Political Science | Approaches and Issues in the Study of Public Policy
Y565 | 25562 | McGinnis

Approaches and Issues in the Study of Public Policy
	9:05  11:00  W   WH205			Professor McGinnis

This class meets with SPEA- V690

This seminar introduces graduate students to several alternative
theoretical perspectives that are especially important in the
scholarly study of public policy. It is primarily designed for
students in the Joint Ph.D. program in Public Policy as well as
students specializing in the field of Public Policy in Political
Science. We will examine the standard range of theoretical
approaches, including policy stages, policy sciences,
incrementalism, institutional analysis based on rational choice
theory, public choice, policy networks, advocacy coalitions,
punctuated equilibria, veto players, network governance, and
discourse analysis. Each student will be asked to complete a
voluminous amount of readings in diverse perspectives, with the
expectation that each will delve into the details of methods most
appropriate for their own research plans in other seminars. Most
readings will be analytical or conceptual in focus, but along the
way students will get exposed to the details of a few selected areas
of substantive policy. In addition to regular memos on course
readings, students will submit a seminar paper on a policy topic of
their own choosing in which they outline potential research
questions that would be relevant from different theoretical
perspectives. There will also be a final exam, with questions
similar to those that tend to be asked on Ph.D. examinations. Many
articles will be made available in electronic format, and the
following required texts will be available for purchase: Weimer and
Vining, Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, Sabatier, Theories
of the Policy Process, Tullock et al., Government Failure: A Primer
in Public Choice, Goldsmith and Eggers, Governing by Network, Gibson
et al., The Samaritan's Dilemma: The Political Economy of
Development Aid, and Fisher, Reframing Public Policy.