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:
- being familiar with the major approaches (and their authors) advanced to explain the policy process and policy outcomes;
- 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;
- 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.