Note:  We revised our curriculum, and this course is now offered as 6803:  Interpretive Policy Analysis.  I taught it this past Fall along similar lines as this one, using Sandy Schram and Philip Neisser's collection of essays Tales of the State.


Winter 1996	Dr. Dvora Yanow
Wednesdays	MI 4125; 510/885-3282
Prerequisite:  PuAd 6805	Off. hrs.:  MTTh 5:30-6:30

PuAd 6807:  Analysis of Social Policy

    Traditional schools of thought in contemporary policy analysis include an economic approach, where public policies are evaluated according to their impact on policy "targets"; and a management science approach, for which decision-making is key to understanding the successes and failures of public policies.  The former relies on econometric analyses; the latter uses decision trees.  An emergent third school of thought, developing out of the postpositivist world of interpretive social science, challenges the first two for their assumptions about "facts" and "values" in policy analysis.  This approach maintains that social values and the historical contexts of policies influence their creation and implementation -- that is, that "facts" are context-specific and therefore political in nature, and that policy analysis cannot be value-free.  Its major thrust is investigating the meanings (values, beliefs, feelings) which policies entail for stakeholders, as a way of understanding the role which that policy plays in society as well as its success and/or failure.

    This course will explore one school of thought within the interpretive approach to policy analysis, focusing on recent developments in narrative policy analysis.  Narrative theories highlight some key elements of interpretive analysis:  communities of interpretation, language and category-making, and silences in public policy discourse which are enabled by language, including choices of category labels.

    The course will be taught as a seminar:  there will be few lectures, and we will rely on roundtable discussions of the weekly readings.  Students will be expected to present case studies from the readings.  A seminar paper will be required, in which the themes of the course are applied to a policy topic (see below).

    Evaluation for the course will be based on weekly preparation, and thoughtful consideration of readings and issues as illustrated in discussions and in the seminar paper.

Course readings

The following books are on order at the bookstore and on reserve:

Emery Roe, Narrative policy analysis (Duke University Press, 1994).

Frank Fischer and John Forester, eds., The argumentative turn (Duke University Press, 1993).

Martin Rein and Donald Schon, Frame reflection (Basic Books, 1995).

Dvora Yanow, ed., "Policy interpretations," Policy Sciences 28:2 (May 1995).

Two other readings (journal articles) are available in the library Reserve Room and for purchase at the Student Union Copy Center.  


Choose a policy issue.  Identify the communities of meaning in that issue and their "discourses."  Analyze the discourses.  What are their symbolic representations?  Are there representations other than language?  What are their points of similarity and of difference in interpretation?
 1.  January 3	Interpretive policy analysis:  philosophy and method

2.  January 10	Narrative theory and policy analysis

		*Dvora Yanow, "The communication of policy meanings:  Implementation as interpretation and text."  Policy Sciences 26:1 (1993).

		*Jay D. White, "Taking language seriously:  Toward a narrative theory of knowledge for administrative research."  American Review of Public Administration 22:2 (June 1992).

		FF, pp. 1-8 (8-14); and Kaplan (in FF)

		Yanow, "Practices of policy interpretation," in PS

	Cases:	Hofmann (PS) -- technology

		Colebatch (PS) -- local government and evaluation

		Chock (PS) -- immigration

3.  January 17	Policy narratives I

		Roe, pp. 1-19, ch. 1, 155-162, 147-153

4.  January 24	Policy narratives II

		Roe, ch. 2

	Cases:	Roe, ch. 3 -- medfly

		Roe, ch. 4 -- animal rights

		Roe, ch. 5 -- water (irrigation)

		Roe, ch. 6 -- global warming

5.  January 31	Contending discourses I

	Cases:	Linder (PS) -- EM Fields and cancer

		Pal (PS) -- human rights, NGOs, and the UN

		Roe, ch. 7 -- Indian remains

		Hajer (FF) -- acid rain

		Hoppe (FF) -- ethnicity (Netherlands)

6.  February 7	Contending discourses II

	Cases:	Jennings (FF) -- health policy

		Throgmorton (FF) -- electric power

		Forester (FF) -- practice

7.  February 14	Framing and reframing I

		Rein and Schon (FF)

		RS, chs. 1-3

8.  February 21	Framing and reframing II

	Cases:	RS, ch. 4 -- early retirement (Germany)

		RS, ch. 5 -- educational computing (university)

		RS, ch. 6 -- homelessness

9.  February 28	Argument and communication

		Dryzek, Healey, Dunn, MacRae (all in FF)

10.  March 7	Reframing -- a critique

		RS, chs. 7, 8

		Papers due.
 Note:  This is an earlier version of the Interpretive Policy Analysis course.  An extended list of references is appended.


Fall 1992                                          Dr. Dvora Yanow
Mondays                                            MI 4125; 510/881-3282
Prerequisite:  PuAd 6805                           Off. hrs.:  MTTh 5:30-6:30

                    PuAd 6807:  Analysis of Social Policy

                                     "We learn nothing rightly until we learn
                                     the symbolical character of life."
                                           --Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Education"


Course readings

The following books are on order at the bookstore and on Reserve:

F. James Davis, Who Is Black?, Pennsylvanis State University Press, 1991.

M. E. Hawkesworth, Theoretical Issues in Policy Analysis, SUNY, 1988.

Martha Minow, Making All the Difference, Cornell University Press, 1990.

Other readings (journal articles and chapters from other books) are available in the library Reserve Room and for purchase at the Student Union Copy Center.  Most of the readings should be also available at other university libraries; you might also check your local public library, especially for the books.

Note:  You may wish to read Deborah A. Stone, Policy Paradox and Political Reason (Little Brown, 1987) if you have not already done so.  A very readable book, it serves as a good general overview of the position underlying this course.

Also, Martin Rein, Social Science and Public Policy (Penguin, 1976), which lays out some of the foundational arguments of the fact-value debate, is out of print.  If you find a 2nd hand copy, you may want to purchase it.  
    September 28      No class

1.  October 5         Interpretive approaches to policy analysis

     Background       Bruce Jennings, "Interpretation and the practice of
      readings:       policy analysis."  In Frank Fischer and John Forester, eds.,
                      Confronting Values in Policy Analysis.  Sage, 1987.

                      Bruce Jennings, "Interpretive social science and policy
                      analysis." In Daniel Callahan and Bruce Jennings, eds.,
                      Ethics, the Social Sciences, and Policy Analysis.
                      Plenum Press, 1983.

                      James G. March and Johan P. Olsen, Rediscovering
                      Institutions, Free Press, 1989.  Ch. 3: "Interpretation"

                      Steven Maynard-Moody and Donald D. Stull, "The Symbolic
                      Side of Policy Analysis."  In Frank Fischer and John
                      Forester, eds., Confronting Values in Policy Analysis.
                      Sage, 1987.

                      Robert T. Nakamura, "A Case Study in the Implementation
                      of Symbolic Policy Goals."  In D. Palumbo and D.
                      Calista, Implementation and the Policy Process.
                      Greenwood, 1990.  Ch. 5.

                      Martin Rein, "Frame-Reflective Policy Discourse."  In L.
                      Orchard and R. Dare, eds., Markets, Morals, and Public
                      Policy.  Sydney:  Federation Press, 1989.  Ch. 14.

                      Martin Rein, "Value-Critical Policy Analysis." In Daniel
                      Callahan and Bruce Jennings, eds., Ethics, the Social
                      Sciences, and Policy Analysis.  Plenum Press, 1983.

                      Geoffrey Vickers, "Valuative discourse in policy
                      analysis."  Policy Studies Journal 9:4 (1980-81).

                      Dvora Yanow, "Interpretive policy analysis:  Notes
                      toward a theory."  In Jong S. Jun, ed., Development in
                      the Pacific Rim (Greenwood Press, forthcoming 1992).

     On Reserve       Carol Weiss, ed.  Organizations for Policy Analysis:
          only:       Helping Government Think.  Sage, 1992.  (a set of essays
                      for would-be policy analysts about agencies where such
                      work is done)

     In class:        Rosabeth Moss Kanter with Barry Stein, A Tale of "O".

2.  October 12        Disputing positivist claims

                      Hawkesworth, chs. 1-4.

3.  October 19        Difference:  The social construction of categories

                      Minow, Introduction and chs. 1-3.

4.  October 26        Labeling:  Legal, Critical, and Feminist Approaches

                      Minow, chs. 4-7.

5.  November 2        Categorical 'lumpiness'

                      Minow, chs. 8, 11.

                      Hawkesworth, ch. 5.

                      George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, Metaphors We Live By,
                      University of Chicago Press, 1980.  Pp. 3-24, 185-94.

                      Murray Edelman, Political Language, Academic Press,
                      1977.  Ch. 2, "Categorization, Perception, & Politics."

6.  November 9        Student presentations:  Census

7.  November 16       Student presentations:  EEOC

8.  November 23       Student presentations: Managing cultural diversity

9.  November 30       Silences in public policy discourse

                      Hawkesworth, ch. 9.
                      Minow, Afterword
                         Suggested additional readings

                 I.  On policy analysis (general statements)

Brewer, Garry and deLeon, Peter (1983).  The foundations of policy analysis.

Heinemann, R. A. et al. (1990).  The world of the policy analyst.  Chatham

                  II.  On interpretation and policy analysis

Douglas J. Amy, "Toward a post-positivist policy analysis."  Book review
essay.  Policy Studies Journal 13 (1984).

William Ascher, "Editorial:  Political sciences and the economic approach in a
'post-positivist' era."  Policy Sciences 20 (1987):3-9.

Arnold, Thurman W. (1935).  The symbols of government.  New Haven:  Yale
University Press.

Arnold, Thurman W. (1935).  The folklore of capitalism.  New Haven:  Yale
University Press.

Berger, John (1972).  Ways of seeing.  NY:  Penguin.  (an essay in art
criticism that is applicable to public policies in interesting ways)

Brown, Richard H. (1976).  "Social theory as metaphor."  Theory and Society 3:

Brunner, Ronald D. (1982).  "The policy sciences as science."  Policy Sciences

Cuthbertson, Gilbert Morris (1975).  Political myth and epic.  Michigan State
University Press.

deHaven-Smith, Lance (1988).  Philosophical critiques of policy analysis.
University of Florida.

deNeufville, Judith I. and Barton, Stephen E. (1987).  "Myths and the
definition of policy problems."  Policy Sciences 20:181-206.

Dittmer, Lowell (1977).  "Political culture and political symbolism."  World
politics 29:4 (July), pp. 552-583.

Yehezkel Dror, "Grand Policy Analysis."  Association for Public Policy and
Management Annual Conference, 1990.

Edelman, Murray (1988).  Constructing the political spectacle.  U. of Chicago.

Edelman, Murray (1971).  Politics as symbolic action.  Chicago:  Markham.

Feldman, Martha (1989).  Order without design.  Stanford University Press.

Geertz, Clifford (1973).  The interpretation of cultures.  NY:  Basic Books.

Healy, Paul (1986).  "Interpretive policy inquiry."  Policy Sciences 19:381-96

Klapp, Orrin E. (1964).  Symbolic leaders.  Chicago:  Aldine.

Landau, Martin (1972).  "On the use of metaphor in political analysis."
Political theory and political science.  NY:  Macmillan.  Ch. 3.

Lasswell, Harold D. (1979).  The signature of power.  NJ:  Transaction.

Meinig, D. W., ed. (1979).  The interpretation of ordinary landscapes.  NY:
Oxford University Press.

Moseley, Dan.  On the development of a mythological approach to the analysis
of public policy formulation.  MPA Thesis, CSUH, 1990.

Nimmo, Dan and Combs, James E. (1980).  Subliminal politics.  NJ:  Prentice-
Hall.  Esp. ch. 1 and epilogue.

Robertson, James Oliver (1980).  American myth, american reality.  NY:  Hill &

Symposium on social values and public policy.  Policy Studies Journal 9:4

Thompson, Michael (1979).  Rubbish theory.  NY:  Oxford University Press.

Torgerson, Douglas (1985).  "Contextual orientation in policy analysis."
Policy sciences 18:241-61.

Walzer, Michael (1967).  "On the role of symbolism in political thought."
Political science quarterly 82:2 (June), pp. 191-204.