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FUNDAMENTALS: What is Public Policy? What Are Institutions?

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Title: FUNDAMENTALS: What is Public Policy? What Are Institutions?


1
FUNDAMENTALS What is Public Policy? What Are
Institutions?

2
Outline What is Public Policy? What Are
Institutions?
  • Elements of Public Policy Definitions
  • Elements of Public Policy Discussions
  • Definitions of Public Policy
  • Governments Role in Public Policy
  • Instruments of Public Policy
  • Ideology, Values and Public Policy
  • Enduring vs New Dimensions of Public Policy
  • WHAT ARE INSTITUTIONS?

3
Elements of Public Policy Definitions
  • a.       Governmental authorityunder the direct
    development and influence of government
    legitimacy
  • b.      Develop through action or inactiondo
    something or prevent something
  • c.       Carry purposes and intentionsbased on
    values, opinions, prejudices, biases policy is
    culturally driven
  • d.      Have outcomes or effects on people and
    societyaffect the lives of individuals in
    direct, personal, and continuous ways
  • e.       Are problem orienteda governmental
    response to a perceived need or public demand

4
Elements of Public Policy Discussions
  • a)      Public policy should distinguish between
    what governments intend to do and what in fact
    they actually do (governmental inactivity is as
    important as governmental activity)
  • b)      Public policy ideally involves all
    levels of government and is not necessarily
    restricted to formal actorsinformal actors are
    also extremely important
  • c)      Public policy is persuasive and is not
    solely limited to legislation, executive orders,
    rules, and regulations
  • d)      Public policy is an intentional course
    of action with an accomplished end goal as its
    objective
  • e)      Public policy is both long term and
    short term

5
Public Policy Definitions
  • Dye What governments choose to do or not to do
  • Lasswell Who gets what, when, and how
  • Rushefsky Government policies are courses of
    action made up of a series of decisions, discrete
    choices (including the choice not to act), over a
    period of time

6
Public Policy Definitions, cont
  • Cochran et al Public policy always refers to
    the actions of government and the intentions that
    determine those actions
  • Dubnick and Bardes Public policies are the
    expressed interests of government actors,
    relative to a public problem, and the activities
    related to those interests
  • Lynn Public policy can readily be viewed as the
    output of a political system that comprises
    individuals that come together in small groups
    within the framework of organizations
    characterized by hierarchy, division of labor,
    and specialization

7
Public Policy Definitions, cont
  • Peters Public policy is the sum of government
    activities, whether directly or through agents,
    that have an influence on the lives of citizens
    3 levels defined by the degree to which they make
    real differences in the lives of citizens
  • Policy choices Decisions made by politicians,
    civil servants and others granted authority and
    directed toward using public power to affect the
    lives of citizens
  • Policy outputs Policy choices being put into
    action-government doing things (spending money,
    hiring people)
  • Policy impacts The effects that policy choices
    and policy outputs have on citizens

8
Government and Public Policy
  • a.       Regulate conflict within society
  • b.      Organize society to carry on conflict
    with other societies
  • c.       Distribute symbolic rewards and material
    services
  • d.     Extract money

9
Instruments of Public Policy
  • Lawrights, regulate economic and social
    conditions, create burdens as well as benefits
  • Servicesdirectly provided to citizens (defense,
    education, recreation) more contracting (police,
    prisons, garbage collection)
  • Moneyprovides citizens, organizations, and other
    governments with money 51 of taxes collected
    returned to the economy as transfer payments to
    citizens

10
Instruments of Public Policy, cont
  • Taxesprogressive or regressive loopholes,
    incentives to encourage or discourage particular
    activities (mortgage payments and property taxes
    are deductiblemore than funds spent for public
    housing)
  • Other instruments loan guarantees moral
    suasion

11
Questions For You to Answer
  • Why do you think its important to study public
    policy?
  • What public policy areas do you believe we need
    to study more than others?

12
Ideology, Values and Public Policy
  • A concept that strongly affects the policy
    process is ideology. Ideology consists of a set
    of beliefs about what the world is like, values
    which are used to appraise the state of the world
    (good/bad satisfactory /unsatisfactory), and
    beliefs and attitudes about how to make the world
    conform to these values.
  • Three Key Values.

13
Order
  • The first key value is orderthe protection of
    society, life, and property from both external
    (foreign) and internal (criminal) forces.
  • The value of order also includes the importance
    of tradition and moral values based on religion.

14
Freedom or Liberty
  • The second of the political values is freedom or
    liberty-freedom from governmental restraints and
    from government tyranny.
  • These include protections from arbitrary
    government, rights of those accused of crimes,
    rights to petition government, and freedoms of
    speech, press, and religion.

15
Equality
  • The third key value is equality. Equality may
    have three different meanings
  • Political equality refers to voting - each person
    has one vote.
  • Equality of opportunity, giving each person the
    right to develop his or her potential
    (procedural-as long is no one is discriminated
    against, then the outcomes of achievement are of
    little concern).
  • Equality of outcome or results - here the
    emphasis is on social equality through programs.

16
Enduring Dimensions of Public Policy
  • a. Democracygovernment of the people, by the
    people majority public opinion proportional
    representation
  • b. Public interestcommunities as the starting
    point for our policiespolicy is about
    communities trying to achieve something as
    communities

17
Enduring Dimensions, cont
  • c. Equity or fairnessare outcomes of
    government fair--giving veryone their due
    greatest good for the greatest number
  • d. Efficiencyminimize waste outcome is
    produced with the minimum of effort expense, and
    waste

18
Enduring Dimensions, cont
  • e. Equalityequality of opportunity (ability to
    make of oneself what one candevelop talents and
    abilities and be rewarded for work, initiative,
    and achievementsame starting line with same
    chance of success, one finishes ahead of the
    other as a result of ability)
  • Equality of results/outcomes (equal sharing of
    income, jobs, contracts, and material rewards
    regardless of ones condition in lifeeveryone
    starts and finishes the race together, regardless
    of ability, talent, initiative, or work)

19
Enduring Dimensions, cont
  • f. Effectivenesswhether policy accomplished
    the purpose it was intended to accomplish what
    is success and how do you know when you have
    achieved it
  • g. Representationwho has power whose
    interests are represented

20
New Dimensions of Public Policy
  • International
  • Intergenerational
  • Intergovernmental

21
What Are Institutions?
  • A significant set of practices and/or
    relationships designed to express the will of a
    society (or a group within that society). It is
    designated to fulfill a specified need and has
    the following characteristics

22
Institutions, Defined
  • a. It captures societys decision to provide
    and/or protect against critical breakdown and to
    promote a better or higher level of human
    functioning. Thus interest and financial support
    are mobilized to provide service in an organized
    form.

23
Institutions, Defined
  • b. Each institution develops a program by which
    to meet the particular area of need for which it
    was organized
  • c. The institution has a structure by which it
    organizes and delegates its responsibilities and
    its tasks. It has governing policies and
    procedures, by which it stabilizes and
    systematizes its operation

24
Institutions, Defined
  • d. It is a living organism, adaptable and
    susceptible to being understood and changed, much
    as other living organisms.
  • e. It lives in relation to its need and in
    relationship to other institutions

25
Major American Institutions
  • Government
  • Family
  • Religion
  • Education
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