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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2019/2020

Introduction to Policy Analysis

Type: Compulsory course (Political Science and World Politics)
Area of studies: Political Science
When: 3 year, 3, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Language: English
ECTS credits: 6

Course Syllabus

Abstract

This mandatory 6 credit course examines the policy process in different political and geographical contexts. The course considers how policy problems are identified and framed, and how interventions are formed and evaluated. Through lectures and interactive seminars based on core literature, policy material and a project exercise, students learn and apply key concepts in policy studies, get first knowledge of the policy cycle from initiation implementation and evaluation, and examine the actors, interests and institutions (domestic and external) that shape policy processes and outcomes. Different traditions in policy analysis and normative aspects of the policy process are critically examined, including Russia-specific factors of policymaking. The course consists of three parts. The first part seeks to reveal what the state is and what public policies are. The second part concentrates on the main theories and models of policy studies and traces them through the virtual policy cycle. The third part focuses on the practical and managerial aspects of policy analysis, e.g. what skills, personal traits, and knowledge a successful policy analysist has to have. The course concludes with a brief overview of the topics and students’ reflections on the subject. This is not an easy course, so students are strongly recommended to organize their schedule in advance and be ready for a significant amount of readings.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • The goal of the course is to teach students to analyze the policy process with the use of different theories as well as to give them a basic understanding of policy evaluation methods and principles.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • identifies policy problems and critically engage with them with various analytical tools and methods
  • understands key concepts in policy studies and apply them to/in specific problems/contexts
  • understands how policy issues are problematized and policy responses are designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated in different political and geographical contexts
  • engages with normative aspects of policy design, including strategies to mainstream rights, evidence-based, and gender- and conflict-sensitive approaches
  • writes about public policy for different audiences
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction: what are public policies and why do (not) we want to analyze them?
    Introduction: what are public policies and why do (not) we want to analyze them? What are public policy problems?
  • Why State: state’s role in making public policies. “Carrots, Sermons and Sticks”
    State's role in making public policies. Types of public policies.
  • Why State? Market Failures
    Market efficiency as a public policy rationale. Market failures: externalities, public good provision, natural monopoly, information asymmetries.
  • The Essential: The Policy Cycle approach to public policy studies
    Policy cycle model. Stages of the policy cycle. Policy cycle as descriptive and prescriptive model.
  • Agenda Setting: Multiple Streams Framework
    Multiple Streams Framework. Problem, Policy, and Politics streams. Coupling. Policy entrepreneurs.
  • Policy Formulation & Shaping: Advocacy Coalition Framework
    Advocacy Coalition Framework. Advocacy coalitions, beliefs and their levels, coalitional resources.
  • Policy Formulation & Shaping: Policy Transfer and Diffusion
    Policy Transfer, policy diffusion, policy learning
  • Policy Formulation & Shaping: Evidence-Based Policy-Making or Policy-Based Evidence-Making?
    Evidence-based policy-making, the problem of evidence manipulation, values in evidence-based policy analysis.
  • Policy Legitimation: Iron Triangle, Issue Networks, Policy Communities and Public Opinion
    Policy legitimation
  • Decision Making and Policy Change: Punctuated Equilibrium Theory
    Punctuated equilibrium theory and analysis of budget spendings.
  • Policy Implementation: Bureaucracy, Compliance and Multilevel Governance
    The role of bureaucracy in policy implementation, bureaucratic stimuli. Multi-level governance and compliance.
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Policy Evaluation: Where the Money Goes
    Quantitative and qualitative tools in policy evaluation.
  • Policy-making in Russia
    Policy-making process in Russia. Factors of successful reforms.
  • Developing as a Policy Analyst: Designing Interventions and Writing Policy Papers
    Intervention designs. How to write good policy papers.
  • “Speaking Truth to Power”: Policy Advisory Systems
    The role of policy advisors in policy-making. Policy Advisory Systems.
  • Public Policy as a Subject and a Profession: Who is a Good Policy Analyst
    How to be a good policy analyst? Skills and competencies.
  • Conclusions: Revisions and Reflections
    Revision of the course material.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking In-class participation
  • non-blocking Quizzes
  • non-blocking Policy paper (team project)
  • blocking Exam
    The retakes are in the same format and take place at the GoFormative platform (goformative.com) and are proctored via Zoom.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.25 * Exam + 0.25 * In-class participation + 0.25 * Policy paper (team project) + 0.25 * Quizzes
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Cairney, P. (2016). The Politics of Evidence-Based Policy Making. New York: Palgrave Pivot. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1203451
  • Thissen, W. A. H., & Walker, W. E. (2013). Public Policy Analysis : New Developments. New York: Springer. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=537663

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Shapiro, S. (2016). Analysis and Public Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1194861