EnvirSci 213 Exam 1

List 6 steps of the policy cycle

  • Agenda Setting: Public problem must be deemed to require governmental attention
  • Policy Formation: Form goals, policies, strategies
  • Policy legitimation: Developing political support
  • Policy Implementation I:Enacting and promulgating
  • Policy Implementation II: Funding,regulating, enforcing
  • Policy Evaluation & Change: Evaluating and Revising

Rational model of policy process

  • Linear
  • starts with identification of problem and ends with formation of policy

political model

  • Cyclical
  • accounts for complications in process, leaving room for revision and repetition of steps

What is a policy window and its conditions?


  • An opportunity for action/time to create a policy when 3 streams (3 p’s) come together
  • Problem Stream: identification of problem or a focusing event
  • Policy Stream: accounts for feasibility, knowledge, science to back up the problem and public support
  • Politics Stream: accounts for interest groups, national mood, and public opinion

What is the National Environmental Policy Act?

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– Requires all fed agencies to conduct an environmental impact study before making decisions, and they must disclose such information to the public

Pluralist view on interest groups

competition among different groups balance out system

Elite Theory on interest groups

A select few, wealthy interest groups take all the power and influence

Direct lobbying

  • lobbying at government buildings
  • campaign assistance
  • alliances with politicians

Indirect Lobbying

  • Generating public pressure
  • public demonstrations
  • using constituents as lobbyists

Market liberal world view

-Environmental degradation is due to lack of economic growth, poverty, bad policy

Institutionalist world view

– env. degredation due to lack of global cooperation. call for greater regulation/stronger institutions

Bio-environmentalist world view

env. degradation due to population growth/exceeding carrying capacity of earth

Social Greens world view

– env degradation due to poverty and inequaltiy in consumption and access due to capitalism and historical extortion. call for localization and small-scale development

Presidential powers over env. politics

  • Runs the federal government: appoint officials, executive orders, controls resources
  • Influences legislation
  • Bully pulpit influence over issue framing

Congressional powers over env. politics

  • Pass laws
  • monitor agency performance
  • influence finances available for policies

4 ways Courts influence env. policies

  • determine who has the right to sue and when, so the influence how strictly laws are followed
  • interpretation of laws: may be reliable to determine what pollutants are dangerous or what phrasing of policies means
  • interpretation of authority: does the fed. or state have power in the case?
  • Choice of Remedy

Statutory Law

– written law passed by legislature and gov. agencies (apply to all actors of a category)


Common Law
– law developed on the basis of preceding rulings by judges





– created by statutes passed by either congress or state legislatures



– standards and rules adopted by administrative agencies which are used to govern how laws will be enforced

Public Trust Doctrine
– ancient legal doctrine which protects our waters, coasts, and environments that depend on them. Ensuring the right of access for everyone to these resources obligates the government to protect these lands with policy.
Interstate Commerce Clause
– primary constitutional justification for federal environmental laws
Fifth amendment/Takings clause
– protects private property from being taken without just compensation
Three factors that influence a country’s position on an international environmental agreement

  • Costs/benefits
  • Fairness/equity concerns
  • Power dynamics (leader in power, gov. system etc.)

– likelihood something will cause harm combined with the potential impacts of the harm
Potential for something to cause harm
Cost effectiveness
– compares relative costs and outcomes of two or more programs using a measure of the programs objectives
Cost benefit analysis
– puts monetary value on the cost and benefits of an action to determine efficiency