[F&ES 809] / 2017-2018

Environmental Policy Analysis for an Unpredictable World

Credits: 3



The purpose of this course is to understand and apply theories of the policy-making processes. The course takes an analytical approach to policy analysis, attempting to understand better the policy climate in which we operate. The course also distinguishes the two dominant methods of policy analysis today: understanding forest policies and why they have developed (“analysis of” policy); and applied techniques in policy analysis that are used to prescribe rationally a particular policy choice over competing alternatives (“analysis for” policy). These approaches to policy analysis are explored for their benefits and limitations in efforts to develop enduring policy and institutional approaches to environmental management. Students are required to critically assess differing evaluation techniques for a world that is often unpredictable and in which many key values defy quantification. By the end of the course students should be able to (1) understand the dominant theories of the policy-making process, (2) develop sophisticated explanations of forest policy change and stability, and (3) understand, apply, and critically analyze scientific “analysis of policy” approaches. Throughout the course, we address the following questions: What are the major theories of public policy formation? Who are the major actors in the forest policy arena, and within what institutional and ethical framework(s) do they operate? What tools are available for the development and implementation of public policy?