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					                            TAKE-HOME FINAL EXAM
        Political Science 3201, The Environment and Public Policy, Fall 2007

                           DUE: Monday, 17 December 2007
                 Drop off in hard copy form between 4:30 and 5:30 pm
                             at Scott’s office, Ketchum 403
You can find Ketchum 403 by going all the way up the steps that begin outside the political
               science department office on the East end of the building.

   Exams completed early may be dropped off at Prof. Billica’s office (Ketchum 5D; slip
     under the door if she’s not there), or in the Political Science office (Ketchum 106)

This is a take-home exam requiring a thoughtful essay drawing from both lecture and reading materials.
You may choose to write on either of two essay topics. There are no absolutely right or wrong answers to
these questions. However, there are many general insights that have come to light (covered in lectures
and reading materials). How do these generalizations match up to particular cases of environmental
policymaking? Your essay should reflect both general knowledge as well as knowledge gained through
examination of specific cases. Be sure to provide solid background information clarifying the concepts –
a general overview, definitions, types, competing arguments, etc.

The essay will require analysis of two environmental policy cases from the book by Judith Layzer, The
Environmental Case: Translating Values Into Policy. Select any two from the following options:

    o    Love Canal: Hazardous Waste and the Politics of Fear (Chap. 3)
    o    Government Secrets at Rocky Flats (Chap. 4)
    o    Community Activism and Environmental Justice: The Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
         (Chap. 5)
    o    Federal Grazing Policy: Some Things Never Change (Chap. 7)
    o    Jobs vs. the Environment: Saving the Northern Spotted Owl (Chap. 8)
    o    The New England Fisheries: Crisis and Renewal (Chap. 10)
    o    Climate Change: The Challenge of Formulating International Environmental Policies (Chap. 11)
    o    Market-Based Solutions: Acid Rain and the Clean Air Act (Chap. 14)

With respect to either essay option, below, be sure to explain how the general information matches
up with what you’ve learned regarding the two cases you’ve selected for analysis. Do these cases fit
expectations? Be specific. In what ways are the two cases similar with respect to the concepts and
arguments under review? In what ways are they different?

ESSAY OPTIONS: Write on one of the following topics.

         1. Political Institutions and the Development of Environmental Policy. Congress and the
President play different roles in policymaking. We look to Congress to represent the concerns of citizens
and to address those concerns in policy solutions. While the President is also responsible to citizens, we
tend to look to the President for leadership. How do these two institutions compare in their handling of
environmental policy? Discuss the relative power of Congress versus the President (including the federal
Administration) in this policy arena. Be sure to discuss the institutional roles of these political actors and
their strengths/weaknesses in terms of policymaking. In what ways are these institutions limited in terms
of solving issues of environmental policy? Use examples to clarify. Which institution is taking the lead?
Has this changed over time? Why or why not?

Selecting out one of the two cases for further assessment, describe one change or improvement that you
would like to see happen in this policy area. Through what institutional avenue would you suggest that
this change be achieved? You should consider both the Congress and the President but will also want to
consider other possibilities as well – including administrative agencies as well as state, local, and private

        2. Science and Environmental Policymaking. Many have commented that environmental
policymaking is particularly difficult because the issues are so complex. How important are scientific
information and expertise in the development of environmental policy decisions? What are the barriers in
the way of scientifically directed policymaking? Would better science lead to better policy? What are the
strengths and weaknesses of risk assessment as a data-based decision-making tool?

Selecting out one of the two cases for further assessment, describe one change or improvement that you
would like to see happen in this policy area. Through what kind of process, and using what kind of
information, would you expect to find an improvement in outcomes? Be creative, be specific.

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