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Exam Study Guide Public policy test 1

Author: Student Professor: Miller Term:

Public policy test 1

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What is a public policy?

a course of government action/inaction in response to public problems-formally approved laws that enact policy and regulations of agencies that implement programs

Why have public policies?

-promote various societal goals-protect lives-encourage economic growth-prevent property damage-promote view of common good

reasons for government involvement

-political reasons-moral or ethical reasons-economic reasons

basic concepts in policymaking

-government- institutions through which public policy choices are made-politics- determining who gets what,when and how-policy analysis- use of reason and evidence to choose best policy option among a number of alternatives

contexts of public policy

social context-societal changes economic context- state of economypolitical context-political/ideological issuescultural context- values, beliefs what people view as problem

why study public policy?

why study public policy?

Theories of public policy making

elite theorygroup theoryinstitutional theoryrational choice theorypolitical systems theroy

group theory

-public policy is the product of a continuous struggle among organized interests-public policy dominated by interest groups that counter balance each other

institutional theory

-structure and process of institutions dominate policy making -focuses on the way gov are arranged-procedures and rules, legal powers-empower or obstruct political interests

policy process model

1. problem definition2. policy formation3. policy legitimation4. policy implementation 5. policy evaluation6. policy change

policy definition

-defining problem political actors can set the stage for gov intervention-help supply objective info about nature of problem and consequences and solutions

policy formation

-formal/informal actors promotes alternatives (bureaucracy, legislature, interest groups)-debate policy choices-regulation-gov management-taxing and spending-market mechanisms-education and information

policy legitimation

-legal force to decisions-constitutional amendments-statutes -executive orders

policy implementation

-interpreting and applying law-activities that put programs into effect-rules are formulated

policy evaluation

-assessment of whether policies are working well-repeal policies

policy change

-adjust policy depending on evaluation

kingdons 3 steams

problem streampolicy streampolitics stream-all three work together to create policy change

policy tools

-offer services directly-grants/contracts-regulate-tax incentives-educate

general structure of government

dual federalism

layer cake-clear separation of responsibility

cooperative federalism

marble cakes-responsibility of state vs federal gov has blurred

institutional features

1. professionalism2. short election cycles senate 6 legislatures 2-43. polarization4. legislative term limits 6-12 year

legislative process

legislative process

important gatekeepers

-committees -rules committee-senate floor-conference committees-president

rules committee

rules committee acts as majority leadership, places rule on a bill open rule, closed rule,restricted rule

senate floor

-terms of debate and amendments negotiated informally-filibuster

conference committee

-special type of joint committee used to reconcile differences between bill versions passes in house and senate-reconciled bill returns to house and senate for a vote to send bill to president


-signs bill-vetos within 10 days-can do nothing if congress remains in session it becomes a law-if congress adjourns in 10 days becomes pocket veto

Determinants of voting

Partyideologyconstituency president legislative bargaining

executive leadership

party strengthpublic supportindividual skills

tools policy making

executive orders veto powerveto strategies line item vetoexecutive agreements

executive orders

-implement law-have force of law-can be controversial -foreign policy or economic crises

veto power

when president vetos bill it dies unless repassed by 2/3 senate

veto strategies

-do not want to appear weak-may veto on principle -use veto threat to change votes

line item veto

special form of veto that authorized a chief executive to reject provisions of a bill enacted by legislature with out retiring entire bill

executive agreements

agreements entered into by executive branch that are not submitted to the senate for its advice/consent-require majority vote

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