651 Syllabus: Fall, 1997

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PA 651 The Policy Process Fall, 1997
Edward T. Jennings, Jr. T. Th., 3:00-4:15 p.m.
Office: 435 Patterson Tower KAS 206
257-5596 Hours: T, Th 1:30 - 3:00 p.m. pub714@pop.uky.edu

This course provides a broad introduction to the policy making process. As such, it will explore theories and practices of policy making, examining selected aspects of the policy process and policy analysis. Although national examples will be used, the course will emphasize policy making at the state and local level.

One goal of the course is to acquaint students with the policy making context of public administration in the United States. A second is to provide the opportunity to explore the practical implications of theories of policy making. Students will leave the course with knowledge about policy making and a set of ideas about how they can participate effectively in policy making processes. Students will develop skills that are useful in the policy process. You will, for example, learn to identify problems, assess their nature and extent, search for and analyze solutions, facilitate the adoption of a solution, implement programs, examine their consequences, and provide leadership.

Course Philosophy

Rosemary O'Leary, who teaches at Indiana University puts the following statement on her course syllabus. It reflects the philosophy of learning that we'll try to practice here:

"Warning!! This is a course with a unique blending of traditional readings and lectures, mixed with nontraditional role playing, student participation, and discussion groups. Class sessions will be interactive with high-quality, thoughtful, open-minded, and respectful class discussion expected. If you are interested in a safe lecture class where students are allowed to act as 'passive knowledge sponges,' this class is not for you. I look forward to a great class!"

Each student is expected to participate actively in class activities, including involvement on a team that will present an analysis of a policy issue. These teams will be formed in our second class and will present their cases towards the end of the semester. The team projects will be a very important part of the course. They will provide the basis for our concluding class sessions. The team product, in the form of a class presentation and a written report, is the basis for a significant part of your grade. Each students contribution to that product will also be evaluated.

Problem solving teams and discussion groups will be used in class throughout the semester. These will usually, but not always, be based on your project team. The active involvement of each member of the group is critical to the success of the group. Much of your learning will come from each other. How much you get out of the course and how much your classmates get out of the course depends on your involvement.

To foster effective group functioning and individual contributions, there will be two opportunities for group self-assessment during the course of the semester. There will also be a formal process for each group to assess the contributions of team members.

Although there are no points for classroom participation, failure to participate effectively in class can result in a penalty of up to ten points on the final grade.

Books and Readings

Course readings will come from two books that are available for purchase at the University Bookstore and Kennedy Bookstore and supplementary readings that will be available at Johnny Print. The required books are:

Charles Lindblom and Edward J. Woodhouse, The Policy-Making Process, 3rd Edition. Prentice-Hall, 1993

Thomas Church and Robert Nakamura, Cleaning Up the Mess: Implementation Strategies in Superfund. Brookings, 1993


There will be two written assignments, a midterm examination, and a final examination. Instructions for the assignments are given at the end of this syllabus.

Grading will be done as follows:
1. written assignment due September 16 - 15%
2. team process contribution - 10%
3. team project product - 25%
4. midterm examination-25%
5. final examination--25%


Each student in the class is expected to adhere to the highest standards of academic honesty. Cheating and plagiarism violate the rules of the University and the ethical standards of professional public administration. Violations of the university's rules regarding academic honesty can lead to a failing grade in the course and expulsion from the University.

Aug. 27 Introduction

Sept. 2-4 An Overview of Public Policy and the Policy Process

Randall Ripley, "Stages of the Policy Process," from Policy Analysis in Political Science

Lindblom and Woodhouse, Ch. 1-2

Christopher J. Bosso, "Images of Policymaking" in Pesticides and Politics: The Life Cycle of a Public Issue

Penny Miller, 1994. Kentucky Politics and Government: Do We Stand United? Ch. 12 AContemporary Policy Issues

Sep. 9-11 Values, Interests, Behavior, and Public Policy:

Daniel Yankelovich, "How Changes in the Economy Are Reshaping American Values," in Aaron, Mann, Taylor, Values and Public Policy

James Q. Wilson, "Culture, Incentives, and the Underclass," in Values and Public Policy

Robert C. Paehlke, "Environmental Values and Public Policy," in Norman Vig and Michael Kraft, Environmental Policy in the 1990s, Congressional Quarterly Press, 1994

Lloyd Ethridge, The Case of the Unreturned Cafeteria Tray

CASE: "Buying Time: The Dollar-a-Day Program"

Sep. 16 Values Analysis of Two Public Issues

"Matters of Life and Death: Defunding Organ Transplants in the State of Arizona"
"Cultures in Conflict: Battling Over the Environmental Review of Quebec's Great Whale Project"

Sep. 18 The Setting for Problem Solving: Fragmentation and Shared Power

John Bryson and Barbara Crosby, "When No One Is in Charge: the Meaning of Shared Power,"

Ch. 1 in Bryson and Crosby, Leadership for the Common Good, Jossey-Bass, 1992

Miller: Ch 13."Local Government: the Centrifugal Forces"
Ch. 14 "Local Government: the Centripetal Forces"

Case: "Funding Schools in Washington State"

Sep. 25- Oct. 2 The Political Setting of Problem Solving: Interest Groups, Political Parties, Public Opinion

Lindblom, Ch. 4-8

Charles Mahtesian, "The Chastening of the Teachers," Governing, 9 (December, 1995): 34-37.

Russ Freyman, "The Smoke of Battle," Governing, 9 (November, 1995): 55-57

Case: "Regulation of Mud Flaps"

Oct. 7-9 Agenda Setting

Dennis Palumbo, "Agenda Setting: What Problems Will Become Subjects for Governmental Action."

Ellen Frankel Paul, "Sexual Harassment: A Defining Moment and Its Repercussions," in David A. Rochefort and Roger W. Cobb, The Politics of Problem Definition: Shaping the Policy Agenda. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994.

Douglas J. Besharov, "Don't Call It Child Abuse If It's Really Poverty"

Case: "Shifting the Terms of Debate: Mayor Norm Rice and the Greater Seattle Growth Quagmire"

Oct. 14, 16, 21 Formulation

Lindblom, Ch. 3

Lester M. Salamon and Michael S. Lund, "The Tools Approach: Basic Analytics," Chapter 2 in Lester M. Salamon, ed., Beyond Privatization: The Tools of Government Action. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute Press, 1989.

William T. Gormley, Jr., "Privatization Revisited," Policy Studies Review, 13 (Autumn/Winter, 1994-95: 215-234

Janet Weiss and Mary Tschirhart, "Public Information Campaigns as Policy Instruments," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 13 (Winter, 1994): 82-119

Marie Lynn Miranda, et al, "Market Based Incentives and Residential Municipal Solid Waste," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 13 (Fall, 1994: 681-698

Lyke Thompson, "The Death of General Assistance in Michigan," in Donald F. Norris and Lyke Thompson, eds., 1995. The Politics of Welfare Reform. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage

Cases: Portland Energy Policy
Public Conversations and Legislative Deliberations

Oct. 23 Mid Term Examination

Oct. 28-Nov 6 Implementation

Church and Nakurma, "Cleaning Up the Mess"

Ellen Perlman, "Dancing Around the Dumps," Governing, 9 (August, 1995): 48-51

Ralph K.M. Haurwitz and Dave McNeely, "The Texas Emissions War," State Legislatures, 21 (October/November, 1995): 26-31

Case: "On the Kindness of Strangers"

Nov. 11 Evaluation

Guy Peters, "Evaluation and Policy Change" from American Public Policy: Promise and Performance

David N. Ammons, "Overcoming the Inadequacies of Performance Measurement in Local Government: The Case of Libraries and Leisure Services," Public Administration Review, 55 (January/February, 1995): 37-47.

Nov. 13-18 Strategies of Policy Change

Paul Sabatier, "An Advocacy Coalition Framework of Policy Change and the Role of Policy-Oriented Learning Therein," Policy Sciences 21 (1988): 129-168

Nov. 20 Leadership for Policy Change

Richard A. Loverd, Leadership for the Public Service: Power and Policy in Action Chapters 1-2 Prentice Hall 1997

John Bryson and Barbara Crosby, "Leadership Tasks in a Shared Power World," Ch. 2 in Bryson and Crosby, Leadership for the Common Good, Jossey-Bass, 1992

Charles Mahtesian, "The Captains of Conservatism," Governing, 8:5 (February, 1995): 26-31 (About new conservative governors in the states)

Lesley, "Growing Accustomed to Her Face," State Legislatures (July/August, 1996): 37-45.

Nov. 25, Dec 2, 4, 9 and 11 Team Project Presentations

Dec. 19 Final Examination 8:00 a.m.


There will be two written assignments. The first, an individual assignment, will be evaluated on the basis of its substance, insight, clarity, application of theory and analysis to policy practice, and quality of writing. The second, a team assignment, will be evaluated in terms of its substance, the level of knowledge it reflects, the persuasiveness of its arguments, the application of theory and analysis to policy practice, the clarity it brings to the issues, and the quality of writing.

Your analysis should demonstrate high levels of understanding of the issues and of relevant concepts. It should demonstrate your ability to develop a recommendation based on your understanding of the issues and concepts. It should reflect knowlege of our readings and the application of concepts and theories that we discuss in class. It should reflect the highest standards of writing, including clarity of expression.

Each paper should be typed, double-spaced. Take care to provide appropriate references to document your information. Papers should be prepared with a word processor. You should use a spell checker and you might benefit from using one of the writing packages that are available for use on personal computers.

Assignment No. 1

DUE: September 16

You may choose either of the following two assignments.

Option 1: Assume that you are a policy analyst assigned to clarify the relationship of important public values to Arizona's decision regarding the funding of organ transplants. What important values are at stake in this decision? How are they in conflict? Can they be reconciled? How are they affected by the different alternatives? How do the issues here relate to changing American values, if at all? Prepare a three page memorandum to brief members of the legislature on this issue.

Option 2: The case study of Quebec's Great Whale Project portrays it as a matter of cultures in conflict. Prepare a three page memorandum briefing the Canadian Prime Minister on the important values that are at stake in this case. What are the values? How are they affected? Can they be reconciled? How do the issues here relate tot value changes in America?

Assignment No. 2

DUE: December 12

See Team Projects.

Team Projects

The class will be divided into teams for purposes of carrying out the projects that will form the basis of our class sessions at the end of the semester. Each team will prepare a presentation for the class. The team will be responsible for identifying assigned readings for the class, developing and delivering a presentation to help the class understand the issue, and leading a class discussion of the issue.

The topics deal with important issues confronting national, state, or local governments in the United States. Although several of the topics are framed specifically in terms of Kentucky state and/or local government, they raise questions that have to be addressed in other political jurisdictions as well. For example, the growth and quality of life issues confronting Lexington presumably are similar to the growth and quality of life problems confronting other communities. As another example, although implementation of the Kentucky Education Reform Act has generated specific concerns about how we measure educational success, those concerns are related to more general aspects of performance measurement and the evaluation of educational reform in other states.

More specific information will be provided on the analysis to be carried out by the group, but it will include at a minimum: