Critical discussion of policy formation

You are required to provide a critical discussion of policy formation. As part of this discussion, you are to draw on the readings and lecture presentations available in this unit.

Your discussion paper must address the following questions:

What is the nature of policy? 
Your response to this question must move beyond just a description of policy. You should address the complexities involved in defining this concept.
What is the role of theory and evidence in policy formation?
How do networks and stakeholders exert power in the policy formation process?
Your analysis is an introductory discussion paper on policy formation that covers the 3 areas noted above. Importantly, you should not critique a particular area of policy or a certain policy; rather, your critical discussion must focus on the broader issues and processes involved in policy formation.

In order to complete this assessment you must:

Complete readings relevant to Weeks 1 – 3
Actively participate in the online discussion 1 forum
Draw on examples from lecture presentations and readings to illustrate your argument (must reference all sources (i.e. articles and texts, not the lecture notes)).
Follow academic convention of drawing on readings to support your discussion point
Produce a discussion paper that is well written, edited and referenced appropriate for Master level study
Use a minimum of seven scholarly sources
Note: This is an analysis (discussion) paper NOT an essay. Therefore it is important that you do not use a traditional essay format in this assessment. You can, however, use the 3 questions as headings and make links between them.

The purpose of this assessment is to demonstrate your reading in the area and level of understanding of policy formation processes.

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