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POL 802 – Comparative Public Policy

2017 – S1 Evening

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convener
Marion Maddox
Contact via 9850 7032
W6A 424
Monday 5-6pm
Nicholas Bromfield
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MPPP or MPASR or MIntRel or MIntPubDip or MIntLawGovPP or GradDipPP or GradDipPASR or GradDipIntRel or GradDipSIA or GradCertPP or MSc in Environmental Health or MTransInterMIntRel or MIntBusMIntRel
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The framework of public policy-making has become internationalised in recent years. This unit will examine the range of approaches for comparing policies and programs in circumstances of increasing globalisation, considering the international and domestic institutions, structures and agents involved in these processes and the methods used to evaluate policy "borrowing". The unit will evaluate theories and frameworks concerned with policy transfer and policy learning and apply these critically to real-world instances of policy-making.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  2. Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  3. Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs
  4. Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Assignment 1 25% No Tuesday 21 March 2017
Assignment 2 35% No Friday 5 May 2017
Assignment 3 40% No Friday, 9 June 2017

Assignment 1

Due: Tuesday 21 March 2017
Weighting: 25%

Summary: Assignment 1 constitutes an introduction to the policy borrowing exercise in which you will be engaged over the semester.

It requires you to familiarise yourself with a contested Australian policy area and with basic resources related to specific programs within that area.   

Assignment 1 consists of:

  1. an introductory analysis of one Australian policy area as that policy area appears in a specific Australian jurisdiction (i.e. a particular state or the Commonwealth);
  2. an exploration of a particular dimension of that broad policy area; and
  3. identification of a particular program that addresses that dimension and that is currently operating less than adequately in your chosen Australian jurisdiction.

(You will research your chosen program intensively in the next two assignments.)

Your Assignment should cover (but need not be limited to):

  1. What broad policy area have you chosen?
  • Why is the broad policy area considered a problem?
  • What is the specific jurisdiction you have selected and how (if at all) does its identity relate to the policy area?
  • Is the broad policy area regarded as political in nature? Or economic? Or moral? Or social? Or cultural?
  • Do different groups define the problem differently?

 

2. Which smaller dimension of the larger policy area do you intend to research in the next two assignments?

  • What major policy actors are involved in the smaller aspect of the policy?
  • What attempts have been made within Australia broadly - and within your selected jurisdiction - to address the smaller policy aspect in the past? 
  • Have there been or are there now different approaches to the problem in different Australian jurisdictions?

3. Which program, addressing the smaller policy aspect but whose adequacy is contested, will you concentrate on for future analysis? 

  • When was the program implemented?
  • What deficiencies have been noted; by whom?

Note: this list is a minimum, not a maximum. The object of this assignment is to:

 (a)  establish a knowledge base upon which to seek a ‘better’ program from other jurisdictions which you will analyse in Assignment 2; and

(b)  establish a broad policy framework to enable you to consider whether the potentially ‘borrowable’ program (which you will identify in Assignment 2) might be successfully applied in your chosen Australian jurisdiction (Assignment 3).

Your initial sources for Assignment 1 are likely to be media reports, think tank or department reports, and government/ministerial statements, but these comprise only one aspect of the way the problem has been characterised.  Academic analyses and commentary should also be canvassed.

Assignment 1 should conclude with (a) a clear statement of the specific dimension of the broader policy area that you plan to research in the next two assignments; (b)  identification of the specific Australian jurisdiction into which you will attempt to transfer your ‘borrowed’ program; identification of the existing program which needs to be replaced and a statement of its perceived inadequacies.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  • Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Assignment 2

Due: Friday 5 May 2017
Weighting: 35%

Summary: Critical comparative analysis of a ‘similar’ program as applied in other jurisdictions that address your chosen policy dimension; identification of the program from another jurisdiction with the greatest potential for borrowing; justification for your selection.

Assignment 2 requires you to identify and analyse programs that have been implemented in at least two other jurisdictions that address the problem addressed by your selected Australian program, and to make a case for borrowing one of those programs. 

You and your fellow students are required to share, via the POL 802 iLearn website, basic information about program initiatives that you have discovered in operation in other countries concerning your chosen policy area.  Such information may be as basic as providing web addresses or citing relevant journal articles.

While your investigation into the possibility of successful program transfer will involve a co-operative sharing of information, assignments will be individually written and assessed.

Your sharing of information is to be complete: no student will gain additional credit for information they do not share.  What will be assessed is what each student does with the information.

 Your critical analysis in Assignment 2 should include – at a minimum:

 1.  A summary restatement of your conclusions from Assignment 1: a statement of the particular dimension of the policy area that is the subject of your research, the Australian jurisdiction into which ‘borrowed’ policy might be introduced and the program which is a candidate for replacement.

2.  A brief summary of the most useful program you have found in at least two other jurisdictions that have the potential to be ‘borrowed’ and a clear identification of which level or levels of government in the other jurisdictions are responsible for implementing these programs.

 3. A critical analysis of the particular program that shows the most promise for transfer to your Australian jurisdiction, including a discussion of the factors that have guided your decision.

 4. An evaluation of the way the program has been implemented and operates in the ‘exporting’ jurisdiction indicating, at a minimum:

-       the politics of its introduction

-       how long it has been operating

-       relevant characteristics of the jurisdiction in which it is operating

-       evaluations of its operation

-       debates about its operation.

Your emphasis in this assignment should be on points 4 and 5.

 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs
  • Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Assignment 3

Due: Friday, 9 June 2017
Weighting: 40%

Summary: a critical analysis of the prospects for success or failure of your preferred program's transfer to your chosen Australian jurisdiction.

Now that you have (a) identified a specific policy/program in an Australian jurisdiction (Assignment 1) and (b) chosen a particular program from a different jurisdiction because it seems to be a promising candidate for borrowing (Assignment 2), the final assignment considers the feasibility of actually borrowing the program and having it ‘work’.

Assignment 3 requires you to critically examine the ‘receiving’ political arena in Australia.

Assignment 3 should address, at a minimum:

 1. A statement of the benefits which will accrue if the borrowed program can be transferred successfully into the relevant Australian jurisdiction.

 2. A critical analysis of the major differences between the ‘exporting’ jurisdiction – i.e. the jurisdiction from which the program will be borrowed  - and the Australian jurisdiction into which the program will be transferred. 

 3. A critical analysis of the Australian political and institutional context in which the ‘borrowed’ program will be applied. Identify difficulties which might arise from these differences, and consider the feasibility of overcoming them.

 4. A critical analysis of the politics of transferring the program:  which individuals and groups might support it and which might oppose it and why?  what are costs, and upon whom are these likely to fall?

5. A critical analysis of the ways in which the program needs to be ‘tied into’ or ‘hooked up’ to the existing institutional arrangements in the Australian jurisdiction.

 6. Your recommendation whether the relevant jurisdiction should proceed with the program transfer and reasons for your recommendation.

Note: You should consider the option of recommending that there should not be a transfer as well as the option of recommending that there should be a transfer.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs
  • Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Delivery and Resources

Technology

 

PC and Internet access are required. Basic computer skills (e.g., internet browsing) and skills in word processing are also a requirement.

Please consult teaching staff for any further, more specific requirements.

Lecture and Tutorial Times

For lecture times and classrooms please consult the MQ Timetable website: http://www.timetables.mq.edu.au. This website will display up-to-date information on your classes and classroom locations.

Internal students are expected to attend the following classes each week:

Lecture: Monday 6-7 pm W5C 311 Tutorial Room

Seminar: Monday 7-9 pm W5C 311 Tutorial Room

External students: The lecture is recorded and may be downloaded from the ILearn website shortly after it is delivered.

External students are also required to attend two on-campus sessions of four hours each over the semester. The dates for these sessions (held on weekends for four hours) are:

Saturday 29 April 2017, 9.30am - 1.30pm W5C 221 Tutorial Room

and

Saturday 3 June 2016, 9.30 am - 1.30pm W5C 221 Tutorial Room

 

External students are encouraged to attend weekly lectures and seminar classes whenever they can.

iLearn

This unit has a unit webpage which is accessible only to currently enrolled students. Online units are available at: http://ilearn.mq.edu.au

 

Other material

Weekly readings can be found on the POL802 iLearn website, and also in the Unit Outline available from that website.

 

Learning and Teaching Activities

Lectures

Lectures from staff, including powerpoint slides.

Classroom discussion

Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in lectures and readings.

Reading assigned materials

Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in readings.

assignments

Address assignment requirements.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Master of Politics and Public Policy Guidelines

These Guidelines are available from the POL802 iLearn website.

Attendance

University regulations prescribe regular attendance at classes. Students are expected to attend all lectures and seminars, or on-campus sessions for external students.

For internal students, failure to attend at least three-quarters of seminars risks exclusion from and no credit for the unit.

For external students, failure to attend the first on-campus session will risk exclusion from and no credit for the unit.

 If you are unable to attend a class, you should provide documentary support for your absence (e.g., medical certificate). If you know that you will be unable to attend a class, or on-campus session, you should contact the convenor as early as possible.

Assignment submission for internal and external students

Written work must be submitted through Turn-it-in via the POL802 iLearn website. Click on the Turn-it-in button on the right hand side of the POL802 iLearn page and follow the instructions.  

Extensions and penalties for late submission

Extensions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances, and will require documentary evidence such as a medical certificate to support the request for an extension. You should contact the convenor as early as possible if you think you may need an extension. While we do understand that most students are engaged in paid employment, extensions cannot be granted on this basis alone.

Penalties for late submission: Assignments which are submitted after the due date, without having an extension granted by the convenor, will be penalised, at a rate of 3% of the mark for each week day after the due date. Any paper submitted more than 3 weeks after the due date will not be marked, and the student will be failed for the assignment.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activities

  • Lectures from staff, including powerpoint slides.
  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

PG - Effective Communication

Our postgraduates will be able to communicate effectively and convey their views to different social, cultural, and professional audiences. They will be able to use a variety of technologically supported media to communicate with empathy using a range of written, spoken or visual formats.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs
  • Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activities

  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in lectures and readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs
  • Show appropriate mastery of relevant methods of communication

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activities

  • Lectures from staff, including powerpoint slides.
  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in lectures and readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Identify and critically analyse old and new theories regarding comparative public policy and public policy transfer
  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs

Assessment task

  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activity

  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

PG - Engaged and Responsible, Active and Ethical Citizens

Our postgraduates will be ethically aware and capable of confident transformative action in relation to their professional responsibilities and the wider community. They will have a sense of connectedness with others and country and have a sense of mutual obligation. They will be able to appreciate the impact of their professional roles for social justice and inclusion related to national and global issues

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcome

  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activities

  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in lectures and readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Understand, explain and evaluate domestic and international processes of policy learning and policy transfer
  • Identify policy transfer strategies to solve problems arising from performance gaps in extant or abandoned programs

Assessment tasks

  • Assignment 1
  • Assignment 2
  • Assignment 3

Learning and teaching activities

  • Interrogate concepts, theories, debates and historical data raised in lectures and readings.
  • Address assignment requirements.

Changes from Previous Offering

Changes since the last offering of this unit

1. Policy areas have been changed.

2. Assigned readings have been changed.

3. General background readings have been amended.

4. Some previous lectures have been omitted, others modified, and new lectures added.

 

Changes since First Published

Date Description
05/03/2017 Removed old weekly schedule. For schedule of weekly topics, please refer to the outline on iLearn.
24/02/2017 Changed due date for Assignment 2