Department of Political Science
Course Syllabus (285:03 and 285:08)
Office: 315L Academic Building 1 Tuesday: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Phone: (936) 294 – 4757 Thursday: 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Home: (281) 261-2514 or by appointment
Class meets: AB1, Room 306, Tuesday and Thursday 11:00 am – 12:20 pm (285:03)
Tuesday and Thursday 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm (285:08)
This course will help to understand how public policies are made, implemented and their impacts on our lives. In this class, the stages in the policy making process will be examined along with that of the roles played by individuals, groups, politicians, bureaucrats and others in the passage of a public policy. Also, in discussions, examples would be drawn from several public policies but the main focus will be on environmental policies. Several environmental cases will be analyzed to gain understanding of the need for environmental policies, the politics involved in passage of environmental policies and their impact on the economy and on our lives.
This course will examine the entire public policy making process. It will help students to understand the need for public policies, how they are formulated, identify the major actors in policy making and gain knowledge about the legitimization and implementation processes. Since public funding is required to support the programs aimed at attainment of policy objectives, policy discussions would help students to recognize the need for evaluation and how decisions are made to renew or reduce funding for public programs in a politically charged climate.
1. Davis, Edwin S. 2003. Public Policy: The Basics. Edsal Publishing. ISBN: 0907219780.
2. Layzer, Judith A. 2006. The Environmental Case: Translating Values into Policy, second edition, Washington DC, CQ Press. ISBN: 1568028989.
The course will emphasize on both lecture and discussions. You are expected to complete the reading assignments before the class. All assignments and examinations will focus solely on lectures, readings from the textbook and discussions in class.
Attendance and participation in discussions will be used in the final determination of your grade. Absences for legitimate causes will only be accepted. Students must inform of such absences prior to the class and make necessary arrangements to copy notes and turn in homework assignments. Too many absences may lead to a drop in grade.
Students will not talk or engage in any type of activity that might cause distraction in the class. Drinks are allowed in class but not food. Cell phones and pagers need to be turned off during class hours. Exceptions can be made only for those whose work may require them to stay connected with workplace or in emergency situations (please inform me in such cases).
Two Exams (20 points each) – 40 points
Final Exam – 30 points
Short Paper/Presentation – 20 points
Class Attendance and Participation – 10 points
Final grades will be computed on the following basis:
A = 90 points and above
B = 80 – 89 points
C = 70 – 79 points
D = 60 – 69 points
F = 68 points and below
Short Paper Assignment
You have to write a paper on an environmental policy that is of interest to you. Students will be assigned into groups of two. The following guidelines need to be taken into account in writing this paper.
Introduce the policy and discuss the problem that helped to set the agenda for the policy
Discuss the role played by various actors in passage of this policy
Which agency or department is responsible for implementation of the policy? Discuss its functions.
Discuss the problems or obstacles (if any) encountered in implementation of the policy.
What measures (if any) have been taken to address the problem(s)?
How has this policy benefited the public? If not, explain why?
Your personal opinion of the policy.
Provide your own recommendations or suggestions to improve this policy.
The paper must be typed. It should be at least 8-10 double-spaced pages excluding table of contents, reference list, title page and appendices. The reference list should include at least five citations. The pages should have 1" margins, which is the default setting on most word processors. The font should be Times Roman and the size should be 12 point. All pages must be numbered. Include a title page with the title of the paper and your name typed at the bottom right-hand corner. Papers should be stapled in the upper left-hand corner. Do not use folders, binders, or clips.
After the paper has been written, group members will be asked to evaluate each other. Forms will be given out to each student for evaluation and they should be completed and returned to the instructor. Points will be deducted if students fail to return the evaluation form.
The papers have to be presented in class. A schedule for presentation will be circulated in class and each group will be given 15 minutes for presentation. Each member in a group has to present and will be evaluated. Students can use power point slides and other visual aids in their presentation. You may refer to your notes in presentation but do not read from the paper . Be prepared to answer questions that might be raised by other students in the class.
There are several ways to do well in this class.
Sam Houston Writing Center , located in Wilson 114, is open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. Sunday. Writing tutors will work with you one-on-one to help you generate, organize, or revise a draft of any assignment. Please drop by or call 936-294-3680 to schedule an appointment
Americans with Disabilities:
Requests for disability accommodations must be initiated by the student. A student seeking accommodations should go to the Counseling Center and Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) in a timely manner. This instructor requires documentation from the Counseling Center in order to provide accommodations.
Cheating on the exams or the paper will result in administrative sanctions including being reported to the Dean of Students, failing the course, or academic expulsion.
This instructor takes academic dishonesty very seriously and will penalize students who engage in it. SHSU defines “cheating” as
“1)copying from another student's test paper, laboratory report, other report, or computer files, data listings, and/or programs.
2) Using, during a test, materials not authorized by the person giving the test.
3) collaborating, without authorization, with another student during an examination or in preparing academic work.
4) knowingly, and without authorization, using, buying, selling, stealing, transporting, soliciting, copying, or possessing, in whole or in part, the contents of an unadminstered test....
7) Purchasing, or otherwise acquiring and submitting as one's own work any research paper or other writing assignment prepared by an individual or firm.
5.312 ”Plagiarism” means the appropriation of another's work or idea and the unacknowledged incorporation of that work or idea into one's own work offered for credit.”
Please Note: The instructor reserves the right to alter the syllabus, including dates for examinations, presentations, and the due date of materials, as needed. These changes will be announced in class and may appear in Blackboard announcements. It is the student's responsibility to become aware of the changes.
August 22 and 24 Introduction to Public Policy Chap. 1 and 2 (Davis)
August 29 and 31 Conceptualizing Public Policy
The Major Actors in Policy Process Chap. 3 and 4 (Davis)
September 5 and 7 Varieties of Public Policies Chap. 5 (Davis)
September 12 and 14 Characteristics of Policy Making Chap. 6 and 7 (Davis)
Agenda Setting and Implementation
September 19 ****First Exam****
September 21 Policy Implementation Chap. 8 (Davis)
September 26 and 28 Policy Evaluation Chap. 9 and 10 (Davis)
Revenue, Spending and Deficits
October 3 and 5 Defining Problems in U.S. Envn. Policies Chap. 1 and 2 (Layzer)
Clean Air and Water Acts
October 10 and 12 Love Canal Chap. 3 and 5 (Layzer)
October 17 and 19 Oil Versus Wilderness Chap. 6 and 8 (Layzer)
Job vs. Environment
October 24 and 26 Climate Change Chap. 11 and 12
Trade vs. Environment (Layzer)
October 31 ****Second Exam****
November 7 and 9 Market Based Solutions Chap. 14 and 15
Eco Based Solutions (Layzer)
November 14 and 16 Environmental Backlash Chap.13 and 18 Politics, Values, Changes (Layzer)
November 21 Cont'd
November 23 Thanksgiving Holiday
November 28 and 30 Paper Presentation & Paper Due (Nov. 30, 2006)
December 5 and 7 Review for final exam
December 12 ****Final Exam****