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EDLD 604: The Policymaking Process Spring 2010, MRH 135, Thursdays 5:30 – 8:20 Professor: Fred Galloway, Office Phone/Fax: 275H MRH, 619-260-7435/ 619-849-8175 Office Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 2:30 – 5:00 and by appointment The purpose of this course is twofold; to help students understand the policy-making process from a variety of perspectives, and to develop the analytical tools necessary to be skilled players in whatever policy arena students choose to exercise their leadership skills. This will be accomplished by dividing the course into roughly three parts – models, tools, and analysis. In the first part, several different conceptual models, or frames of analysis, will be discussed using the Cuban Missile crisis as an example so that students can see how different conceptual models typically produce different conclusions. In the second part of the course, a variety of analytical tools (e.g. game theory, present discounted value) will be introduced so that students will have the analytical machinery required for high-level policy analysis. In the final part of the course, these conceptual models and analytical tools will be applied to a variety of real-world policy issues, drawing from the governmental, educational, and international arenas. These applications will take the form of written policy briefs, and for the final exam, an oral presentation as well. As such, the course objectives include: 1. To develop an in-depth understanding of at least three different conceptual models of the policy process. 2. To develop an appreciation for the importance of structural incentives in policymaking. 3. To examine the roles of key public officials, interest groups, political parties, the media, and public opinion 4. To develop the analytical skills necessary to do policy research and the written skills needed to report the results in an easily understandable manner. 5. To develop the presentation skills necessary for high level policy briefings. There are three required texts for the course, Essence of Decision: Explaining the Cuban Missile Crisis, by Graham Allison and Philip Zelikow, Agendas, Alternatives, and Public Choices, by John Kingdon, and Collapse: The Crash of Civilizations, by Jared Diamond. In addition to these two texts, there are also a number of handouts that will help out with some of the analytical tools discussed in the second part of the course, as well as several websites that will prove useful for collecting information during the third part of the course. Given the contemporary nature of the policy briefs, much of this information will emerge organically later in the course. To assess student performance in the course, there will be several methods of evaluation. To pass this course, students will be expected to attend class regularly, complete all the required readings, write a policy memorandum focusing on Essence of Decision, research and write three policy briefs or analyses and orally present the final one, and actively participate in class. Although absences are to be expected, the nature of this particular

course puts a real premium on attendance, so students are strongly encouraged to attend whenever possible. In terms of class participation, students are reminded that the quality of the contribution is infinitely more important than the quantity of the contribution, so monopolizing airtime is strongly discouraged. The relative weights for these evaluative components are listed below: • • • • • •

Attendance, Readings, and Class Participation Policy Memorandum Policy Brief #1 Policy Brief #2 Policy Brief #3 Policy Brief #3 Oral Presentation

15% 15% 20% 20% 20% 10%

Although more information will be provided on the exact nature of the policy briefs and analyses later in the course, the following weekly schedule provides a list of required readings and other happenings in the course. Needless-to-say, students are expected to have done the required readings before the class meets. January 28

Course Structure and Overview

February 4

Perspectives on the Policy-Making Process: The Rational Actor Model ƒ

February 11

February 18

Allison and Zelikow: Preface, Introduction, Chapters 1 and 2.

Perspectives on the Policy-Making Process: The Organizational Behavior Model ƒ

Allison and Zelikow: Chapters 3 and 4.


“What Went Wrong”, Newsweek, February 9, 2004.


“Missing the Big Picture in Iraq”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, February 9 – 15, 2004.

Perspectives on the Policy-Making Process: The Governmental Politics Model ƒ

Allison and Zelikow: Chapters 5, 6, and 7.


Kingdon: Chapters 1, 2, and 3.


“Can You Believe Anything Now?”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, January 26 – February 1, 2004.


“The Big Winners”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, November 1 –7, 2004.


February 25

“Understanding the Federal Budget Process”, a Supplement to The Week in Review, VOL. XIV, NO 12, May 18, 1995.

The Cuban Missile Crisis: Screening of the film 13 Days Policy Memorandum due at the start of class. ƒ

March 4

Kingdon: Chapter 4.

Policy Tools: Decision-Making under Uncertainty ƒ

Kingdon: Chapters 5 and 6.


“LBJ Goes for Broke”, excerpted from Master of the Senate, by Robert Caro, in Smithsonian, June 2002.

March 11


March 18

Policy Tools: Decision-Making under Uncertainty Policy Brief #1 handed out.

March 25


Kingdon: Chapters 6 and 7.


“Declarations of Independents”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, July 12 – 18, 2004.


“Culture Clash”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, May 24 – 30, 2004.

Policy Tools: Decision-Making under Uncertainty ƒ

Kingdon: Chapters 8 and 9.


“Just a Little Maintenance”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, July 26-August 1, 2004.

April 1


April 8

Policy Tools: Present Discounted Value and Cost Benefit Analysis Policy Brief #1 due at the beginning of class. Policy Brief #2 handed out. ƒ

“Quality Care”, Harvard Magazine, September – October 2004.


Cost-Benefit Analysis: Issues in Its use in Regulation, Congressional Research Service Report: 95-760. (

April 15

Library Research for Policy Brief #2 – No Class Scheduled

April 22

Policy Tools: Game Theory

April 29


“Game Theory: An Introductory Sketch.” (


“Origin of the Species”, Washington Post National Weekly Edition, August 9 – 15, 2004.

Policy-Making in Postsecondary Education Policy Brief #2 due at the beginning of class. •

US Department of Education. Funding Education beyond High School: The Guide to Federal Student Aid, 2008-09, 2008. ( gEduBeyondHighSchool_0809.pdf)

Galloway, Fred and Price, Derek. “The policy history of student loans in the United States”, in P. Quirk & W. Cunion (Eds.), Governing America: Major Policies and Decisions of Federal, State, and Local Government. Facts on File Publishing (in press). (Handout)

Terry-Long, Bridget. What is known about the Impact of Financial Aid? Implications for Policy, National Center for Postsecondary Research Working Paper, April 2008. ( nAid.pdf)

Galloway, Fred and Wilson, Hoke. “Reframing the Student Loan Costing Debate”, Educational Policy Institute, June 2005. (

The Project on Student Debt. “Policy Agenda to Address Rising Student Debt”, December, 2009. ( e_idx=6)

May 6

International Environmental Policy Policy Brief #3 handed out. •

May 11*

International Environmental Policy •

May 20

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond.

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond.

Policy Brief #3 Due and Oral Presentation

* NOTE: This class meeting occurs on a Tuesday rather than a Thursday as determined by the Academic Calendar Committee.