Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society / Edition 2

Public Policymaking in a Democratic Society / Edition 2

by Larry N. Gerston, Thomas Ehrlich

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ISBN-10: 0765622416

ISBN-13: 9780765622419

Pub. Date: 11/15/2008

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

Worrying that American students are becoming more and more disaffected from the policymaking process in the United States, Gerston (political science, San Jose State U.) presents a "how-to" book for college students on the policy making process from issue identification, through advocacy, to implementation and evaluation. He mixes analytical material and case studies


Worrying that American students are becoming more and more disaffected from the policymaking process in the United States, Gerston (political science, San Jose State U.) presents a "how-to" book for college students on the policy making process from issue identification, through advocacy, to implementation and evaluation. He mixes analytical material and case studies with student projects for actual policy-making attempts on the local level. He fails to explain how to impact Dick Cheney's energy policy (for example) without oodles of cash and influence. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword     xiii
Preface to the Second Edition     xv
Acknowledgments     xix
The Public Policymaking Process and How It Relates to Our Lives     3
The Public Policymaking Framework     4
What Public Policy Is-and Is Not     5
Defining Public Issues     5
Defining Private Issues     6
Public/Private Issues in Perspective     7
Constitutionalism: The Architecture of Public Policymaking     7
Separation of Powers     9
Federalism     10
Judicial Review     11
Chartered Rights     12
Where Public Policies Are Made: Vertical Relationships     14
Public Policymaking at the National Level     14
Public Policymaking at the State Level     15
Public Policymaking at the Local Level     17
Does Citizenship Matter?     18
What Does Citizenship Mean?     19
The Rights-Bearing Model of Citizenship     19
The Citizen as Community Loyalist     20
Citizenship as Public Work     21
Practicing Citizenship Through Public Policy Analysis and Advocacy     22
Putting It Together     23
Case Study: Immigration Reform     24
Reflection     25
Student Projects     26
Discussion Questions     26
Notes     27
Identifying Public Policy Issues     31
Triggering Mechanisms: Indicators for Determining Issues     32
Scope: How Widespread a Problem     33
Intensity: How Troublesome a Problem     34
Duration: How Long a Problem     36
Resources: Costliness of the Problem     37
But What If My Issue Is Kept Off the Public Agenda?     39
Deciding What Is Important-How and Why     40
Doing Research     42
Library Work-Doing It the Old-Fashioned Way     42
Going "Online"     43
Newspaper Tracking     44
Government and Community Organizations     45
Personal Interviews     46
Polls and Public Opinion Surveys     48
Considering What to Do     49
Knowing Where to Go, Whom to See, and How to Get There     50
Determining What Should Be Done     51
The Consequences of Inaction     53
Case Study: Community Development Project     54
Reflection     55
Student Projects     55
Discussion Questions     56
Notes     56
Developing a Public Policy Proposal: Inventing the Better Lightbulb     59
Connecting Issues with Public Policymakers     60
Learning What Can Be Done by Whom     61
Starting at the Bottom of the Ladder     64
Clarifying Objectives     67
Other Students     68
Class Instructor     69
Family, Friends, and Acquaintances     69
Outside Parties     70
Inventing the Better Lightbulb     70
Asking the Tough Questions     71
Tobacco Regulation as an Example     72
A Checklist for Policy Analysis     74
Doing a Reality Check     75
Scheduled Meetings with Your Instructor     75
Seeking an Expert in the Field     75
Working with Your Peers     76
To Influence or Not to Influence-That Is the Question     76
Journal Writing     77
Case Study: Campus Security     77
Reflection     78
Student Projects     79
Discussion Questions     79
Notes     80
Taking Action in the Political World: How to Advocate a Public Policy     82
Surveying the Policymaking Landscape     83
Public Officials     83
Mass Media     90
The World Wide Web     92
Interest Groups     92
Political Parties     94
Bureaucracy     95
Citizens as Individuals and in Small Groups     96
Agenda Building in Perspective     99
Preparing a Plan of Action-Carefully, and One Step at a Time     99
Whether to Act Alone or in Concert with Others     100
Determining Your Level of Involvement     101
Preparing a List and Order of Activities     102
Making the Most of Your Opportunity     103
Timing     104
Advance Warning     104
Supplies     104
Transportation     105
Publicity     105
Follow-up     106
Public Policymaking as Complex Activities     106
Case Study: Campaigning for a Watershed Tax District     107
Reflection     109
Student Projects     109
Discussion Questions     109
Notes     110
Implementation: Carrying Out Decisions and Making Them Stick     113
The Art of Implementation      115
Bureaucracies as Implementation Agents     116
Requirements for Implementation     117
Conditions for Discouraging Implementation     121
Bureaucrats as Public Policymakers     124
But What About ...?     126
Keeping Your Hand in the Implementation Mix     127
Determining Whether the Policy Is Clear     127
Comparing Intentions with Outcomes     129
Case Study: Implementing a New Policy on Racial Profiling     131
Reflection     132
Student Projects     133
Discussion Questions     133
Notes     134
Evaluation: Does the Policy Make Sense?     136
Who Evaluates, and Why?     138
Evaluation in the Public Policymaking Environment     138
Evaluators     139
Evaluation as a Tool of Civic Engagement     141
Evaluation: Not as Easy as It Looks     142
Comparing Outcomes with Intentions: Two Approaches     143
Quantitative Measurement     144
Qualitative Judgment     146
One Form of Evaluation Every Policymaker Wishes to Avoid     150
Some Final Tips     151
Conclusions     152
Case Study: Charter Schools      153
Reflection     155
Student Projects     155
Discussion Questions     156
Notes     156
Participation, Politics, and Policymaking: Putting It Together     159
Some of What You May Have Learned     159
The Most Important Evaluation of All     161
Questions About Yourself     162
Questions About You as a Citizen     162
Questions About You and the Community     163
And Some Last Questions     164
Some Final Thoughts (from the Soapbox)     164
Handling Disappointment and Frustration     165
Understanding the Opportunities and Limits of the System     166
Skepticism, Yes; Cynicism, No     167
Why Civic Obligation?     167
Notes     169
Glossary     173
Project Citizen-A Brief Introduction     179
Recommended Readings     189
Recommended Web Sites as Research Source Materials     193
Index     203
About the Author     219

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