Share Course Ware
Health Sciences > Nutrition > Theories of Public Policy
 Theories of Public Policy  posted by  member7_php   on 3/4/2009  Add Courseware to favorites Add To Favorites  
Further Reading
More Options

Theories of Public Policy

Spring 2004/2005

Massachusetts Governor John Hancock proposes the Bill of Rights in 1788. Image of mural from House Chamber, Massachusetts State House.

Highlights of this Course

    * Why government gets involved in some things and not in others.
    * How public problems are framed and described.
    * What criteria are useful in developing and assessing policy choices.
    * How policy choices and outcomes are mediated and influenced by individuals, organizations and political institutions.

Course Description

This course examines competing theories, models, and analytical frameworks for understanding policymaking. Case study application is used to underscore lessons learned. Knowledge of the basic tools of lawmaking is sharpened. The course is taught as a seminar and students are expected to participate actively in class discussion.

Popular Content

    * Week 1 - Introduction to the course
    * Week 2 - What normative theories underpin the field?
    * Letter to State Representative
    * Study Guide for Theories of Public Policy
    * Week 5 - The Executive Branch: How does a law become a rule?



    * Students will become familiar with competing theories, models, and analytical frameworks for understanding policymaking, particularly in the U.S. context.


Course requirements include three written policy exercises, two letters to policymakers, active class participation, and a final exam. Each policy exercise will count for 20 percent of the grade, and the final exam will count for 40 percent.

Required Textbooks

* Deborah Stone, Policy Paradox and Political Reason (NY: W.W. Norton & Co.) 2002.
* John Kingdon, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Policies, 2nd edition (NY: HarperCollins) 1995.
* Cindy Skrzycki, The Regulators (Rowman and Littlefield, Inc) 2003.

Session   Type Title  
1 Lecture Introduction to the course  
2 Lecture What normative theories underpin the field?  
3 Lecture The Legislative Branch: How does a bill become law?  
4 Lecture Setting the agenda, normative theories continued  
5 Lecture The Executive Branch: How does a law become a rule?  
6 Lecture What role do interest groups play in policymaking?  
7 Lecture What is the significance of problem framing and issue formation?  
8 Lecture The Budget and Appropriations Processes  
9 Lecture Can we control the state through various policy instruments?  
10 Lecture What is the role of leadership and followership in complex organizations?  
11 Lecture The Judicial Branch  
12 Lecture Alternative Mechanisms for Negotiating Policy  
13 Lecture Press, the Fourth Branch?   Tell A Friend