Paper Assignment

This assignment requires that you choose an area of comparative public policy (that is, a problem in another country, not the U.S.) in need of reform; and, formulate a thesis that proposes its resolution. The thesis, moreover, should be such that the resolution involves, in significant ways, research and analysis of public management and administration in the country you have chosen as it pertains to your thesis.

--aprox. 20 double-spaced pp


--15-20 references from both the popular and academic press. Sources include The Economist, The National Review,  The Weekly Standard, The Atlantic, the New York Times, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, the Washington Post, and/or the Washington Times. 

Academic sources include but are by no means limited to the Public Administration Review, Public Integrity, the American Political Science Review, the International Political Science Review, PS: Political Science and Politics, The Public Interest, The National Interest, and the American Review of Public Administration. 

HERE is an even more comprehensive list and ranking leading public administration and public policy journals:

Some of these news sources and journals are available on the internet free of charge; some are available through the University System of Georgia’s Galileo system. Still others only offer restricted free access, but you may find that even with those sources that provide limited access, you will make a lucky find.

Please note that your paper will need to be written in such a way as to reflect a strong working knowledge of the political institutions, processes and challenges of the country you have chosen. Accordingly, you may want to consult a comparative govenrment text, or some other strong online sources such as the Economic Magazines's country surveys. 

More to the point, a good way to get started on this would be to choose a country, and then learn as much as you can about the basics of that country's history, govenrment, politics and culture, before you try to dive down and identify more specifilzed issues of policy, administration and management.

So . . . how might this paper look in practice and how might it look different than a research paper you might do for another class? Well, in some respects, it is not that much different.

Let's say you wanted to do a paper on unemployment in Spain, or under-age binge drinking in England. In both cases you are going to describe the problem and look at, for example, as it is relevant and/or important to to your topic:

--the culture (or subculture) of the country

--the laws that affect this area

--any important court decisions that are necessary to explain the problem

--political dimensions of the problem; that is, differences between political parties, political pressure groups, etc.

--the role of the media as you think it is pertinent

--the bureaucratic agencies and that are involved with this policy area

--the role of public administrators (including law enforcement officials) in dealing with this issue.

The main thing that might make the paper different in this particular class is that you want to include--as much as you can--discussion of the administrative and policy-making structures and processes that are involved in the subject you have chosen; that is, some discussion beyond just what the president (or prime minister) or chief executive and the legislative branch, or even the judicial branch, even though all of those things probably should be included, in one degree or another, in your paper.

Not to worry: there are several junctures in this process where I will take a look at your process and I am happy to look even again, at anything you have before you submit it. There is no reason why you should not make at least a "B" if not better in this class if you want to.

At any point, if you would like to discuss your paper requirement by email or even by telephone, we can do so.

© Hank Edmondson 2012