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Write a 3000 word essay critically analysing a US policy using three theories of the policy process

Write a 3000 word essay critically analysing a US policy using three theories of the policy process

Introduction: (150 words)

  • Introduce the topic;
  • Explain why it matters;
  • Outline the structure of the essay.

Critically outline the policy area/subsystem you’ve chosen: (300-400 words)

  • Critically outline the policy area/subsystem;
  • Demonstrate the complexity of the policy by discussing the differences at the national/local level, how its applied it different circumstance, etc.
  • For instance explaining death penalty policy isn’t as simple as saying that some states have it and some don’t.
  • Some states have it for different crimes, some states have it but execute people in different ways, some states have it but don’t apply it. There is also a Federal policy and military policy.
  • Most policies in the USA are usually highly complex and often asymmetrical;
  • This reflects the fractured complex nature of policy making in the US; taking into account the various different levels of governance, with decision making powers split between many formal and informal actors.

Stage heuristics model: (100-150 words)

  • You might want to briefly outline the stage heuristics model as a way of explaining policy, and the many flaws in this model, which is why alternative theories of the policy process are needed.

Theory of the policy process 1: (700 or so words)

  • Briefly explain the theory and its place in the literature. This should involve demonstrating a knowledge of the main authors and works involved in its development and application.
  • Critically discuss how the theory can be applied to the policy area in order to understand policy outputs, actor interactions, how the rules of the game are applied, etc.
  • This will allow you to discuss the constitutional issues, formal and informal actors, how policy is formulated, and policy outcomes, etc.
  • Remember, don’t just describe the policy. Use the theory to explain why this particular policy solution was produced.
  • Critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the theory, in order to understand and explain this policy area.

Theory of the policy process 2: (700 or so words)

  • Briefly explain the theory and its place in the literature. This should involve demonstrating a knowledge of the main authors and works involved in its development and application.
  • Critically discuss how the theory can be applied to the policy area in order to understand policy outputs, actor interactions, how the rules of the game are applied, etc.
  • This will allow you to discuss the constitutional issues, formal and informal actors, how policy is formulated, and policy outcomes, etc.
  • Remember, don’t just describe the policy. Use the theory to explain why this particular policy solution was produced.
  • Critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the theory, in order to understand and explain this policy area.

Theory of the policy process 3: (700 or so words)

  • Briefly explain the theory and its place in the literature. This should involve demonstrating a knowledge of the main authors and works involved in its development and application.
  • Critically discuss how the theory can be applied to the policy area in order to understand policy outputs, actor interactions, how the rules of the game are applied, etc.
  • This will allow you to discuss the constitutional issues, formal and informal actors, how policy is formulated, and policy outcomes, etc.
  • Remember, don’t just describe the policy. Use the theory to explain why this particular policy solution was produced.
  • Critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the theory, in order to understand and explain this policy area.

IMPORTANT: It’s worth noting that you can discuss more than three theories of the policy process, and you don’t have to devote equal space to every theory. You can mention some theories very briefly e.g. to point out parallels between theories like MSA and PET, or explain why a certain theory wouldn’t be appropriate.

Conclusion: (300 words)

  • Critically summarise the contents of the essay;
  • What does the analysis tell you about the US policy process?;
  • Of the theories you’ve applied, what are the various strengths and weaknesses they have in common and are some better than others for understanding policy

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