Theses Doctoral

Policy Sciences, Social Work, and the Analysis of Social Policy

Hart, Aileen Florita

This dissertation addresses two issues. One is the means by which particular policy science concepts and technologies inform social workers functioning as analysts of social policy. The second is the caveat of social work regarding the analysis and development of social policy.

Because, among social scientists, economists, systems analysts, political scientists, and policy scientists most frequently contribute to the development and analysis of social policy, their disciplines have been chosen for study. The concepts and perspectives unique to each have been described with regard to how they are applied to the development
of social policy.

The first element of the study design is the introduction of the concepts, techniques and perspectives of economics, systems analysis, political science, and the policy sciences as they are pertinent to the development of social policy. Policy analyses are presented illustratively in order
to stress discipline-based differences in methodological and/or conceptual foci. Distinctive underlying decision-rules by which policy choices are made by different analysts are described.

The study is also designed to explore means by which the knowledge and skill base of the policy sciences can be useful to a social worker in the role of policy analyst. Concepts, techniques and underlying decision rules are presented as they can be "borrowed" by social workers who analyze policy.

Finally, an interpretation of the role of the social worker as policy analyst is presented. The strengths and limitations of each macroscience are
recapitulated. The synthesizing of concepts and methods of inquiry that are relevant to the analysis and development of social policy is elucidated.


More About This Work

Academic Units
Social Work
Thesis Advisors
Kahn, Alfred J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 4, 2015