- Department: Politics
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Eva Heims
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: C
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
The module explores frameworks for identifying and addressing policy challenges, and supports their application to ‘real world’ local issues of national and global relevance.
|A||Semester 2 2023-24|
On this module, you will act as policy analysts who explore the way in which policy issues of global and national importance touch down - and can be addressed - in York. How do issues get framed as policy problems and end up on the political agenda? Which factors shape policy formulation? Can policy-makers and policy analysts design successful policies? To answer these questions this module provides a comprehensive introduction to policy analysis by exposing you to theoretical and applied policy analysis models. You learn how to frame issues as policy problems, how to systematically evaluate alternative policies to tackle a policy problem, and how to persuasively communicate a policy recommendation. You will conduct policy analyses by working on real-world policy cases in teams during the seminars. In the final summative assessment you will apply theories and tools of policy analysis to a real-world policy issue in order to provide a piece of policy advice to decision-makers.
By completing this module, you will be able to:
Identify the types and actors and influences that shape public policies (PLO 1);
Frame issues as policy problems and argue for the adoption of a particular policy based on analytical evaluation of different policy options (PLO 2);
Identify the tools of applied policy analysis and use critical reasoning to analyse how they have been used to evaluate policies (PLO 2).
Demonstrate awareness of the challenges of conducting policy analysis research, including finding and using relevant empirical data (PLO 3)
Communicate policy recommendations that draw on key facts and concepts from research on policy analysis to a professional audience (policy-makers) in writing (policy briefs) and orally (in policy presentations) (PLO 5).
Overview of week by week topics (indicative):
Week 2: What is Policy Analysis?
Week 3: Policy Problem Definition
Week 4: Formulating Policy Options
Week 5: Introduction to the ‘Real World Case’
Week 6: The Role of Evidence in Policy Analysis
Week 7: Are some Policies better than Others?
Week 8: Analysing Policy Options - Tools and Techniques
Week 9: Influencing Policy through Effective Communication
Week 10: The Politics of Policy Advice (Lecture)/Presentation of Group Policy Analysis on Practice Case (Seminars)
Week 11: Presentation of Policy Recommendations to whole cohort and/or Policy-Makers (e.g. York City Council or Open Innovation Team) (Lecture)/Discussing your Formative Policy Briefs (Seminars)
The final aim of this module is to enable you to write a policy brief, i.e. to enable you to provide policy recommendations on the basis of systematic and evidence-based policy analysis. This is reflected in your summative assessment, which is a 2500 word policy brief addressed to real-world decision-makers. You will select a policy issue from an approved list according to your own interests.
The formative work of this module gives you a chance to practice your policy analysis skills in preparation for your summative policy brief. To practice, you will work on an analysis on a real-world issue in teams during the seminars from Week X onwards. You present your team policy analysis in your Week 10 seminar and submit a formative team policy brief. Feedback on your presentation and team policy brief will be helpful for writing your individual summative policy brief. The best team policy briefs will get a chance to present their analysis to an external client (tbc, e.g. York City Council or Open Innovation Team) in Week 11.
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
|Task||Length||% of module mark|
Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.
Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.
Bardach, E. and Patashnik, E. M. 2015. A Practical Guide for Policy Analysis: The Eightfold Path to More Effective Problem Solving. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
Knill, C. and Tosun, J. 2012. Public Policy: A New Introduction. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Meltzer, R. and Schwartz, A. (2018) Policy Analysis as Problem Solving: A Flexible and Evidence-Based Framework. London: Routledge.
Mintrom, M. 2012. Contemporary Policy Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Scott, C. and Baehler, K. 2010. Adding Value to Policy Analysis and Advice. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press.
Stone, D. 2012.. Policy Paradox; the art of political decision-making. New York: WW Norton.