Summary: 28 Sociology Of Public Policy Tentamen

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Read the summary and the most important questions on 28 Sociology of Public Policy tentamen

  • 1 The Social Construction of Social Problems and Agenda Setting in Public Policy

  • 1.1 Public sociology

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  • 4 functies van sociologie in public policy by Burawoy

    1. Professional sociology (for academic peers)
      • sociologisch onderzoek voor academische collega's
    2. Policy sociology (for policy makers)
      • sociologisch onderzoek om beleidsmakers te adviseren
    3. Public sociology (for citizens and 'the public')
      • voor normale burgers
    4. Critical sociology ([self]criticism of peers)
      • Bekritiseren van de manier van onderzoeken/ rol van sociologen
  • Constellations of Power and Interests

    Instrumentive: solving puzzle/problem
    Reflexive: concerned with dialogue about ends.
  • 1.2 Power in public policy

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  • 3 dimensies van Macht in public policy

    Public policy has all to do with power.
    Hoe je macht kunt analyseren:
    1. Pluralisme: macht bepaald wie bepaald is in besluitvorming --> decision making power.
      • concreet, waarneembaar gedrag ten opzichte van waarneembare conflicten.
    2. Agenda setting: macht bepaald welke issues wel/niet op de agenda komen --> non-decision making power and potential issues.
      • non besluiten en potential issues.
    3. Ideologische hegemony: macht is het vermogen to shape wensen,verlangens en fears van anderen ... Zonder dat ze dat zelf weten --> propoganda en framing die percepties beïnvloeden.
      • even making people to want things opposed to their own self-interest.
  • 1. Pluralisme [one dimensional view of power]

    De macht om te kiezen van listed choices; beperkte keuze.
    • Kijkt naar actually genomen beslissingen in beleid en wie deze belissingen heeft genomen; die heeft de macht.
    • Conflict tussen beleidsvoorkeuren die manifesteren in politieke actie, die sociale wetenschappers kunnen observeren op basis van gedrag by political actors ('behaviouralism') (e.g. Robert Dahl).

    “a focus on behaviour in the making of decisions on issues over which there is an observable conflict of (subjective) interests, seen as expressing policy preferences, revealed by political participation.
  • 3. Ideolgoische hegemonie [three dimensional view of power]

    Adds something else to it: de voorkeuren beinvloeden van degenen over wie men macht wil uitoefenen (see also Marx's 'false conciousness; and Gramsci's 'hegemony').
    • Kan het uitbreken van conflicten voorkomen
    • Manipulatie: Het accepteren van de huidige staat van affaires omdat men niet in staat is om het alternatief voor te stellen-imagine. Machthebbende die doen lijken: er is geen alternatief.

    Hidden conflict, which consists in a concentration between interests of those exercising power and the real interests of those they exclude. These latter may not express or even be conscious of their interests.“
  • 1.3 Construction of social problems

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  • Why do some ills (private, unfortunate situations) become an issue/ get attention/ put on the agenda?

    • Not simply because of the magnitude or gravity of the problem
    • Neither (solely) because on the media and their owners (capital)
    • It is as much a consequence of a ‘survival of the fittestin public arena model:
      • Novelty en staturation
      • Dramatisation by policy entrepreneurs (instead of merely facts and figures)   
  • 1.4 Agenda-setting

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  • 3 questions central to analysis of agenda-setting in public policy

    R&D stress the central role of policy discourse-narrative in agenda-setting:
    1. Among all competing concerns of individuals and groups, what determines which ones will succeed in gaining the active attention of political decision-makers?
    2. How do problems and solutions come to be matched together in public policy formulation?
    3. Who are the key actors in agenda-setting, and by what means do they pursue their objectives?
  • R&D: Narrative

    • Brings order and meaning to a situation
    • Allows to make sense of the observation of a policy problem and to develop a cure by linking a solution to a problem
    • Language is politics and all politics is language
    • Rochefort & Donelly: two cases
      • Rellen in London in 2011 (~yellow vests in France in 2019)
      • Occupy Wall Street in 2011 (~Extinction Rebellion in 2019   
  • Rethorical tricks to block solutions - Albert O. Hirschman

    Objections to government intervention
    • Perverse: the solution will aggravate the problem (because of unintended or unanticipated effects of the policy)
    • Futile: ‘it wont work’ or goes beyond what a policy maker can do
    • Jeopardy: it is harmful for the existing system or entails too much risks (it costs too much, it affects certain established rights or privileges)   
  • 2 Measuring and Comparing Policies

  • 2.2 Policy evaluation

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  • 2. Three (3) kinds of EX-POST evaluations

    1. Proces evaluation: did everything go as planned?
      • What happened?
    2. Evaluation of the impact and outcome: did the policy have the intended effects?
      • Which policy measures had what effect
    3. Economic evaluation: was the policy cost-effective?
      • How much did implementation of policy cost and what were the benefits of implementing it?   

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