Atlas101 Policy Analysis and Process

… one of the core Atlas Courses

StudyOfPolicyAtlas course syllabus

This course covers the concepts and techniques of policy analysis and processes associated with policy making.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students will have the skills and knowledge to utilize the concepts enumerated below and be able to understand and describe the theories and principles in the normed topics below.

Normed topics

The topics are normed in having a volume of content capable of being taught in one course-week of instruction − nominally 3 hours of in-class work and 7 hours of outside-class reading.

  1. The Study of Policy Analysis and Process
  2. Interests and the Policy Process
  3. Institutions and the Policy Process
  4. Ideas and the Policy Process
  5. Problem Definition and Agenda Setting
  6. Policy Instruments and Design
  7. Models of Decision Making
  8. Evidence and Decision Making
  9. Implementation and the Policy Cycle
  10. Evaluation and the Policy Cycle
  11. The Meaning of Strategy in Public Management
  12. Policy Analysis Terms and Techniques

Like other normed topics on the Atlas, each of these has a topic description, links to core concepts relevant to the topic, learning outcomes, a reading list drawn from available course syllabi, and a series of assessment questions.

Concepts to be learned [INCOMPLETE]
The Study of Policy Analysis and Process

Policy Design

Public Policy

Pal’s Elements of Policy Content

Policy Consistency

Pal’s Types of Reasoning in Policy Analysis

Policy Analysis’s Impact on Policymaking

Lasswell’s Policy Sciences

Policy Capacity

Interests and the Policy Process


Pal’s Glossary of Conceptualizing Interests in Policymaking

Problem Definition and Agenda Setting

Pal’s Aspects of Problem Definition

Issue Framing

Policy Images

Policy Window

Policy Instruments and Design

Typologies of Policy Instruments

Pal’s Classification of Policy Instruments

Policy Design and Social Values

Models of Decision Making

Rational Decision Making Model

Lindblom’s Incrementalism and Muddling Through

Postmodernist Critiques of Rational Decision Making

Courses reviewed for topics and readings

University of Toronto: PPPG-1001; Carleton University: PADM-5116; Saskatchewan and Regina: JSGS-801; NYU Wagner: CORE-GP.1022; George Washington: PPA-6006; American: PUAD-612

Recommended readings


Page created by: Ian Clark, last updated 17 September 2017.

Image: LookForDiagnosis, at, accessed 13 March 2016.