Atlas Concept Table for PPG1001 The Policy Process

… a resource page for PPG1001 The Policy Process

Core concepts on the Atlas for the Munk School’s course on the policy process

The table below displays Atlas core concepts that may be pertinent to PPG1001, a required first-year course for MPP students in the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy. The concepts have been selected by the Atlas editors on the basis of the 2019-20 course description at, the 2017-18 student compilation of Top 50 Concept Readings for Toronto MPP Courses, and the detailed 2016-17 syllabus at Toronto PPG1001 The Policy Process. The selected concepts are drawn from 17 Atlas topics: 10 from Policy Analysis and Process and the balance from 5 other Atlas subjects. See Atlas Concept Tables for Courses for methodology and links to other concept tables.

Atlas Concept Table for PPG1001
80 core concepts in the policy process, organized by Atlas subject and topic

Policy Analysis and Process

The Study of Policy Analysis and Process

Policy Analysis

Policy Design

Public Policy

Policy Consistency

Lasswell’s Policy Sciences

Median Voter Theorem

Pal’s Elements of Policy Content

Positivism vs. Post-positivism (and Constructivism)

Interests and the Policy Process


Interest Group

Median Voter Theorem

Collective Action

Majoritarian Democracy

Endowment Effect

Elite Theory


Ideas and the Policy Process

The Role of Ideas in Policymaking


Political Left

Political Right

Institutions and the Policy Process

Homo Economicus

Social Norms

Policy Feedback

Problem Definition and Agenda Setting

Issue Framing

Policy Crises, Policy Entrepreneurs, and Political Entrepreneurs

Focusing Event

Path Dependence

Policy Images

Policy Window

Political (Party) Platform

Political Business Cycle

Agenda Setting and Media Bias

Convergence Theory

Policy Analysis and Process

Policy Instruments and Design

Typologies of Policy Instruments

Policy Design and Social Values

Decline of Deference

Skogstad’s Four Competing Models of Authority

Expert Authority

Popular Authority

Participatory Governance

Models of Decision Making

Rational Decision Making Model

Satisficing Behaviour

Lindblom’s Incrementalism and Muddling Through

Maximizing Behaviour

Bounded Rationality


Behavioural Economics

Libertarian Paternalism

Postmodernist Critiques of Rational Decision Making


Evaluation and the Policy Cycle

Formative Evaluation

Judicial Evaluation Model

Broken Windows Theory

Policy Communication

Symbolic Representation and Narrative

Dunn’s Four-stage Process of Communicating Policy-relevant Knowledge

Cognitive Dissonance

Policy Communities and Networks

Policy Community

Policy Networks

Advocacy Coalitions

Governance and Institutions

Organizational Design and Behaviour

Weber’s Theory of Bureaucracy

Public Choice Theory

Modernizing Government

Networked Governance

New Public Management

Communication Skills




Narrative Theory

Writing to Persuade

Policy Issue Paper

Writing a Briefing Note

Socioeconomic and Political Context

The Study of the Socioeconomic Context for Politics and Policy

Public Opinion



Civil Society

Claims, Reason, and Evidence

Implementation and Delivery

Designing the Delivery Model

Doing Nothing as a Policy Instrument

Using Information-Based Policy Instruments

Using Expenditure-Based Policy Instruments

Using Taxation-Based Policy Instruments

Using Regulation-Based Policy Instruments

Using Direct Provision as a Policy Instrument

Ethics, Rights, and Accountability

Ends, Means, and Cost-Benefit Analysis

Dirty Hands

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified 9 December 2019.

Image: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Policy Process, at, accessed 9 December 2019.