Assignment 3 Graduate Decision Analysis
These are the assignment 3 readings. After each reading, I’ve written some questions and notes for you to consider as you read. I recommend that you keep on top of the readings, doing one each day rather than letting this rather significant reading load accumulate.
1. An Introduction to the Policy Process, Chapter 10
2. An Introduction to the Policy Process, Chapter 11
3. Keeney, “Understanding Life-Threatening Risks” – This reading talks about risk and value of life, saying (I think) a lot of interesting things about the logic and perception of risk. Note especially the occasional mis-match between the logic of risk facts and the perception of risk.
Questions to think about: Is it ethical to talk about the “value of life” and put numbers on it? Why? Do all lives have the same value of life? What about people in different countries – should there be any difference? What about statistical versus identifiable fatalities – should there be a difference here? Is misperception of risk a form of irrationality or does it represent a more complex way of thinking about risks? Is it ok for people to have preferences about the types of risk that they take on, or should we compel them to minimize total risk?
Question 2 (30 points), high-quality essay, approximately 1 single spaced page:
Chapter 10 talks about policy implementation and its challenges. For this essay, I want you to consider a new policy or strategy that you think would be a good idea (and is not being done right now). This could be at the local, national, or even international level. For this policy/strategy, how would it best be introduced? Would it be compatible with existing policies and practices or would those need to change as well? What are the challenges to implementation of this policy? Overall, how much of a challenge do you think implementation would be (and is it worth overcoming those challenges)?
Question 3 (30 points), high-quality essay, approximately 1 single spaced page:
Chapter 11 talks about different theories of how policy change occurs. Kingdon’s “three streams” framework is the most famous, but a variety of other theories are described as well. In this essay, I want you to relate an organizational policy or decision to one or more of the theories in Chapter 11 (as usual, I can provide you with a reading that has a good example of a policy process if needed).
For this policy process/decision, which of these frameworks best matches the process/events that occurred? How do the different elements of the theory map onto the groups, actions, or ideas involved? Does the theory seem useful for understanding the events in this policy process?