T-31 days

My public policy comprehensive exam is in 31 days.

Levels of dread and terror are spiking.

According to the examiners, the basic requirements for students are:

  1. being familiar with the major approaches (and their authors) advanced to explain the policy process and policy outcomes;
  2. understanding how these approaches differ in terms of their ontological assumptions about what units of analysis (individuals, collective entities of social action, institutions / social and economic structure, norms, etc) best explain policy-making;
  3. understanding the strengths and weaknesses of different epistemological approaches (qualitative / quantitative) to explaining the policy process and its outcomes.

Between the core course and study group sessions, I have read a lot of the required material. The trouble is how it doesn’t really ‘stick’. I need to find ways to keep enough ideas, authors, and references in my head to satisfy the examiners on August 22nd.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

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