Policy Ideas in Focus: Framing Policy Problems
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This research-intensive university in north-western Sydney offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. With over 30,000 current students, Macquarie has a strong reputation for welcoming international students and embracing flexible and convenient study options, including its partnership with Open Universities Australia.
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On successful completion, a student will be able to
- Demonstrate an understanding of theory and debates about the role of ideas in shaping policy.
- Demonstrate understanding of the history, contours and impacts of some important policy ideas.
- Develop a critical appreciation of alternative ways policy problems can be framed.
- Apply theoretical and substantive knowledge to analyse policy documents.
- Communicate research findings and views accurately and effectively using a variety of written techniques.
- A week-by-week guide to the topics you will explore in this subject will be provided in your study materials.
In order to enrol in this subject, you must be accepted into one of the following degrees:
- OtherDetails -
Students who have an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion under Macquarie University's Academic Progression Policy are not permitted to enrol in OUA units offered by Macquarie University. Students with an Academic Standing of Suspension or Exclusion who have enrolled in units through OUA will be withdrawn.
Policies embody ideas about what governments can and should do, and how. These ideas 'frame' the problems policies address and how those problems will be solved. Policy ideas vary between policy domains and between countries and they change over time. Policy ideas are mobilised and contested by policy actors seeking changes that align with their own interests or those of their constituencies. When new ideas enter the policy process, they may offer genuinely novel solutions to old problems or renew the attractiveness of discarded approaches. New ideas can also function as solutions in search of problems. In this unit, students study policy documents and research resources to gain a critical understanding of how ideas can frame the definition of policy problems and their solutions. Because policy ideas travel, the unit considers the mechanisms and actors involved in what researchers call policy transfer or policy mobilities. The unit is taught as a series of modules, each exploring the history, contours and impacts of one of a broad-ranging set of ideas that has come into public and social policy in recent decades. Ideas in focus may include a subset of: brain and mind sciences, New Public Management, big data and governance by algorithm, social investment and asset-based social policy, partnership, sustainability, resilience, and well-being.
- online participation (10%%)
- Learning journal (20%%)
- Policy analysis (30%%)
- Comparative policy analysis (40%%)