POL/EVST 2034 August 24, 2016 Notes
POL/EVST 2034 August 24, 2016 Notes POL 2031
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Howard on Saturday August 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to POL 2031 at University of Cincinnati taught by Jack Mewhirter in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Environmental Policy in Political Science at University of Cincinnati.
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Date Created: 08/06/16
Environmental Policy: 8/24/16 Ch. 1 Public Policy Government actions (or inactions) designed to address the demands of a set of citizens to resolve a social issue Some of these problems look like dust bowl, society not paying attention to sustainable farming practices, love canal (toxic waste zone that we decided to build a community atop of), Dead Zone in Gulf of Mexico, Cincinnati River caught on fire due to heavy pollution The Study of Public Policy The systematic, scientific analysis of government activity, including laws, regulations and funding priorities, and its influence on society -What social woes are addressed -The means by which social woes were addressed -What impact policies have on citizens -How efficient or effective are the policies -How policies could be improved Why study Public Policy? Accountability Efficiency gains Equity of policy delivery A. Accountability -whose interests precisely are being served by the government and to what extent? Consent of the governed -in order for democracy to succeed, the governed must consent to the ruling government body -in order to consent, citizens must be informed of government actions We will punish or reward you for.. addressing issues citizens care about and the quality/benefits of policy solutions Department of Environment Quality in Michigan B. Efficiency Gains Policy efficiency: whether the resources, time and energy of a policy are delivering the greatest policy outcomes, for a given level of resources Legitimacy is the right to be governed What is the return on our investment? -how much we are getting back from what we put in How do we increase efficiency? -i.e. how do we decrease costs of increase benefits Equity of Policy Delivery Equity: the extent to which a government delivers the benefits of a policy evenly across all communities Are all communities treated equally or do certain communities benefit disproportionally? -wealth, ethnic makeup, economic class -in white communities, enforcement is twice as diligent versus in minority communities -this is dangerous because these communities that aren’t receiving proper dictation are being further marginalized Competing Interests: The U.S Context Federalism -national, state, local -national and state possess constitutions -different goals and policy preferences Executive and Legislative Competition -executive: president, governor, mayor -legislative: two houses (at the national and state level) -goals and policy preferences often vary between branches -often varying goals and preferences between members of legislative Judiciary -national, state and local all possess an array or criminal, civil and administrative courts -prosecute violations of executive and legislative Democracy vs. Autocracy Democracy makes policymaking difficult Autocracies have limited money but only rely on a small subset of the population to stay in power Competing interests, institutional barriers, and public opinion make solving societal problems tedious and costly Likely better than the autocracy -citizens have control over government -governments must appease citizens to stay in power Problems with Democracy Competing interests at different levels Government actors have limited time/effort to champion policies Politically salient issues get more traction Problems with innocuous solutions get more traction The Policy Making Process Proposed by Harold Laswell (1951) A heuristic demonstrating the pathways by which policies are identified, proposed, evaluated, implemented and terminated 7 stages 1. problem and solution identification 2. agenda setting 3. policy formulation 4. alternative formulation 5. policy selection and adoption 6. policy implementation 7. policy evaluation A. Problem and Solution Identification -How do social issues become defined as social problems? -Once social issues have been defined as social problems, how are solutions to those problems identified? Stake holders: those who are affected by a policy problem Policy demands: the demands exerted by stakeholders on the political actors Credible action: the mechanism by which demands pressure leaders Who gets what is determined by pressure That said ‘collective action problems’ exist among stakeholders Connecting problems to solutions The policy entrepreneur -willing to exert time and effort -solves problems; does not always mean it’s a good thing -want something a little more devious -has a stake in the solution -ability to link their preferred solution to the ‘problem’ of others Consider a hypothetical estuary that has a dwindling fish population B. Agenda Setting The process by which formal institutional centers of power will take up and potentially act on a policy solution The stage of when people who solve these problems pick and choose which policies will actually make the agenda Which demands do leaders actually decide to consider Factors that shape policy agendas: preferences of formal actors, actors external to formal institutions (advocacy coalitions), external stocks Political pressures also affect which policies are chosen to preferencest to reflect their own self interests and External shocks are policy punctuations Low Salience High Salience Low Complexity “Street Level “Hearing Room Politics” Politics” -Lower level -Elected Officials bureaucrats Highly Involved -Public Highly Involved High Complexity “Board Room “Operating Room Politics” Politics” -Elites are highly -Policy Experts influential -Advocacy Groups -Subsets of Legislative Committees, Businesses figuratively die and are put out of their leadership role C. Policy Formulation Who is really getting involved in this? -not always elected officials -bureaucrats have a lot of policy discretion in specific domains Who are the decision makers? Who is getting involved in the process? Gromley (1984) -Salience and Technical Complexity D. Alternative Formulation Policy solutions are drawn from a set of competing alternatives Whose ideas are considered? -lobbyists -information providing organizations -are they really different?- yes, but not all of the time
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