Political Science : Policy Analysis
Instructions
answer any three of the four questions below.
. It should be typed in 12 point, Times New Roman font, be double-spaced, and have one inch
margins.
Each answer should be at least two and a half pages in length. Be sure to cite your sources
appropriately. (For a list of readings discussed in class, see the following pages.)
Questions
1.) In this class, we have considered several models of public policy. In a thoughtful essay:
a.) select two of these models and compare and contrast their key components, and
b.) identify which model you believe is more useful and explain why.
2.) According to Dye (2013), “The power to decide what will be a policy issue is crucial to the
policymaking process. Deciding what the problem will be is even more important than deciding
what will be the solutions” (p. 33). Simply put, agenda setting is very important.
With respect to the policymaking process, who sets the policy agenda in the United States?
In your answer, be sure to discuss the role of public opinion, society’s elites, the media, interest
groups, and public officials.
3.) We have discussed four different theories of the policy process (i.e., Multiple Streams
Theory, Social Construction of a Target Population, Incrementalism, and PunctuatedEquilibrium Theory). In a well-crafted essay, discuss Multiple Streams Theory and the Social
Construction at length. Be sure to do the following:
a.) discuss the key elements of both theories,
b.) explain the implications of each (i.e., identify when a shift in policy is likely to
occur), and
c.) find an example of a public policy that each approach helps to explain and discuss.
4.) The creation and implementation of public policy in the United States is shaped by our
federal system of government. In a clear, concise, and cogent essay:
a.) explain the advantages of federalism,
b.) discuss how the relationship between the national government and the states has
evolved over the years, and
c.) indicate where you believe political power is best concentrated (at the national or
state-level) and explain why.
Course Readings:
Baumgartner, Frank R., and Bryan D. Jones. 1991. Agenda Dynamics and Policy Subsystems.
The Journal of Politics, 53(4): 1044-1074.
Dye, Thomas R. 2013. Understanding Public Policy (14th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson. (the
book)
Houston, David J. and Lilliard E. Richardson, Jr. 2000. The Politics of Airbag Safety: A
Competition Among Problem Definitions. Policy Studies Journal, 28(3): 485-501.
Kelly, Nathan J., and Christopher Witko. 2012. “Federalism and American Inequality.” Journal
of Politics, 74(2): 414-426.
Lindblom, Charles E. 1959. The Science of “Muddling Through.” Public Administration Review,
19(2): 79-88.
Lindblom, Charles E. 1982. The Market as Prison. The Journal of Politics, 44(2): 324-336.
Rochefort, David A., and Roger W. Cobb. 1993. Problem Definition, Agenda Access, and Policy
Choice. Policy Studies Journal, 21(1): 56-71.
Schneider, Anne, and Helen Ingram. 1993. Social Construction of Target Populations:
Implications for Politics and Policy. American Political Science Review, 87(2): 334-347.
Stone, Deborah A. 1989. Causal Stories and the Formation of Policy Agendas. Political
Research Quarterly, 104(2): 281-300.
Zahariadis, Nikolaos. 2007. The Multiple Streams Framework: Structure, Limitations, Prospects.
In Paul A. Sabatier, Theories of the Policy Process. 65-92. Boulder, CO: Westwood
Press.

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