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Terms in this set (73)
A relatively stable, purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors in dealing with a problem or matter of concern.
Developed by government bodies and officials.
-Involve the composition of government.
-May be structural or procedural.
-Structural: What government looks like
-Procedural: What government does
-Allocate services or benefits to particular segments of population.
-Costs are often widely shared.
-Involve little direct conflict.
Restrict or limit certain behaviors
-Can involve significant conflict
-Also restrict behaviors, but are controlled by the regulated group
-Often significant conflict at creation, but less over time
-Involve deliberate efforts by the government to shift the allocation of resources among broad classes or groups of the population
-Often see significant conflict over creation and maintenance
-Provide tangible resources or substantive power to the beneficiaries
-Examples: Estate taxes, education grants
-Have little real material impact on people
-Examples: Flag burning, school prayer
Collective goods policies
-If something is provided for one person, it must be provided for all
-Consumption by one person does not consumption by another
-Examples: National defense, clean air
Private goods policies
-May be broken into units and purchased by individuals
-Examples: Cars, homes, health insurance
Making a discrete choice among alternatives at one point in time
Lots of decisions (routine or not) over an extended period of time
-Public policy is the product of group struggle
-Emphasizes access by groups
-The opportunity to express viewpoints to decision-makers
-Dependent on resources
-Policy reflects values/preferences of a ruling elite
-The few govern the many
-Concentrates on the formal and legal aspects of governmental institutions
-Impact of government structure and organizational rules on public policies
-Applies microeconomic theory to the analysis of political behavior
-Individuals are the units of analysis
-Policy studies face lots of problems
-Data may not be available, measures may not be valid, etc.
-Can use quantitative or qualitative methods
-Just have to use method rigorously
"Government in action"
-The defining element of a social indicator is the statistic's numerator
-Interpreting the social indicators and avoiding misinterpretations requires a good understanding of the actual survey questions and definitions and standards used to determine the counts.
Common divisors used in the construction of social indicators:
-Gross domestic product
-Median family income
-Most analyses of social indicators involve one or a combination of three forms of numerical comparison: cross-sectional comparisons, cross-time comparisons, and comparisons across demographic categories.
-Combining time series comparisons with cross-sectional or demographic comparisons often provide a for a richly detailed analysis.
Considering the context in which it is used and the choices made in determining the indicator's counts and divisors.
The degree to which estimates may be wrong due to the use of a sample rather than a complete count of the population.
A subset of logical fallacies common in arguments that are premised on numerical evidence.
The selective culling of evidence to support a claim
It is often not clear which of two variables in a relationship is cause and which is effect
A form of reverse causation
-Being sick causes people to enroll in Medicaid, not the reverse
The inverse of self-selection and often occurs when the participants who are doing most poorly in an experimental program drop out of the study
Sometimes performance measures increase merely because the subjects have become older over the course of the study. Some indicators, particularly crime statistics, generally improve as the population ages.
Occurs when a relationship that exists for all subgroups of a population disappears when the data are aggregated for the whole population
Occur when subjects of an experiment are selected for their extreme scores on a 'before' measure or when a policy is implemented in response to an unusually high or low score on a critical indicator.
-Inconsistent and unreliable measures of the effect of a policy change can lead to faulty conclusions about a policy's effectiveness.
-A classic example is school systems where teachers change test scores to make the school seem more effective.
Drawing an erroneous inference about individual behavior from a relationship based on aggregated geographical data can lead to a/an ________.
The "Closing the Gap" Paradox
What we have here is two diametrically opposite conclusions drawn from the same data, both of which are correct. This is a paradox: seemingly contradictory findings that are both in a sense true. The paradox becomes a fallacy when the data lead to an incorrect causal conclusion.
Case Study Method
Focuses on a single set of data points so there is no comparative frame of reference.
Uses two equivalent groups, one of which (the experimental group) is exposed to a stimulus while the other (the control group) is not. The two groups are then compared, and any difference can be attributed to the stimulus.
Handles the problem of control by means of partial correlations. For instance when one wants to inquire into the relationship between political participation and level of education attained, one should control for the influence of age because younger generations have generally received more education than older generations.
The crucial difference is that the number of cases it deals with is too small to permit systematic control by means of partial correlations.
Helps one appreciate that, according to the rules of formal logic, definitive proof through empirical research is impossible.
Disproving a hypothesis through empirical research.
Widely held values, beliefs, and attitudes on what government should do.
-Emphasizes private concerns
-Views government as a utilitarian device
Views government as a mechanism for the public interest.
-A paternalistic and elitist view of government.
-Sees it as a means to maintain the existing social order.
-Impinge on or influence political activity
-Are often impossible to separate from each other, e.g., education
Possess the legal authority to engage in policy formation
-Make laws and policies
-Heavily reliant on staff
-Members face competing demands for representation
-Representative local interests as well as national interests
-Assists in policy development and implementation
-Congress has delegated significant authority to the president
-Focus on policy initiation and adoption
-Execute policies and influence policy formation
-Enact rules that have political and policy consequences
-Are sources of policy proposals and ideas, and actively lobby for or against legislation
-Often deeply and willingly involved in policy politics
-Judicial review (constitutionality)
-What government cannot do
-What it must do to meet constitutional or statutory requirements
-Do not have legal authority to enact policies
-Provide information, exert pressure, seek to persuade policy-makers
-Expressing demands and present policy alternatives
-Types of groups
-"Single issue" groups: Focus on one issue or set of related issues
-Public-interest groups: Represent interests that may otherwise go unrepresented
-Organizations that contest elections in order to control the personnel of government
-Parties vary in power from state to state
-Because parties convert demands of groups into general policies, they act as brokers rather than advocates
-AKA, Think Tanks
-Produce studies and reports that provide information, develop policy alternatives, and evaluate effectiveness and consequences
-"Expert but neutral" vs. "politicization of expertise"
-Suppliers and transmitters of information, agenda setters, and attitude shapers
-Minimal coverage of policy matters unless there is high public appeal
-Do make a difference
-Initiatives, referenda, and recalls
-"Critical elections" - Major realignments in voter coalitions and shifts in policy direction
-Efforts by individuals, companies, and communities to secure action for themselves
-Private legislation: Directed to only a single person, company, or governmental unit
-Symbiotic relationships between a congressional committee, an agency, and a interest group that is resistant to wider participation
-Cloudlike or amorphous network with participants constantly move in and out of the network
-Broader/more open than iron triangles, but under more identifiable control than issue networks
-Characterized by wide interest and participation from regular citizens and elites
-Central participants include the president, congressional leaders, executive departments, the media, and interest groups
-More actors are involved, which changes the substance of the policy decision
The Federal Reports Act
-Allowed information gathering necessitated by new federal programs
-Collection grew with government
The Paperwork Reduction Act
-Agency requests for information had to be cleared by the Office of Management and Budget
The total process of creating, adopting, and implementing a policy
The crafting of alternatives or options for dealing with a problem
-Conditions or situations that produce needs or dissatisfaction among people and for which relief or redress by governmental action is sought
-Unreasonable when judged against a standard
-Acceptable for government action and there is a possible solution
The Policy Agenda
-Problems compete for policy-makers' attention because of limited time and resources
-These problems are then converted into issues (matters requiring government attention)
All those matters people are talking and fretting about
-The problems which government officials feel obliged to give active and serious attention
-Can be mandatory or discretionary
Multiple Streams Approach
-Mostly independent streams occasionally come together
-Opens a "policy window" that allows the issue to come onto the agenda
-Some groups work to keep items off the agenda
-There's no problem
-It's not appropriate for government
-It'll be worse if government acts
-It's better solved by private means
-Create a commission
When a problem or policy alternative is kept off of the agenda, whether by force, culture, or political skill.
Loss of Agenda Status
Items that reach the agenda can also disappear
Formulation of Policy Proposals
The development of pertinent and acceptable proposed courses of action for dealing with public problems
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