Policy Implementation
USP 562/662 and PA 510
Spring 1999
This syllabus reflects changes to the course made as a result of class discussion on the first day.
Last update was April 16, 1999.

Breaking News:

Instructor: Martha J. Bianco, Ph.D.
Office: UPA 314
Office Hours: Tuesday, 4-5; Wednesday 2-3; Thursday, 10-11; and by arrangement
Phone: 725-4050
E-Mail: biancom@pdx.edu
Class Time: Wednesdays, 4-6:30 pm

Objective: This is a graduate-level course in which students specializing or interested in policy studies will examine the implementation phase of the policy process within both the governmental and private-sector arenas. Working in teams or individually, students will focus on a case study of the implementation of a specific program, rule, or piece of legislation within a larger policy area (e.g., health, environment, transportation, education). Student presentations and potential guest speakers will complement a lecture-and-discussion format.


Course Requirements: Grading:

Midterm Exam HIV/AIDS Implementation Case Study: 35%
Midterm or Implementation Case Study: 40%
Participation and Presentation: 25%

Style Guidelines: Students must carefully proofread all projects turned in for punctuation, spelling, grammar, and typographical errors. Keep in mind that this is a graduate-level course. You should purchase and adhere to the latest edition of Turabian, Kate, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations, revised by John Grossman and Alice Bennet (Chicago, Ill.: University of Chicago Press). This style guide conforms to style guidelines found in the Chicago Manual of Style. The paperback version is currently about $12.95. Note that older, used versions do not contain up-to-date information about citing from the Internet and other electronic sources.

Writing Center: Because students are expected to demonstrate a high level of writing ability in this course, it is recommended that any students not confident of their abilities contact PSU's Writing Center. The professionals there can help you with all aspects of the paper-writing process, from construction to proofreading.  The service is free, but you must make an appointment. The Writing Center is located at 188F CH and its phone number is 725-3570.

Plagiarism: Please read the following statement about plagiarism. Note that the definition of plagiarism applies to material drawn from the Internet as well as from journals, books, and other sources. Any student found to have plagiarized any material at all may receive an F in this course and may be reported to university administration. If you have any questions about what constitutes plagiarism, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Plagiarism is the representation of the words or ideas of another as one's own in any academic exercise. To avoid plagiarism, every direct quotation must be identified by quotation marks or by appropriate indentation and must be promptly cited in the text or in a footnote. Acknowledgment is required when material from another source is stored in print, electronic, or other medium and is paraphrased or summarized in whole or in part in one's own words. To acknowledge a paraphrase properly, one might state: "to paraphrase Plato's comment..."; and conclude with a footnote identifying the exact reference. A footnote acknowledging only a directly quoted statement does not suffice to notify the reader of any preceding or succeeding paraphrased material. Information which is common knowledge, such as names of leaders of prominent nations, basic scientific laws, etc., need not be footnoted; however, all facts or information obtained in reading or research that are not common knowledge among students in the course must be acknowledged. In addition to materials specifically cited in the text, only materials that contribute to one's general understanding of the subject may be acknowledged in the bibliography. Plagiarism can, in some cases, be a subtle issue. Any questions about what constitutes plagiarism should be discussed with the faculty member [Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey Campus, Policy for Academic Integrity for Undergraduate and Graduate Students, p. 3D (accessed September 22, 1997); available at http://history.rutgers.edu/undergraduate/courses/plag.htm; Internet.].
Late Assignments: Late assignments will not be accepted in this class, except in case of an emergency. If an emergency occurs that prevents you from turning in an assignment on time, please contact me by phone to discuss the matter, preferably ahead of time.

One-on-One Meetings: All students are required to meet with me at least once during the term to go over matters related to their case study and any other issues they may have.

Tentative Schedule:
What is Due
  • Introduction
  • Review of the Policy Process
  • Framework for Implementation Analysis
  • Framework for Implementation Analysis
  • Case Studies (chapters from Mazmanian)
  • Mazmanian & Sabatier, chs. 1, 2, 8, and Postscript (required)
  • choose any one chapter from M & S, chs.3-7
  • case study proposal
  • Implementation Concepts: backward mapping, causal stories, implementation as interpretation
  • Elmore, "Backward Mapping"
  • Stone, "Causal Stories"
  • Yanow, "The Communication of Policy Meanings"
  • O'Toole & Montjoy, "Interorganizational Policy Implementation:
  • proposal for paper presentation
  • Intergovernmental

  • Processes, Part I
  • Christensen, Chs. 1-4
  • statement of law or rule
  • Intergovernmental

  • Processes, Part II
  • Christensen, Chs. 5-9
  • Street-Level Bureaucracy, Part I
  • Lipsky, Chs. 1-7
  • Take-Home Midterm Exam 
  • Street-Level Bureaucracy 
  • Lipsky, Chs. 8-13 
  • Rulemaking, I
  • Paper Presentations
  • Kerwin, chs. 1-2 
  • Rulemaking, II
  • Paper Presentations
  • Kerwin, Chs. 3-4
  • Rulemaking, III
  • Paper Presentations
  • Kerwin, Chs. 5-7
  • Paper Presentations and Wrap-Up
  • Implementation Case Study Paper

Description of Class Projects

Implementation Case Study

Students should choose a policy arena -- such as health, welfare, education, environment, transportation, criminal justice, or economic development -- and identify a law, program, initiative, or administrative rule created at the state, regional, or local level. Examples are listed below.

Students may work in pairs, in small groups, or as individuals (see **NOTE below). In some cases, working in a small group is advantageous to facilitate a division of labor (e.g., one person to go through newspaper articles, one person to conduct interviews in Salem, one person to conduct interviews of other key informants).

The policy arena and specific law or initiative should be selected by the second week of class, and a general proposal turned in at that time. By the fourth week of class, students should have completed some preliminary literature review and also have a copy of the actual law or rule (which needs to be turned in). Students should be prepared to conduct archival research (newspapers, reports, minutes of meetings, etc.) as well as interviews of key informants from the state level down. The substance and structure of the final paper should relate back to the implementation framework covered in class. Examples of topics the paper should cover are listed below.

Examples of Policy Arenas and Initiatives

Topics Covered in Paper Should Include (But Not Necessarily Be Limited to): **NOTE:This year, I have received a small award for a proposal for Curricular Innovation Integrating HIV/AIDS into the Classroom. (Click here for the full text of the original proposal).

For this project, I will invite students in the class to work with me on researching the grassroots formation and implementation of needle-exchange programs in the Portland area. The group working with me will report back to the class as a whole about the progress we are making in our policy study. Our work will serve as a case study model for the rest of the class. Students working with me may choose to continue the work on a by-arrangement basis into the summer. The ultimate outcome, in addition to the papers the students turn in at the end of this course, will be a paper for conference presentation and an article, both of which will give credit to the students working with me on this project this term.

Style Issues

Refer to the style guidelines earlier in this syllabus. In addition, the paper should:

Due Date

This paper is due on June 9.

Paper Presentations are also required, and will be structured so as to give students an opportunity to practice delivering a "conference-style" paper. More details about this option are included at here, but some preliminary details are mentioned below:

Paper Presentation. You must prepare a presentation that would be similar to what you might give at a professional conference. Your presentation must not exceed 15 minutes.  You may use overheads, slides, handouts, or the InFocus projector (e.g., with PowerPoint). You may prepare a presentation on the topic about which you are writing for this class or for any other class or purpose, as long as it relates to the policy process and brings in elements related to the implementation framework. Your proposal for this paper, including a request for any AV equipment, is due April 14. Paper presentations will occur during the last weeks of class.

Christensen Readings:

Read the chapters assigned and, except for 1, 8, and 9, prepare an outline summary that you can use to present to the class, sort of in a lecture format (that is, you are the person responsible for your chapters).  If you want to bring photocopied "lecture guides," that is fine, but not at all necessary.  Contact me if you have questions, at biancom@pdx.edu.
Terri 1, 2, 4, 8, 9
Martha 1, 3, 8, 9
Maggie 1, 7, 8, 9
Emily 1, 5, 8, 9
Linda 1, 6, 8, 9


Questions about this course?
E-mail me at biancom@pdx.edu.