POLITICAL SCIENCE 2223
MAKING PUBLIC POLICY--SPRING 2003
Professor: Michael Givel
Office: Dale Hall Tower 215
General: This is an introductory course on the American public policy process. This course will examine contemporary models and theories of the policy making process. In particular, we will examine various stages of the policy making process including: why certain policies make it on the policy agenda, policy formulation, policy enactment, program implementation, and policy research and evaluation. This course will also emphasize and examine how policy makers and other political actors shape and influence issues in the policy making process by focusing on several contemporary and important policy issues and controversies.
1. To provide an overview and understanding of contemporary theories and models of policy making and how the policy process operates.
2. To gain an understanding of a variety of current public policy issues and controversies.
3. To understand and examine the role of policy makers and other political actors in shaping and influencing policy issues.
4. To allow students the opportunity to analyze actual public policy making in a wide variety of policy issues.
5. To enhance research skills, including the design, information collecting, and analysis of written research reports.
Books and Publications:
Birkland, Thomas, 2001. An Introduction to the Policy Process: Theories, Concepts, and Models of Public Policy Making. Armonk, New York: M.E. Sharpe
Grover, William and Peschek, Joseph, 2002. Voices of Dissent: Critical Readings in American Politics, 4th Edition. New York: Longman.
Packet of reading materials available at the OU Bookstore and on electronic and paper reserve.
Introduction to Course.
|15||Study and Practice of Public Policy Making; Read Chapter 1, Birkland.|
Study and Practice of Public Policy Making continued; Read Chapter 1, Birkland.
|22||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Chapters 5 and 6.|
|24||Historical and Structural Context of Policy Making; Read Chapter 2, Birkland.|
Historical and Structural Context of Policy Making continued; Read Chapter 2, Birkland.
|29||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Chapters 2 and 3.|
|31||Official Actors and Public Policy; Read Chapter 3, Birkland.|
|Class Discussion paper due this day for all in-class readings from January 13 to January 29.|
|February||03||Official Actors and Public Policy continued; Read Chapter 3, Birkland.|
|05||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read Chapters 14 and 21.|
|07||Unofficial Actors and Public Policy; Read Chapter 4, Birkland.|
|10||Unofficial Actors and Public Policy continued; Read Chapter 4, Birkland.|
|12||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read Chapters 16 and 17.|
|14||First closed book Mid Term Exam. Material covered on the exam will include all readings from Birkland book and class lectures from January 13 to February 12.|
|17||Agenda Setting, Power and Interest Groups; Read Chapter 5, Birkland.|
Agenda Setting, Power and Interest Groups continued; Read Chapter 5, Birkland.
|21||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read Chapters 10 and 11.|
|24||Policies and Policy Types; Read Chapter 6, Birkland.|
|26||Policies and Policy Types continued; Read Chapter 6, Birkland.|
|28||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read: Chapter 22.|
|March||03||Policy Design and Policy Tools; Read Chapter 7, Birkland.|
Class Discussion paper due this day for all in-class readings from February 3 to February 28.
Policy Design and Policy Tools; Read Chapter 7 continued, Birkland.
|07||In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read Chapter 31.|
|10||Policy Implementation and Policy Failure; Read Chapter 8, Birkland.|
Policy Implementation and Policy Failure continued; Read Chapter 8, Birkland.
In-class reading: Grover and Peschek, Read Chapter 33.
|24||Putting it all Together Models of the Policy Process; Read Chapter 9, Birkland.|
|26||Putting it all Together Models of the Policy Process continued; Read Chapter 9, Birkland.|
|Class Discussion paper due this day for all in-class readings from March 3 to March 24.|
|28||Second closed book Mid Term Exam. Material covered on the exam will include all readings from Birkland book and class lectures from February 17 to March 26.|
|April||02||Policy Area: Wealth and Economic Policy; Read Chapter 2, Dye and pp. 94, 115-116, 123-124, 126-127, 129, 134, 149, 163 , and 166, Phillips (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
|04||Policy Area: Wealth and Economic Policy continued; Read Chapter 2, Dye pp. 94, 115-116, 123-124, 126-127, 129, 134, 149, 163 , and 166, Phillips (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
Policy Area: Poverty and Welfare; Read Chapter 1, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).
|09||Policy Area: Poverty and Welfare continued; Read Chapter 1, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
Policy Area: Health Policy; Read Chapter 2, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).
|14||Policy Area: Health Policy continued; Read Chapter 2, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
|16||Policy Area: Campaign Finance and Elections; Read Chapter 3, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
|18||Policy Area: Campaign Finance and Elections continued; Read Chapter 3, Thobaben, Schlagheck, and Funderburk (On paper and electronic reserve in library).|
|Research Paper also due this day.|
|Class Discussion Papers:||10%|
|Midterm Exam #1||15%|
|Midterm Exam: #2||
Each point that you receive equals one percentage point of your grade. You can receive a maximum total of 100 points, which would equal 100%, or a perfect score. I will be using the traditional 100-90 (A); 89-80 (B); 79-70 (C); 69-60 (D); and 59 and below (F) grading method.
Research Paper: This paper is designed to examine a current real-world policy trend. You need to select a current domestic policy topic such as social welfare, education, health, drugs, crime, and the environment and discuss it in the format outlined below.
All papers should be typewritten and double-spaced in 11 or 12-point font with one-inch margins. The paper should be at least ten pages or more in length. You should also utilize the American Psychological Association (APA) or Chicago Manual of Style or MLA formats in relation to style and format for such items as footnotes, bibliography, and so on. I will also take off some points for consistently improper grammar or spelling. All material that is quoted or not original should have an appropriate footnote or endnote.
These papers should generally follow the following format (the development of a detailed outline before you write the paper is very helpful in doing this.):
1. Give a brief introductory statement on your policy topic;
2. In the body of the paper, describe and explain in an internally consistent and logical fashion what your policy topic is. Be sure to provide an overview of the major themes and concepts related to your policy topic;
3. Offer examples and provide tables, graphs, and footnotes and endnotes (when appropriate) to bolster your discussion;
4. Provide and discuss contrasting and differing pro and con arguments related to your policy topic in your paper (I want you to present both sides of your chosen policy issue and not your own opinion on the subject); and
5. Provide a conclusion to your discussion. This conclusion should succinctly summarize the main themes of your paper.
Mid Term Exams: These are closed book essay and multiple choice style examinations that will cover course concepts for two sections of the course as indicated in the Course Content section of this syllabus. In each of these exams, you will be responsible for all materials covered in Reading assignments and class lectures.
Final Exam: This is a closed book essay and multiple choice style examination that will cover the entire course. In this comprehensive exam, you will be responsible for all materials covered in reading assignments and class lectures in the entire course.
Individual Presentations: All students will present a five minute discussion on a current policy issue. In this discussion, students will present a current policy issue at the local, state, or federal levels. Since this is an oral presentation, no written report is required. Student presentations will be graded on logic and style and relationship to the material presented in class discussion on how public policy making occurs, including identifying the stage or stages of the policy making process in which the policy issue occurs.
Class Discussion: Members of the class will be divided into several groups. Each group will be assigned a reading from the Grover and Peschek book. These readings are designed to make you think about and analyze various issues in American public policy making. You do not necessarily have to agree with all or portions of what each of the authors are saying. What I would like your group to do is briefly summarize the major arguments of the author. If anyone in your group agrees or disagrees with the arguments in the Grover and Peschek books, please briefly note what those arguments are and why. You will then make a group presentation to the rest of the class summarizing the above for no more than five to ten minutes.
As indicated in the Course Content section of the syllabus, each member of the group will be expected to hand in three short two to six page papers of the group's summary as outlined above. I will grade these papers based on brevity, clarity and evidence of group analysis.
Attendance and Tardiness: All students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions on time.
Assignments and Tests: All assignments must be submitted on time in order to complete the course successfully. If you turn an assignment in after the date that it is due, and you do not have a valid reason for its late submittal, proportional points in relation to how late it is submitted will be deducted from the assignment. There are no extra credit assignments in this course. Make-up exams may be scheduled upon good cause reasons given by the student and approved by the instructor on a case-by-case basis. If there is not a good cause for an exam not being taken at its scheduled time, that exam cannot be made-up at a later date. All students are expected to complete the required Reading assignments before the class period that the Reading assignment is assigned.
Accommodation for Students With Disabilities: Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent her or him from fully demonstrating her or his abilities should contact me personally as soon as possible so we can discuss accommodations necessary to ensure full participation and facilitate your educational opportunities.
Electronic Devices: All audible electronic devices, including but not limited to cell phones and beepers, must remain off at all times while the class is in session.
Cheating and Plagiarism: Any student who willfully violates the cheating and plagiarism policy, may be subject to disciplinary proceedings within the scope of university regulations and due process grievance and hearing rights.