SPRING 2002 3 credits
T TH 12:45-2:00 Rm 241
School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Department of Political Science

Instructor: David Ostergren, PhD. Assistant Professor
Office Hours: T TH 2:00-3:00 in SBS (Bdlg 65) Room346, (sign-up sheet on door)
W 2:00- 3:00 in Hanley Hall (Bdlg 7) Room # 107 (sign-up sheet on door)
or by appointment.
Ph. 30701 E-mail david.ostergren@nau.edu
Course Prerequisites: None.

Course Description: Study of policy making in the United States and/or other countries in a political, social, economic, and cultural context. This is a Liberal Studies course in the "social and political worlds" block with the thematic focus of "valuing the diversity of human experience." A study of the contexts in which public policy is made and implemented allows us to analyze how people's lives are affected quite differently by specific public policies. One underlying assumption is that public policy is informed by the beliefs and values people have about the issues of our society. Another assumption is that public policies do not solve society's problems; instead, policies are ongoing strategies that structure our lives and coordinate our behavior.

Course Objectives: Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
1. Analyze critically and explain how issues facing society become public policies (critical reading, critical thinking, effective writing).
2. Analyze critically and explain the impact of specific public policies on various groups in society, especially groups defined by gender, race, class, and culture (critical reading, critical thinking, effective writing).
3. Conduct and report research on both the making of public policy and its impact on groups in society (critical reading, critical thinking, effective writing).

Course Structure: I utilize a "no-holds barred" teaching strategy. Class meetings may include lectures, group discussions and activities, slides, films, in-class and out of class assignments, public speaking, writing, guest speakers and thinking on your feet. All students will be expected to be active participants in the class and contribute to the explanation, evaluation, and application of course concepts. My expectations for your performance are very high, but my general approach is merciful.

REQUIRED BOOKS (ordered through the NAU Bookstore):

Clemons, Randall, and Mark K. McBeth. 2001. Public Policy Praxis . Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Stone Deborah 2002. Policy Paradox: The Art of Political Decision Making. Revised edition. Glenview IL Scott, Foresman/Little Brown college Division

Other materials MAY be placed on reserve in Cline Library, available on the electronic syllabus on my web site http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~dmo2/ or will be handed out in class. You are responsible for reading these materials and for any discussion that occurs in class. IF YOU ARE ABSENT, PLEASE CHECK WITH ANOTHER STUDENT TO MAKE SURE YOU RECEIVE A COPY OF ANY HANDOUTS.

Evaluation Methods and Assessment
There will be both short-answer reading quizzes and written essays in this course. Your participation in class will be taken into consideration in the case of border-line grades. The breakdown:
5 Thought-pieces @ 10 points each 50
3 exams @ 100 points 300
Class Presentation 50
Topic Paper 100
Class Participation: 100
Total points available: 600

Thought-pieces will be required throughout the semester. These should be no longer than ONE PAGE, and include your responses to and reflections on the readings. What issues did the author raise? What do you think about those issues? How does the piece relate to other readings in the class. DO NOT REPEAT THE READING-REMEMBER I READ IT. Thought-pieces are due as indicated on the syllabus and before the readings are discussed (see late assignment policy). You have the opportunity to submit 8 thought pieces but I will only include FIVE in your grade (you may only submit 5 if you choose).

Policy analysis paper. The policy analysis paper is your opportunity to research current public policies or public policy issues and apply the policy analytic skills you are learning. Policies and issues that you can research and write about will be suggested, but you also can suggest policies that are of particular interest to you. You will receive a handout that explains the requirements of the policy analysis paper, and the due date for this paper is listed on the course calendar All of this should be done in 8-10 pages. Essays will be evaluated on: 1) Content and Focus, 2) Use of course materials (readings and lecture notes), 3) Organization and quality of your writing. Students are encouraged to discuss essay ideas, outlines, and/or drafts with the Professor. See attached grading rubric. The following bibliography includes examples of the analysis of public policies from different perspectives; you might find these books helpful as examples when you prepare to write your paper:

Allison, Graham T. 1971. Essence of Decision. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. (an analysis of the Cuban missile crisis from three perspectives)

Bennett, Vivienne. 1995. The Politics of Water: Urban Protest, Gender, and Power in Monterrey, Mexico. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. (a case study of water policy in Monterrey)

Bryner, G.C. 1995. Blue Skies, Green Politics: the Clean Air Act of 1990 and its implementation. 2nd ed. Washington DC, Congressional Quarterly Inc.

Burton, Lloyd. 1991. American Indian Water Rights and the Limits of Law. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas. (water rights of American Indians in the Southwest)

Edin, Kathryn, and Laura Lein. 1997. Making Ends Meet: How Single Mothers Survive Welfare and Low-Wage Work. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. (impact of welfare programs on low-income single mothers)

Fritschler, A. Lee, and James M. Heofler. 1996. Smoking and Politics: Policy Making and the Federal Bureaucracy, Fifth Edition. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. (the role of the federal bureaucracy in policy making)

Spence, Mark David. Dispossessing the Wilderness. N. Y.: Oxford, 1999. (Native Americans and National Parks).

Theodoulou, Stella Z. 1996. AIDS: The Politics and Policy of Disease. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. (the manner in which victims of AIDS are constructed in policy.


You will also be graded on participation, which includes both attendance, completion of in-class assignments and participation in class discussions. The first assignment is a ONE PAGE summary of a policy in the news. You must find an issue in the news, summarize it following Clemons and McBeth, pp. 32-42 and add TWO comments from other, peer reviewed sources (academic books or peer reviewed journal articles). What is a peer reviewed journal? Society and Natural Resources, The American Political Science Review, Political Affairs, Political Analysis, Political Behavior , Political Communication, Political Development, Political Geography, Political Geography Quarterly, Political Issues In Nursing, Political Methodology, Political Power And Social Theory, Political Psychology, Political Quarterly , Political Research Organization And Design, Political Research Quarterly, Political Science And Politics, Political Studies, Political Theory, Political Violence Against Americans, Policy Analysis, Policy And Politics, Policy And Practice Of Public Human Services, Policy Review, Policy Sciences, Policy Studies Journal, Policy Studies Review and hundreds more-ask your librarian. (15 points).

Another participation assignment is attending an event related to the course and submitting a thought-piece (5 points) discussing the event and its relation to the course topics and/or materials. DUE BY April 11.


All papers will be typed, 11 or 12 font, 1.5 or double spaced, 1 inch margins. USE A STAPLER. NO COVERS, NO PAPER CLIPS. I reserve the right to refuse to accept a paper that does not meet these specifications. Put only your four digits Identification number on any assignments.


Unless you have a note from your coroner or the Federal Witness Protection Program, assignments are due by 12:45 PM on the due date in class. Any work turned in late will be graded as follows. There will be a 10% reduction for the first 24 hours---20% for 48 hours----30% beyond 48 hours.

Course Outline (subject to change with little or no warning):

1/15 Introduction and Syllabus and

Recall all previous education.

Provide me with a 4 digit ID # and send it by email. ALL assignments will have this ID not your name. I receive your email.
1/17 Introduction to policy analysis and to the market and polis models Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 1,pp. 1-31

Stone "Introduction," pp. 1-13; Chapter 1: pp. 17-34

Thought piece 1
1/22 Writing Expectations Bring in one policy issue from the news.
1/24 Discussion of the first case assignment Clemons and McBeth,pp. 32-42 News summary (see participation) 15 points
1/29 The rational approach Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 2
1/31 Critiques of the rational approach Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 3 Thought piece 2
2/5 A political approach to policy analysis Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 4 Thought piece 3
2/7 Discussion of the second case study Discussion of the second case assignment Write a report (note the questions) and analyze either Section 1 of the case, pages 94-114, OR Section 2 of the case, pages 114-128
2/12 Continued discussion/Exam review Discussion of the second case assignment
2/14 EXAM 1 Essay ex 1    Essay ex 2
2/19 Policy Issues Choose your policy issue to analyze.
2/21 A pragmatic approach to policy Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 5, pp. 133-152 Thought piece 4
Clemons and McBeth, pp. 152-174 Team 1 write a report that answers the questions in Step I (define the problems and determine causes).

Team 2 write a report that answers the questions in Steps II and III (establish criteria to evaluate alternatives, generate alternatives).

Team 3 write a report that answers the questions in Steps IV and V (evaluate and select policy).

2/28 A postpositivist perspective Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 6, pp. 175-216
3/5 Policy goals: equity and efficiency Stone Chapter 2, "Equity," pp. 39-60

Chapter 3, "Efficiency," pp. 61-85

Thought piece 5
3/7 Policy goals: security and liberty Stone Chapter 4, "Security," pp. 86-107

Chapter 5, "Liberty," pp. 108-130

3/19 Stone Revisited Chapters 2-5
3/26 Defining policy problems: symbols and numbers Stone Chapter 6, "Symbols," pp. 137-162

Chapter 7, "Numbers," pp. 163-187

3/28 Defining problems: causes, interests, and decisions Stone Chapter 8, "Causes," pp. 188-209

Chapter 9, "Interests," pp. 210-231

Chapter 10, "Decisions," pp. 232-256

Thought Piece 6
4/2 Creating solutions: inducements Stone Chapter 11, "Inducements," pp. 263-281
4/4 Creating solutions: rules and facts Stone Chapter 12, "Rules," pp. 282-302

Chapter 13, "Facts," pp. 303-321

Thought Piece 7
4/9 Creating solutions: rights, powers, and political reason Stone Chapter 14, "Rights," pp. 322-350

Chapter 15, "Powers," pp. 351-372

4/11 Topic Paper Topic Paper Topic Paper
4/16 Stone's conclusions Conclusion: "Political Reason," pp. 373-380
4/18 Discussion of the fourth case assignment Clemons and McBeth, "Case: School Shootings and Focus Group Research: A Postpositivist Method of Problem Definition," pp. 217-223 Choose and answer one set of questions "Conduct a Content Analysis of Problem Definitions," page 223; "Critique the Facilitator," page 223; "Surveys and Focus Groups," page 224 "Symbols and Metaphors," page 224; "What Next?" page 224.
4/23 Democracy and praxis Clemons and McBeth, Chapter 7, "Doing Democracy: A New Fifth Step," pp. 234-270, and Chapter 9, "The Conclusion: Praxis," pp. 321-323
4/25 Presentations
4/30 Presentations
5/2 Presentations and FINAL prep FINAL PREP Presentations

Course Policies:
Respect: There will be much discussion in this class, both as a whole and in small groups. Individual ideologies will differ, as will interpretations of the issues that we cover. We will strive to maintain an open forum, where a diversity of perspectives will be welcomed and explored. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Respect yourself and others.


Everything that is said in class (by me or you) and/or assigned for reading is legitimate material for TEST questions.HONESTY

I reward honesty. Keep me informed. If you have a scheduling problem, personal problem, or conflict with a classmate---talk to me (either in general terms or specifics). You may not get everything you want, but politics is the art of compromise and we will do the best we can to accommodate your needs.


Northern Arizona University is committed to social justice. I concur with that commitment and expect to maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. Our University does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, religion, sexual orientation, color or national origin. Any suggestions as to how to further such a positive and open environment in this class will be appreciated and given serious consideration.


If you are a person with a disability and anticipate needing any kind of accommodation in order to participate in this class, please advise me and make appropriate arrangements with Counseling and Testing Center (523-2261). If the Counseling and Testing Center verifies your eligibility for special services, you should consult with me during the first week of classes so appropriate arrangements can be made. Concerns related to noncompliance with appropriate provisions should be directed to the Disability Support Services coordinator in the Counseling and Testing Center. At any time, I encourage you to come to me for help in understanding the readings, lecture-discussions, writing assignments, or for other course-related assistance.

Academic Integrity

As members of the academic community, NAU's administration, faculty, staff, and students are dedicated to promoting an atmosphere of honesty and are committed to maintaining the academic integrity essential to the educational process. Inherent in this commitment is the belief that academic dishonesty in all forms violates the basic principles of integrity and impedes learning. Students are therefore responsible for conducting themselves in an academically honest manner. Individual students and faculty members are responsible for identifying instances of academic dishonesty. Faculty members then recommend penalties to the department chair or college dean in keeping with the severity of the violation. The complete policy on academic integrity is in Appendix F of NAU's Student Handbook. Remember, Arizona still has the death penalty. Cheating is failing.

Safe Environment Policy

NAU's Safe Working and Learning Environment Policy seeks to prohibit discrimination and promote the safety of all individuals within the university. The goal of this policy is to prevent the occurrence of discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or veteran status and to prevent sexual harassment, sexual assault, or retaliation by anyone at this university. You may obtain a copy of this policy from the college dean's office. If you have concerns, contact the department chair, dean's office, the Office of Student Life (523-5181), the academic ombudsperson (523-9368), or NAU's Office of Affirmative Action.

Classroom Management

Membership in the academic community places a special obligation on all members to preserve an atmosphere conducive to a safe and positive learning environment. Part of that obligation implies the responsibility of each member of the NAU community to maintain an environment in which the behavior of any individual is not disruptive. Each student is responsible to behave in a manner that does not disrupt or interrupt the instructional environment. The instructor has the responsibility to determine what behavior is, or is not appropriate in the classroom. At a minimum, the student will be warned when behavior is deemed disruptive by the instructor. Significant or continued disruptive behavior by a student (as determined by the instructor) may warrant suspension or academic expulsion from the classroom, the college or the University.