Policy Process and Governance

Policy Process and Governance research examines fundamental questions about how individuals, institutions, and interests shape representation, equity, efficiency, and accountability in public policy. Researchers in this area study all stages of the policy process including agenda setting, policy design, policy diffusion, policy adoption, implementation, program evaluation, and policy feedbacks.

Policy process studies address diverse topic areas such as election and voting policy, judicial influence over policy, policy framing and agenda setting, state policy and representation, and the role of multi-level governance (federalism) in shaping politics and policy. Students interested in topics related to agenda setting and issue framing may also gain applied experience in survey research and experimental research through POLS-Lab or through applied studies conducted by faculty. Students with interests in policy process and governance are encouraged to develop skills in advanced statistical methods, causal inference, and/or analytics for large, complex data to prepare them work as researchers or analysts in a wide range of career settings.

Courses for this for this specialty typically include:

  • PPOL 8000 State Government and Policy
  • PPOL 8000 Intergovernmental Relations
  • PPOL 8617 Law and Management
  • PPOL 8611 Metropolitan Governance and Administration
  • PPOL 8466 Public Budgeting and Financing
  • PPOL 8709 Public Economics

Other courses appropriate for each specialty may be available and students may take these or substitute them for one of the listed classes in consultation with their Advisor and the Director of the Program.

Students are encouraged to develop a focus in other related fields or design their specialty based on faculty resources available. As with all programs, such a program would need the approval of the student’s advisor and the Director of the Program. Program faculty will continue to develop additional substantive and methods courses.