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Reviewed by Trever Pearson PA 715 Policymaking and Implementation August 3, 2011 John A. Hird.

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Presentation on theme: "Reviewed by Trever Pearson PA 715 Policymaking and Implementation August 3, 2011 John A. Hird."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reviewed by Trever Pearson PA 715 Policymaking and Implementation August 3, 2011 John A. Hird

2 “Two Communities Theory” Critiques of Policy Analysis Various Definitions of the term “Use” Findings Conclusion

3 Social Scientists Esoteric Written for academic audience Pedantic Emphasis on scientific values Legislators Seeking information to support pre- existing policy choices, increase status or deflect criticism Emphasis on values of the constituent

4 Fear of technocracy Bureaucratic obstacles prevent the use of policy analysis Policy analysis is always political, and can never be truly nonpartisan

5 DEFINITIONS OF THE TERM: “USE” Carol Weiss (1979)  We actually USE policy analysis to inform decision making  We use policy analysis to solve problems, or we commission research to understand it better  We use everything to inform our decisions… Not just policy analysis  We use it as ammunition to support our pre- conceived notions and to justify our decisions/mistakes  We use it to delay decisions we don’t want to make, to convince you we’re not as wrong as you thought, and to show you just how good we are  Everyone knows what the data suggests, it’s just that no one has a clue who said it or where it came from  We use it simply to make ourselves smarter. Wait, which policy were we talking about? Knowledge Driven Model Problem Solving Model Interactive Model Political Model Tactical Model Enlightenment Model Intellectual Enterprise Model

6 MORALISTIC  Commitment to public good/welfare  Communal power  Citizen participation  Greater government intervention TRADITIONALIST  Elitist construct to maintain social order  Established hierarchy  Public participation is limited INDIVIDUALIST Focus on private concerns Limit community involvement Control government Democracy as a marketplace where politicians rely on public demand

7  Nonpartisan valued more highly than partisan  However – legislative term limits increase the partisan nature of debate (short-term vs. long-term analysis)  Most NPROs conduct short term, descriptive analysis  In 66 of the 82 NPROs, only 16% self-initiated policy analysis and only 5 NPROs self-initiate 40% of the time or more.

8 NPRO SizeNPRO Analytical Capacity Professional Legislature Strong Party Policy Liberalism Think Tank Presence Legislators with more staff Large Economies (aggregate) Party Competition Interest Group Strength Unified Government Moralistic Political Culture

9  The more professional the legislature, the more capacity its NPRO is likely to have EXCEPT Kentucky and Massachusetts



12 REPUBLICAN/CONSERVATIVE  Greater emphasis on Governor and Constituents  Believe NPRO staff support sufficient  Little time spent developing policy expertise  Believe that NPROs are not truly nonpartisan DEMOCRAT/LIBERAL  Greater emphasis on wide range of sources  Believe NPRO staff support insufficient  Much time spent developing policy expertise  Believe that NPROs are truly nonpartisan

13 NO POLICY ANALYSIS  Republicans/Conservativ es  Older Legislators  Less Formal Education  Men POLICY ANALYSIS  Democrats/Liberals  Professional Legislators  More Formal Education  Younger Legislators  Women

14  Legislators who promote their own district rather than the state as a whole are more likely to view their NPROs as influential than legislators who promote the state as a whole over their own district.  Legislators who view their roles as delegates (constituent viewpoint more important than their own) are more likely to view their NPROs as influential than legislators who view their roles as trustees.

15  The Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), the Senate Office of Research and the California Research Bureau conducts long-term, analytical research throughout the legislative session in addition to short-term, descriptive work.  California legislators rate the importance of their NPRO with a higher mean score than any other state.

16 NPROs must continuously adapt to the changing political environments in which they work. Although short-term information provision is important, providing basic information is a necessary but not sufficient role for NPROs. Females, liberals, Democrats, young, and well-educated legislators are more likely to support greater use of policy analysis. In contrast, older legislators, those with less formal education, Republicans, economic conservatives, and males are more likely to believe that the legislature has all the information and analysis it needs to make decisions. Therefore, states considering expansion of the NPRO staff should be attentive both to the costs of expansion and to the types of legislators that would be likely to support or oppose the change. (p. 201).

17 Most NPRO directors echoed the scholarly supported sentiment suggesting the increase in partisanship among the federal and state levels. These developments, coupled with and possibly exacerbated by term limits, have potentially important implications for NPROs as strong parties are associated with smaller and more descriptive analysis. Therefore, the more politicized and partisan legislatures become, the less likely are they to support NPROs, especially ones that go beyond simple information gathering and analysis. (p. 202).

18  NPROs do not have substantial influence over the policy making process, although larger and more analytical ones are more likely to.  NPROs are widely valued by legislatures, although those with higher capacity are valued more.  Highly politicized legislatures value short-term, descriptive analysis, indicating that non-partisan research cannot survive in highly political environments  As influential policy analysis may or may not be, the extent to which politics influences analysis is not clearly known.


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