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An Introduction to Public Policy

An Introduction to Public Policy. Chapter 1 Dr. Khaled F. Sherif Instructor. What is the Public Policy Process?. The public policy making process includes: Methods in which problems get conceptualized and brought to government for solution;

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An Introduction to Public Policy

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  1. An Introduction to Public Policy Chapter 1 Dr. Khaled F. Sherif Instructor

  2. What is the Public Policy Process? The public policy making process includes: • Methods in which problems get conceptualized and brought to government for solution; • Governmental institutions formulate alternatives and select policy solutions; • Solutions get implemented, evaluated, revised

  3. Factors Affecting Policy Process Hundreds of actors with different values, interests, perceptions and policy preferences Time span of a policy cycle (could be a decade or more) Policy Process Multiple levels or subjects involved in policy operation Policy debates among actors Complications associated with debates due to difference in values, interests, etc., of actors trying to distort the situation to their advantage

  4. Complexity of policy process • Policy process requires a knowledge of goals and perceptions of hundreds of actors; • It is common to start somewhere and end somewhere else; • Policy interventions can ultimately impact the political, judicial or economic systems in ways that were not anticipated.

  5. Selecting the Proper Policy Analysis Framework • The concepts and propositions of each framework must be broad in scope, relatively clear and internally consistent; • Each framework must be subject to empirical testing and conceptual development; • Each framework must be a positive theory seeking to explain much of the policy process; • Each framework must address important aspects such as conflicting values and interests, information flow, institutional arrangements, etc.

  6. Theoretical Frameworks of the Policy Process to be Reviewed • Frameworks focusing on explaining policy change within a given political system: • The Stages Heuristicdivides the policy process into a series of stages (agenda setting, policy formulation and legitimation, implementation, and evaluation) and reviews the factors affecting the process within each stage • Institutional Rational Choice focuses on how institutional rules alter the behavior of rational individuals, government entities, or states motivated by material self-interest

  7. Theoretical Frameworks of the Policy Process (cont’d) • The Multiple-Streams Framework views the policy process as composed of three streams of actors and processes: a problem stream, a policy stream, and a politics stream • Punctuated-Equilibrium (PE) Framework argues that policymaking is characterized by long periods of incremental change punctuated by brief periods of major policy change

  8. Theoretical Frameworks of the Policy Process (cont’d) • The Advocacy Coalition Framework focuses on the interaction of advocacy coalitions within a policy subsystem; it maps the belief systems of policy elites and analyzes the conditions under which policy-oriented learning across coalitions can occur

  9. Theoretical Frameworks of the Policy Process (cont’d) • Frameworks that seek to provide explanations of variations across a large number of political systems: • Policy Diffusion Framework explains variation in the adoption of specific policy innovations (such as lottery) across different localities (states); it argues that adoption is a function of both the characteristics of the specific political systems and a variety of diffusion processes.

  10. Theoretical Frameworks of the Policy Process (cont’d) • The Funnel of Causality and Other Frameworks in Large-N Comparative Studies explain variation in policy outcomes (e.g. budgetary expenditures) across large number of localities. These began as very simple frameworks dividing up the variance among background socioeconomic conditions, public opinion, and political institutions

  11. Other Frameworks Involved in the Policy Process • Arenas of Power • Cultural Theory • Constructivist Frameworks • Policy Domain Framework

  12. The Constitution and its Impact in Defining Public Policy Constitution Legal Framework Legislative Framework Institutional Framework Economic Framework Social Framework Political Framework Public Policies

  13. Constitutional Rights, Powers and Duties • Personhood – there are two main classes that are subject to rights, powers and duties: • Persons may be "natural" or "corporate". • "Citizens" are a subclass of "natural persons". • Each government has the power to define what is and is not a "person" within its jurisdiction; • Each government may also establish, within its jurisdiction, "corporate persons" such as governmental entities, associations, corporations, or partnerships.

  14. Constitutional Rights, Powers and Duties (cont’d) • Citizenship– Citizenship is the attribute of persons who, as members of the polity, have certain privileges and duties in addition to those they have as persons. For example, citizens include those born on U.S. or State territory or naturalized according to law.

  15. Natural Rights • The classic definition of "natural rights" are "life, liberty, and property ". • They are rights of "personhood", not "citizenship". • These rights are not all equally basic, but form a hierarchy of derivation, with those listed later being generally derived from those listed earlier.

  16. Natural Rights (cont’d) • Personal Security (Life): • Not to be killed. • Not to be injured or abused. • Personal Liberty: • To move freely. • To assemble in an independent well-disciplined militia. • To communicate with the world. • To express or publish one's opinions or those of others. • To practice one's religion.

  17. Natural Rights (cont’d) • Private Property: • To acquire, have and use the means necessary to exercise the above natural rights and pursue happiness, including: • A private residence, from which others may be excluded. • Tools needed for one's livelihood. • Personal property, which others may be denied the use of. • Arms suitable for personal and community defense.

  18. What is Constitutionalism? • Constitutionalism – sometimes equated with the "Rule of Law", holds that government can and should be legally limited in its powers, and that its authority depends on enforcing those limitations.

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