policy Evaluation  • Problem Re-Definition

  3. Stages of the Policy Process • Problem Definition (Issue formation)  • Agenda Formation  • Policy Adoption  • Policy Implementation  • Policy Evaluation  • Problem Re-Definition

  4. The Politics of Policy Adoption • Political scientists have found that policy-making is often driven by three sets of factors: • Personal ideology • Constituent demands / Public Opinion • Special interests

  5. Political Ideology • An ideology is an organized collection of ideas/opinions

  6. Political Ideology • An ideology is an organized collection of ideas/opinions • A political ideology is a set of ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class, or large group

  7. Political Ideology • Political ideologies are concerned with many different aspects of a society • the economy • education • health care • labor law • the justice system • the provision of social security and social welfare • trade • the environment • immigration • race • use of the military • patriotism • established religion

  8. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  9. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  10. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  11. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  12. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  13. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  14. The Ideological Distribution in the United States

  15. The President • Since most legislation must ultimately be passed by Congress, the president’s power lies in his ability to persuade (Congress, the public).

  16. The President • Since most legislation must ultimately be passed by Congress, the president’s power lies in his ability to persuade (Congress, the public). • This power is highly dependent upon public opinion regarding presidential performance (presidential approval ratings): • “Do you approve or disapprove of the way that the president is handling the job.

  17. The President • What drives presidential approval? • Time (“Honeymoon”) • The Economy • International/Domestic security threats/crises (“Rally ‘round the flag”) • Major policy successes/failures • Scandals

  18. Congress • The Congress (especially the House) is theoretically the branch of government that is closest to the people (and hence most democratic).

  19. Congress • The Congress (especially the House) is theoretically the branch of government that is closest to the people (and hence most democratic). • However, a number of factors intervene in this connection between Congress and the people, thus leaving much room for interest groups to exert influence.

  20. Congress • Low visibility • % correctly identifying name and party of: • 1st Senator: 53% • 2nd Senator: 36% • Representative: 41% • Far fewer people actually pay attention to what they do!

  21. Congress • Low turnout in congressional elections: 35-50% • Extremely high rates of re-election (and re-election margin) • Franking privilege • =$350,000 in election funds (avg) • Travel Allowance • Casework – thru congressional staffs • Decentralization of power (subcommittees) has led to greater use of “pork” spending • Money – campaign spending

  22. The Courts • The judiciary is the least democratic branch, yet it can wield enormous power at times through judicial review, or the power to declare a law null and void.

  23. The Courts • The judiciary is the least democratic branch, yet it can wield enormous power at times through judicial review, or the power to declare a law null and void. • Although generally thought of as relatively apolitical, judges are highly partisan and their decisions are often correlated with personal ideology. • Party Affiliation: >90% from party of appointing Pres • Partisan activism: 60-70% were major party activist

  24. Interest Groups • Interest groups are private organizations that try to shape public policy

  25. Interest Groups

  26. Interest Groups

  27. Think Tanks • Objective research organizations or interest groups? • University of Michigan Libraries Think Tanks website

  28. Summary of Policy Formulation and Adoption • The policy process is highly complex and often unpredictable • Multiple actors • Multiple/Competing agendas

  29. Summary of Policy Formulation and Adoption • The policy process is highly complex and often unpredictable • Multiple actors • Multiple/Competing agendas • Need for “legitimation” of policy choices results in a dependence on the political process • Stability, rather than change, is the norm

  30. Kingdon’s Model of Policy Change • Policy process and “policy streams” • Problem streams • Policy streams • Political streams • Policy “windows” • Occur when the three streams intersect • Often facilitated by “focusing events”

  31. Implementation • Definition – Policy put into action • A variety of government/private organizations and actors are responsible for implementation of government policies • Often granted significant discretion • Accountability is limited

  32. Implementation • Major reasons why policies fail

  33. Implementation • Major reasons why policies fail • Lack of information by policymakers leads to faulty policy design

  34. Implementation • Major reasons why policies fail • Lack of information by policymakers leads to faulty policy design • Lack of support for policy by actors in the implementation process (“veto points”) • Federal vs. state/local (values, finances) • Bureaucratic politics - Political appointees vs. career staff; competing/overlapping jurisdiction • Interest group politics (“capture”)

  35. Iron Triangles (Subgovernments)

  36. Implementation • Major reasons why policies fail • Lack of information by policymakers leads to faulty policy design • Lack of support for policy by actors in the implementation process (“veto points”) • Federal vs. state/local (values, finances) • Bureaucratic politics - Political appointees vs. career staff; competing/overlapping jurisdiction • Interest group politics (“capture”) • Policy adoption is motivated by factors unrelated to designing an effective policy solution

  37. THE END

  38. Policy Legitimation • Legitimacy: a belief on the part of citizens that the current government represents a proper form of government and a willingness on the part of those citizens to accept the decrees of the government as legal and authoritative. (Back)