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Assessing the Usefulness of the Policy Cycle Model in Understanding the British Policy-making: Policy Analysis Coursework, BUL, UK

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Assignment Brief:

“Assessing the usefulness of the policy cycle model in understanding the British policy-making”

Short paper

In drafting this short paper (around 1000 words) you will assess the key concepts and assumptions of the policy cycle by analysing the UK government’s the Green Book (the guidance on policy appraisal and evaluation) available at
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/685903/The_Green_Book.pdf.

The short paper revolves around the specific question that is the title of the short papers. Feel free to find “your way” to answer such questions.
“Students should reflect on to what extent the policy cycle model is a useful framework for understanding how government appraise and evaluate its own policies.

The 1,000 words paper should discuss statements/paragraphs/graphs contained in the Green Book that support or do not support the policy cycle model as a way to conduct policy appraisal [and evaluation].” By analysing the statements and graphs of the Green Book, you can describe what extent this guidance makes reference to policy cycle and its synoptic rationality (and/or scientific rationality) vis-à-vis other forms rationality such as bounded or “political rationality”.

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Question 1: Is it worth contrasting the language used in the Green Book against Policy Cycles outlined by other scholars, such as Johann Höchtl, Peter Parycek& Ralph Schöllhammer in “Big data in the policy cycle: Policy decision making in the digital era”, and examples from the core reading?

A: Excellent idea to narrow down the question. Please bear in mind two elements:

1) if you choose to answer the question in this way this should be all focus of the short paper.

2) By re-reading the article by Hoechtl et al. I believe you will not just contrast the “language” but also the actual functionality and conceptualisation of the policy cycle in the green book vis-a-vis the scholars’ article. For instance, the “provision of means” is really peculiar in the policy cycle selected by the scholars. I would recommend also structuring the short paper in a 3/4 section inclusive of an introduction and conclusion.

In the introduction, you would set the scene for the reader by telling her/him how you will go about answering the question by contrasting the conceptualisation of the policy cycle in the green book and the conceptualisation in the article. Although the differences, both publications have the general aim to improve decision making. The fact that the green book does not treat at all big data is already telling.

Question 2: Is there a particular policy cycle model you would like us to focus on for comparison? ROAMEF, the original cycle described by Lasswell, or perhaps the “established typology” presented by Jann and Wegrich?

A: The ROAMEF and the overall structure of the green book exemplify the UK policy-making, although ideally or on paper. So I would contrast/assess it vis-a-vis an academic model. It is up to you which one you choose. Maybe I would spend a few sentences, a paragraph to justify the choice of the academic model.

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