Analyzing Public Policy

I.    The Nature of Public Policy

    A.    Public v. Private Policy

    B.    Definitions

        1.    What Governments Choose To Do or Not To Do

        2.    The Authoritative Allocation of Values (David Easton)

        3.    Determining Who Gets What, When and How (Harold Lasswell)

    C.    Growth in Public Policy

        1.    Extent

        2.    Causes

        3.    Consequences

II.    Importance of Policy Studies

    A.    Expansion of Knowledge of Society, Government and Politics:  Descriptive

    B.    Aid in Development of Policy Recommendations:  Prescriptive

    C.    Aid in Avoiding Past Mistakes & Correcting :    Analysis

III.    Limits on Utility of Policy Studies

    A.    Government Policies as but One Factor Impacting Societal Developments

    B.    Absence of Agreement on Nature of Problems

    C.    Subjectivity of Interpretation of Results of Policy Evaluation

    D.    Limits on Research Design and Experiments

    E.    Complexities of Human Behavior

IV.    Examples of Case Studies

    A.    Education Performance (The Coleman Report; Charter Schools)

    B.    Miranda Warnings

    C.    Fuel Economy Standards

    D.    Tobacco Warning Labels

Key Web Sites

Federal Government Portal

Federal Statistics

U.S. Census Bureau

CIA World Facts Book

The Cato Institute

The Brookings Institute