Political Science 335

POSC 335
American Public Policy

Catalog Entry

POSC 335. American Public Policy. (AG, PA)
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: POSC 120

Examination of policy-making process and approaches to issues in American government; emphasis on role of informal influences as opposed to function of elected and appointed officials.


Detailed Description of Content Course

Topics may include:

The purpose of this course is to provide students with a historical and contemporary understanding of the policymaking process.

I. Framework of Analysis

A. Define Public Policy
B. Benchmarks For Analysis
C. Catalogue of Major Issue Areas
D. Issues and Events

II. Getting Problems to Government

A. Conditions For Getting Problems to Government
B. Theories of Agenda Setting
C. Types of Agendas
D. Agenda-Setting Strategies

III. Formulating Policy Proposals

A. What Is Formulation?
B. Who Is Involved
C. Institutional Limits
D. Strategic Formulation

IV. Legitimation Process

A. Legitimacy
B. Processes For Legitimation
C. Who Is Involved
D. Majority

V. Appropriating For Programs

A. The Budget
B. Budget Formulation
C. Budget Legitimation
D. Institutional Constraints

VI. Implementing Programs

A. The Role of Bureaucracy
B. Organization of the Bureaucracy
C. Interpretation
D. Application

VII. Evaluating Programs and Policy

A. What Is Evaluation
B. The Politics of Evaluation
C. Measurement and Analysis
D. Motivation

VIII. Conclusion of the Process

A. Resolution
B. Termination
C. Types of Decision-Making
D. Policy Effects
E. Ethics

IX. Applying the Framework

A. Review Issue Areas
B. Select Issues and Policies
C. Apply Steps In Analytic Framework


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course methodology will include classroom lectures, in-class exercises, and small group discussions.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

1. To clarify what constitutes public policy.
2. To help students gain knowledge about the various styles of policy development.
3. To examine methods of policy analysis, models of policy, and dynamics of the policymaking process.
4. To provide a rigorous examination of contemporary substantial policy issues.


Assessment Measures

Students may be evaluated based on a number of criteria including: comprehensive examinations, active student participation, role playing/simulations, and a research paper.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

April 1998 Reviewed M. J. Franck, Dept. Chair