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PADM530 - Public Policy

Course Details

Course Code: PADM530 Course ID: 2709 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course examines the way government policies emerge from the political process and are implemented through participating institutions. In this class students will investigate how good analysis can contribute to informed policy-making and review the factors that go into developing effective implementation strategies. In addition, today’s need for enhanced public accountability and the challenging problems of measuring program performance are examined.





Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
05/27/19 - 11/01/19 11/04/19 - 12/29/19 Fall 2019 Session I 8 Week session
06/24/19 - 11/29/19 12/02/19 - 01/26/20 Fall 2019 Session D 8 Week session
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
08/26/19 - 01/31/20 02/03/20 - 03/29/20 Winter 2020 Session I 8 Week session
09/30/19 - 02/28/20 03/02/20 - 04/26/20 Winter 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

Upon successful completion of the course students will be able to meet the following course objectives:

  1. Evaluate the theoretical basis of policymaking process.
  2. Assess the history of various domestic and foreign policies.
  3. Appraise the relationship of public policy to politics.
  4. Evaluate the policymaking process
  5. Evaluate the processes of implementation and regulation.
  6. Assess the role of citizens in policy making and implementation.

Self Introduction: The first forum includes a self-introduction, which should include your name, where you are located (country, state, or city), what your current job title is, where you received your undergraduate degree and in what field, any information you care to share about your family and hobbies, and what you hope to get out of the class.

This introduction needs to be at least 250 words and posted by 11:55 pm ET SUNDAY during the first week of the class. Do not attach your posting to the forum, type it into the comments box. Failure to complete this forum by the end of the first week of class will result in you being dropped from the class.

Forum Questions: For our forum discussions, we will be analyzing concepts raised in the lessons, related readings, or current events. Students must provide a critical review of these articles and reply substantively to the contributions of at least three classmates. Individual postings should include an evaluation of the content of the article, and explain how it relates to the concepts in the text and other external resources. The postings should be analytic in nature, and include comparisons/contrasts and examples that can bolster your argument. Postings should be free of any spelling or grammar errors. The forum rubric can be found in the gradebook by each forum entry.

Current Event Analysis: You will be asked to evaluate trends in a policy issues during week 2. In this approximately 3-5 page essay, you should evaluate the history of the event, review what the policy literature says about the issue, and place your analysis in a social and political context. Draw connections to our text and other relevant readings. Multimedia tools are encouraged.

Policy Analysis Case Study: You will be expected to perform a systematic policy analysis in week 4. Based on the framework laid out in your text, critically review an individually selected state or local policy. In this 5-7 page analysis, you should identify the major policy concepts, identify the stakeholders, and review the development and implementation of the policy. If possible, evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and its ability to meet stated goals. Provide an analysis with recommendations for improving or modifying the policy. Situate your analysis in the contemporary policy literature. Multimedia tools are encouraged.

Issue Brief: You will be asked to develop a 3-5 page issue brief for a policy you find most interesting. It should be something that you perceive as a problem or issue that can be addressed through policy/political action. The framework for your brief will be provided in the assignment folder and will ask you to consider and review the background of the issue, actors/driving forces, options, recommendations and the potential policymaking process. You will need to draw connections to our course learnings and utilize scholarly sources.

Final Project: Identify a policy issue that impacts or interests you. This policy issue can be at the local, state, or federal level. Research the policy context, implementation, effectiveness, and evaluate it using the criteria laid out in your text (and practiced in the writing assignments). Analyze the policy, and then draw conclusions and make recommendations about the policy’s future and effectiveness. Please see the assignment for additional details.

None of these assignments should be on the same topic.

NameGrade %
Forums 40.00 %
Forum 1 5.00 %
Forum 2 5.00 %
Forum 3 5.00 %
Forum 4 5.00 %
Forum 5 5.00 %
Forum 6 5.00 %
Forum 7 5.00 %
Forum 8 5.00 %
Assignments 40.00 %
Current Event Analysis (week 2) 13.33 %
Policy Analysis (week4) 13.33 %
Issue Brief (week 5) 13.33 %
Final Project 20.00 %
Final Project (week 7) 20.00 %

Additional readings are listed below. You can find them by searching the APUS library by pasting the title in the search box on the first page when you are logged in. Once you find the article click on the full text version. We are in the process of placing them in the lesson section but until that time, please access them through a library search or link provided.

Week One - Public Policy and Politics

Howlett, M. (2014). From the 'old' to the 'new' policy design: Design thinking beyond markets and collaborative governance. Policy Sciences, 47(3), 187-207. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1007/s11077-014-9199-0

Howlett, M., Ramesh, M., & Wu, X. (2015). Understanding the persistence of policy failures: The role of politics, governance and uncertainty. Public Policy and Administration, 30(3-4), 209-220. doi:10.1177/0952076715593139

Head, B. W. (2016). Toward More 'Evidence-Informed' Policy Making?. Public Administration Review, 76(3), 472-484. doi:10.1111/puar.12475

Petridou, E., Avdelningen för samhällsvetenskap, Fakulteten för humanvetenskap, & Mittuniversitetet. (2014). Theories of the policy process: Contemporary scholarship and future directions. Policy Studies Journal, 42(S1), S12-S32. doi:10.1111/psj.12054

Siddiki, S., & Goel, S. (2017). Assessing collaborative policymaking outcomes: An analysis of U.S. marine aquaculture partnerships. The American Review of Public Administration, 47(2), 253-271. doi:10.1177/0275074015599603

Congress.gov: Legislative Process Overview. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/legislative-process

US Senate: Senate Legislative Process. Retrieved from https://www.senate.gov/legislative/common/briefing/Senate_legislative_process.htm

US House: Legislative Process. Retrieved from https://www.house.gov/content/learn/legislative_process/

US Department of State: Policy Issues. Retrieved from https://www.state.gov/policy/

Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Public Health Policy. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/Policy/

National Conference of State Legislatures. Health. Retrieved from http://www.ncsl.org/research/health.aspx

Week Two - Public Policy Making

Arinder, M. K. (2016). Bridging the divide between evidence and policy in public sector decision making: A practitioner's perspective. Public Administration Review, 76(3), 394-398. doi:10.1111/puar.12572

Considine, M., Alexander, D., & Lewis, J. M. (2014). Policy design as craft: Teasing out policy design expertise using a semi-experimental approach. Policy Sciences, 47(3), 209-225. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1007/s11077-013-9191-0

Tholen, B. (2016). The value of the issue context approach for scientific policy advice. Science and Public Policy, 43(2), 184-191. doi:10.1093/scipol/scv029

Trautman, R. R. (2016). Small‐Town policy makers. Public Administration Review, 76(2), 221-224. doi:10.1111/puar.12526

Cairney, P., Oliver, K., & Wellstead, A. (2016). To bridge the divide between evidence and policy: Reduce ambiguity as much as uncertainty. Public Administration Review, 76(3), 399-402. doi:10.1111/puar.12555

Dzigbede, K. D. (2016). Whither are we bound? new insights on american economic policymaking: American economic policymaking. Policy Studies Journal, 44(S1), S14-S27. doi:10.1111/psj.12158

US Environmental Protection Agency: US Trade and Investment Policy Making Process. Retrieved from https://www.epa.gov/international-cooperation/us-trade-and-investment-policy-making-process

Foreign Policy Association: How US Foreign Policy is Made. Retrieved from http://fpa.org/features/index.cfm?act=feature&announcement_id=45&show_sidebar=0

Palfrey, Quentin. (2017) 5 Strategies for Evidence-Based Policymaking. Governing. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-5-strategies-evidence-based-policymaking.html

Please note this is an excellent source for current issues for all your courses.

Week Three - Policy Analysis

CDC Policy Analysis Framework https://www.cdc.gov/policy/analysis/process/analysis.html and framework at https://www.cdc.gov/policy/analysis/process/docs/table1.pdf .

De Marchi, G., Lucertini, G., & Tsoukiàs, A. (2016). From evidence-based policy making to policy analytics. Annals of Operations Research, 236(1), 15-38. doi:10.1007/s10479-014-1578-6

Daniell, K. A., Morton, A., & Ríos Insua, D. (2016). Policy analysis and policy analytics. Annals of Operations Research, 236(1), 1-13. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1007/s10479-015-1902-9

Gopalan, M., & Pirog, M. A. (2017). Applying behavioral insights in policy analysis: Recent trends in the united states. Policy Studies Journal, 45(S1), S82-S114. doi:10.1111/psj.12202

Jarmin, R. S., & O'Hara, A. B. (2016). Big data and the transformation of public policy analysis. Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 35(3), 715-721. doi:10.1002/pam.21925

Week Four - Policy Alternatives

Viscusi, W. K., & Gayer, T. (2015). Behavioral public choice: The behavioral paradox of government policy. Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, 38(3), 973 - 1007.

Erchull, C. (2015). An alternative food policy. Western New England Law Review, 37(1), 1-25.


Nalau, J., & Handmer, J. (2015). When is transformation a viable policy alternative? Environmental Science & Policy, 54, 349-356. doi:10.1016/j.envsci.2015.07.022

Menon, B. G., & Mahanty, B. (2015). Assessing the effectiveness of alternative policies in conjunction with energy efficiency improvement policy in india. Environmental Modeling & Assessment, 20(6), 609-624. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1007/s10666-015-9448-4

Ruiz, R. R. (2017). School-to-prison pipeline: An evaluation of zero tolerance policies and their alternatives. Houston Law Review, 54(3), 803 - 837.

Week Five - Economic and Health Care Policy

Hyde, J. K., Mackie, T. I., Palinkas, L. A., Niemi, E., & Leslie, L. K. (2016). Evidence use in mental health policy making for children in foster care. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 43(1), 52-66. doi:10.1007/s10488-015-0633-1

Myers, N. (2016). policy making to build relationships: A grounded theory analysis of interviews and documents relating to h1n1, ebola, and the u.s. public health preparedness network. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 39(3), 313 - 356.

Ruckert, A., & Labonté, R. (2014). Public-private partnerships (ppps) in global health: The good, the bad and the ugly. Third World Quarterly, 35(9), 1598-1614. doi:10.1080/01436597.2014.970870

Carey, G., & Friel, S. (2015). Understanding the role of public administration in implementing action on the social determinants of health and health inequities. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 4(12), 795-798. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.185

Cairney, P., & Oliver, K. (2017). Evidence-based policymaking is not like evidence-based medicine, so how far should you go to bridge the divide between evidence and policy? Health Research Policy and Systems, 15 – 26. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1186/s12961-017-0192-x


Week Six - Welfare, Social Security and Education Policy

Carrier, S. (2016). From paper to electronic: Food stamps, social security, and the changing functionality of government benefits. Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law & Policy, 24(1), 139 - 159.

Deslatte, A. (2015). Reassessing “City limits” in urban public policy. Policy Studies Journal, 43(S1), S56-S77. doi:10.1111/psj.12102

Stott, T. C., MacEachron, A., & Gustavsson, N. (2016). Social media and child welfare: Policy, training, and the risks and benefits from the administrator's perspective. Advances in Social Work, 17(2), 221 - 234.

Rogers, R. (2015). Making public policy: The new philanthropists and american education. American Journal of Economics and Sociology, 74(4), 743-774. doi:10.1111/ajes.12113

Deming, D. J., & Figlio, D. (2016). Accountability in US education: Applying lessons from K-12 experience to higher education. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 30(3), 33-55. doi:10.1257/jep.30.3.33

Jochim, A., & McGuinn, P. (2016). The politics of the common core assessments: Why states are quitting the PARCC and smarter balanced testing consortia.(partnership for assessment of readiness for college and careers). Education Next, 16(4), 44 - 52.

Week Seven - Environmental, Energy, Homeland Security and Foreign Policy

Scientific basis for environmental regulation: Public disclosure and federal rulemaking and advisory activities. (2015) pp.6-32. Congressional Digest

Vasseur, M. (2016). Incentives or mandates? determinants of the renewable energy policies of U.S. states, 1970-2012. Social Problems, 63(2), 284-301. doi:10.1093/socpro/spw007

Tomain, J. P. (2016). A perspective on clean power and the future of US energy politics and policy. Utilities Policy, 39, 5-12. doi:10.1016/j.jup.2016.01.007

Peters, J. C. (2017). Natural gas and spillover from the US clean power plan into the paris agreement. Energy Policy, 106, 41 - 47.

Popescu, I. C. (2017). Grand strategy vs. emergent strategy in the conduct of foreign policy. Journal of Strategic Studies, 1-23. doi:10.1080/01402390.2017.1288109


O'Sullivan, T. M. (2015). Environmental security is homeland security: Climate disruption as the ultimate disaster risk multiplier: Environmental security is homeland security. Risk, Hazards & Crisis in Public Policy, 6(2), 183-222. doi:10.1002/rhc3.12084

Coulthart, S. (2017). What's the problem? frameworks and methods from policy analysis for analyzing complex problems. Intelligence and National Security, 32(5), 636 - 648. doi:10.1080/02684527.2017.1310983

Week Eight - Policy Impact and Civic Engagement

Lukensmeyer, C. J. (2017). Civic tech and public policy decision making. PS, Political Science & Politics, 50(3), 764-771. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy2.apus.edu/10.1017/S1049096517000567

Daviter, F. (2015). The political use of knowledge in the policy process. Policy Sciences, 48(4), 491-505. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy1.apus.edu/10.1007/s11077-015-9232-y

Maor, M. (2016). Emotion-driven negative policy bubbles. Policy Sciences, 49(2), 191-210. doi:10.1007/s11077-015-9228-7

Popa, F. (2015). Motivations to contribute to public goods: Beyond rational choice economics. Environmental Policy and Governance, 25(4), 230-242. doi:10.1002/eet.1684

McKay, S., Murray, M., MacIntyre, S., & Kashyap, A. (2015). Evidence-based policymaking and the public interest: Lessons in legitimacy. Town Planning Review, 86(2), 133-154. doi:10.3828/tpr.2015.9

Trousset, S., Gupta, K., Jenkins‐Smith, H., Silva, C. L., & Herron, K. (2015). Degrees of engagement: Using cultural worldviews to explain variations in public preferences for engagement in the policy process. Policy Studies Journal, 43(1), 44-69. doi:10.1111/psj.12083

Reforgiato Recupero, D., Castronovo, M., Consoli, S., Costanzo, T., Gangemi, A., Grasso, L., . . . Spampinato, E. (2016). An innovative, open, interoperable citizen engagement cloud platform for smart government and users’ interaction. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 7(2), 388-412. doi:10.1007/s13132-016-0361-0

Schooler, Larry. How Citizens can have a voice in Policymaking. Governing. Retrieved from http://www.governing.com/gov-institute/voices/col-public-participation-policymaking-process.html

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Links provided inside the classroom in the Lessons section.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.