FACTOID # 10: The total number of state executions in 2005 was 60: 19 in Texas and 41 elsewhere. The racial split was 19 Black and 41 White.
 
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Encyclopedia > Policy studies

Policy analysis or Policy studies is the systematic evaluation of alternative means of achieving social and public policy goals. It is frequently deployed in the public sector but is equally applicable to other kinds of organizations. Most policy analysts have graduated from public policy schools with public policy degrees. Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a problem. ... < [[[[math>Insert formula here</math>The public sector is that part of economic and administrative life that deals with the delivery of goods and services by and for the [[government </math></math></math></math> Direct administration funded through taxation; the delivering organisation generally has no specific requirement to meet commercial... Public policy schools offer Public affairs degrees and teach students policy analysis, public policy, public administration, and public affairs. ...

Contents

Definition

Policy analysis refers to the analysis of existing or prospective policies with the intention of improving social welfare. One common methodology is to define the problem and evaluation criteria; identify all alternatives; evaluate them; and recommend the best policy option.


Policy analysis differs from program evaluation in that it attempts to evaluate changes to policies and programs rather than evaluating their current performance. Policy analysts can come from many backgrounds including sociology, psychology, economics, geography, law, political science, public policy, social work and public administration. Program evaluation is essentially a set of philosophies and techniques to determine if a program works. It is a practice field that has emerged, particularly in the USA, as a disciplined way of assessing the merit, value, and worth of projects and programs. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Psychology is an academic or applied discipline involving the scientific study of mental processes such as perception, cognition, emotion, personality, behavior, and interpersonal relationships. ... Face-to-face trading interactions on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. ... Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Political Science is the field concerning the theory and practice of politics and the description and analysis of political systems and political behaviour. ... Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a problem. ... Social workers are concerned with social problems, their causes, their solutions and their human impacts. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      Public administration can be broadly described as the study and implementation of policy. ...


Methodology

Policy analysis is methodologically diverse using both qualitative methods and quantitative methods, including case studies, survey research, statistical analysis, and model building among others. Qualitative research is one of the two major approaches to research methodology in social sciences. ... Quantitative methods are research methods concerned with numbers and anything that is quantifiable. ... Case studies involve a particular method of research. ... Statistical surveys are used to collect quantitative information in the fields of marketing, political polling, and social science research. ... Statistics is the science and practice of developing knowledge through the use of empirical data expressed in quantitative form. ...


Models of Policy Analysis

Many models exist to analyze the creation and application of public policy. Analysts use these models to identify important aspects of policy, as well as explain and predict policy and its consequences.


Some models are:


Institutional Model

Public policy is determined by political institutions, which give policy legitimacy. Government universally applies policy to all citizens of society and monopolizes the use of force in applying policy.


Process Model

Policy creation is a process following these steps:

  • Identification of a problem and demand for government action.
  • Formulation of policy proposals by various parties (e.g, congressional comities, think tanks, interest groups).
  • Selection and enactment of policy; this is known as Policy Legitimation.
  • Evaluation of policy.

Rational Model

Policy is intended to achieve maximum social gain. Rationally, the policy that maximizes benefits while minimizing costs is the best policy. It is a part of rational choice theory. Rational choice theory is a way of looking at deliberations between a number of potential courses of action, in which rationality of one form or another is used either to decide which course of action would be the best to take, or to predict which course of action actually will...


Incremental Model

Policy is a continuation of previous government activity, with minimal changes made to previous policy.


Group Model

The political system's role is to establish and enforce compromise between various, conflicting interests in society.


Elite Model

Policy is a reflection of the interests of those individuals within a society that have the most power, rather than the demands of the masses.


See also

Public policy is a course of action or inaction chosen by public authorities to address a problem. ... This article is about the institution. ...

References

  • Eugene Bardach, A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving
  • David L. Weimer and Aidan R. Vining, Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice, Prentice Hall

External links

  • General Morphological Analysis: A General Method for Non-Quantified Modelling On Policy Analysis using computer-aided morphological analysis. From the Swedish Morphological Society

 
 

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