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This subject is designed to develop an understanding of the links between contemporary public policy and political communication and lobbying processes, in particular how the political and media environment can be utilised to transform the public policy agendas of interest groups and NGOs into concrete political and legislative outcomes. In a world of increasingly short-term media cycles and fragmented audiences, developers of public policy can no longer rely just on the quality and integrity of their ideas and recommendations to attract and maintain broad-based support. Instead, contemporary public policy is becoming increasingly reliant on ‘campaign style’ forms of political lobbying to achieve community influence as well as traction among government decision-makers. The subject explores the theory and research behind these changes, in particular why certain interest groups and sectors are able to position themselves for public policy success compared to others. The subject gives specific attention to ways to develop and advance public policy through a prism of ‘campaign-style’ political communications and lobbying. These techniques include how to develop public policy narratives that align with the interests of policy and political decision-makers; how to use evidence-based research to build a case for change; forming third-party coalitions to build broad-based support, as well as the use of strategic media to project the benefits of public policy change. The subject’s specific focus is on public policy lobbying campaigns that have occurred or are occurring within the Australian political and public policy environment but its themes and approaches are equally applicable to other contemporary political systems.
Intended learning outcomes
Students who successfully complete this subject should be able to:
- Understand the theory and development of public policy lobbying in politics and processes of public policy making and public sector management with a nuanced appreciation of the expectations and roles of key actors and institutions in sub-national, national, regional and international contexts;
- Assess the effectiveness of public policy lobbying campaigns through objective measurement and analysis;
- Clearly and persuasively communicate to diverse audiences with an understanding of the components of public policy lobbying and communication that effectively promote specific policy initiatives and objectives;
- Design and critique comprehensive lobbying strategy directed at key audiences in timely and effective manner;
Students who successfully complete this subject should have:
- in-depth knowledge of the disciplines of political science and policy and administration, and the ability to examine governance, policy and public sector reform issues from other disciplinary perspectives.
- critical and strong reasoning skills, and creativity in applying theory and research methods to complex practical problems across diverse contexts.
- effective oral and written communication skills.
- an advanced appreciation of the Asian and Pacific regions, including Indigenous knowledge, cultures and values and sustainable futures.
- autonomy, self-motivation, self-direction and outstanding organisational skills to set goals and manage time and priorities.
- skills in self-assessment, self-awareness, reflective and lifelong learning, with an overriding commitment to personal and professional integrity.
Last updated: 5 July 2021