Write-Up 1: Identifying Policy, Actors, and Institutions
To understand a policy it is important to begin by understanding the goals and rules of the policy. It is also important to know who affects changes in that policy, as well as who implements it.
As you begin to research your policy you will need to:
[login to view URL] able to succinctly explain what the policy is, the rules for receiving benefits, and how benefits are distributed
[login to view URL] who is taking action on the policy (Congressional subcommittees, prominent political actors, administrative agencies, etc.), who is publishing research (e.g., think tanks) and, to some extent, whether it surfaces in public media and debate.
INSTRUCTIONS: In this paper please give a brief description/ explanation of your policy, including general rules to qualify for benefits. Then identify the policy actors and institutions who seem to be the most important. You do not need to provide a comprehensive analysis of all of the actors Anderson lists; just identify the most prominent for your particular policy and explain their importance.
GETTING STARTED: I have three key suggestions for beginning this project.
1) Start by doing a preliminary policy history: If you can identify the major policy changes this will help clue you in on the important actors.
2) Think about level of government: Some of these policy areas you are looking at are HUGE. You can narrow the scope of your project by only looking at federal actions or focusing on a specific state or local policy.
3) Think about your timeline: You will want consider what period of history you want to analyze. For instance writing an analysis of welfare from mothers' pensions all the way through the most recent reauthorization would be an analysis that covers 100 years of history. Such an analysis would necessarily be more broadly general in scope than if one were to focus on analyzing the passage of PRWORA, the welfare reform law of 1996. Covering the history of the policy gives a sense of change over time while focusing in on a specific time of significant policy change allows comprehensive analysis of a moment in the policy lifespan. Either approach is fine.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2-3 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font, 1” margins, APA citation style
RESEARCH: The paper should cite at least three reliable sources.
ELECTRONIC SUBMISSION: This paper will be submitted through Blackboard. Please remember to name your file according to the specifications given in the syllabus: LastName-FirstName_Course Number [login to view URL] (e.g. [login to view URL]).