POLCY212-21A (NET)

Power, Politics and Policy Analysis

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Social Sciences
Political Science and Public Policy

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: frances.douch@waikato.ac.nz

Placement/WIL Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5, 9 or 3 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 3: dial +64 7 2620 + the last 3 digits of the extension e.g. 3123 = +64 7 262 0123.
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Paper Description

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The aim of this paper is to help you to see how politics and policy are a part of our everyday lives and to give you some tools to critically engage in that world. Politics is seen as a struggle between competing political actors who try to get us to see the world as they do, working within a context that is shaped by cultural ideas and institutions.

Over the course we will examine the following questions: Why do we end up with the policies that we do? Why are some issues recognised by the government as worthy of attention, while others are not? Why are some arguments more persuasive than others within this process? Do we ever manage to ‘solve’ problems through policy, and how would we know if we did? What drives to policy change?

We begin the course by providing a framework for studying politics and policy in New Zealand before examining 10 current policy issues: alcohol, firearms, hate speech, cannabis, child poverty, capital gains tax, climate change, freshwater, euthanasia, and COVID 19. We conclude by reflecting on questions around ‘government for the public good’ and what contributes to, or blocks, policy change.

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Paper Structure

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The course is based around 10 specific case studies that illustrate a range of themes and topics in public policy. Each week you are to complete Moodle-based reading, Moodle lessons, and attend an online zoom tutorial (beginning in week 2). The zoom tutorials will provide an opportunity for you to actively discuss the readings and case studies and reflect on what they tell us about power, politics and policy analysis. It is imperative, therefore, that you read the assigned material and complete the Moodle lessons prior to the tutorials. In addition to Moodle lessons and tutorial activities, you are to write two essays.

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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the paper should be able to:

  • Acquire an extensive knowledge about a number of critical public policy issues in New Zealand;
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • Understand New Zealand policy-making institutions and processes;
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  • Engage in debates about good policy process and outcomes;
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  • Identify the political dimensions of policy issues;
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  • Understand a number of key theories of the policy process;
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  • Develop the ability to think critically about politics and policy;
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  • Improve written and oral presentation skills.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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The Moodle lessons and zoom tutorials are worth a large proportion of the total grade, so your chances of doing well will be greater if you work steadily through through each week's online tasks and attend all zoom tutorials. Further information will be provided about the lessons, zoom tutorials, and essays on the Moodle page.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Moodle-based Lessons
15
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Essay 1
16 Apr 2021
12:00 AM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Zoom Tutorials
25
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Essay 2
4 Jun 2021
12:00 AM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Your readings will be available through Moodle and each week you will be ask to read a combination of 1) case-based material on policy related to alcohol, firearms, hate speech, cannabis, child poverty, capital gains tax, climate change, freshwater, euthanasia, and COVID 19 and 2) material that introduces you to theories of power, politics and the policy process. There will also be a list of supplemental readings for each week, and you should be able to gain access to most of this online.
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Online Support

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All readings and other course related material is provided via Moodle.
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Workload

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The work for this course involves completing Moddle-based readings and lessons, participating in zoom tutorials, and completing the two essays. Expected workload for the paper is an average of about 14 hours per week.
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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: POLS212

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