The McClure Center is developing an ever-growing list of public policy resources to provide information about how public policy works, ways to become involved and current happenings in Idaho, the nation and world. This is a work in progress that we will expand over time. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about a public policy topic not yet covered here.
What is public policy?
"The field of public policy focuses on the various strategies and actions that governments adopt to achieve broadly accepted goals. The public policy process often is conceptualized as a cycle of activities that include problem definition, agenda setting, enactment, implementation and evaluation. Public policy integrates perspectives and methods from political science, law, history, economics and related disciplines to foster a comprehensive understanding of policy development as well as outcomes. Importantly, public policy analysis supports informed, evidence-based decision making regarding public policy alternatives."
-- Northeastern University's Department of Political Science
How does public policy differ from politics?
The following resources provide an overview of the difference between public policy and politics:
- Politics and policy (Former Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell; 2020 Borah Symposium Keynote)
- Political science and public policy (Cambridge University Press)
- Politics and policy analysis (Political Science Quarterly)
How do I get involved?
Learn how to run for office, write an effective letter to the editor, contact your elected officials or register to vote. Another way to get involved is to participate in science and technology policy fellowship programs.
How to Run for Office
- Empowered to Run: Free online training, anytime, anywhere. Learn how to run for office effectively and govern successfully.
- Idaho Women in Leadership (I-WIL): A bipartisan nonprofit organization that advances Idaho women's leadership in government and business through its leadership training programs, some of which are tailored for college students.
- Preparing Women to Lead (PLEN): PLEN’s mission is to increase the number of women in top leadership positions influencing all aspects of the public policy process. Focus on appointed, elected and corporate opportunities.
- She Should Run: National organization that expands the number of women running for public office. Offers a variety of training opportunities and lectures open to all.
How to Write an Effective Letter to the Editor
- Step-by-step process: From the University of Kansas Community Toolbox.
- Overview: From the National Council of Teachers of English.
How to Contact Your Elected Officials
- Idaho Federal Delegation
- Idaho Votes: Official voting information.
Science & Technology Policy Fellowship Programs
- Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program: Administered by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, this fellowship provides early career individuals the opportunity for an immersive understanding of federal level policy topics. Now it its 20th year.
- American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowship: The AAAS runs this comprehensive fellowship, which provides placement for scientists and engineers at any point in their career in all three branches of government. Now in its 45th year, this program supports outstanding scientists and engineers as they learn firsthand about federal policymaking while using their knowledge and analytical skills to address today’s most pressing societal challenges.
What is happening in Idaho, the nation and the world?
View conversations on major public policy topics.
- Legislative Breakdown Podcast: In this weekly podcast, National Public Radio summarizes the happenings in the Idaho State Legislature. They dig into what's happening, drill down into the why and find out how it affects you.
- Idaho Statesman: State and local politics, as well as public policy, is covered here, in Idaho’s largest newspaper.
- The Idaho Press Tribune Blog: Journalist Betsy Russell captures happenings in the Idaho State Legislature.
- Idaho Reports: A weekly program on Idaho Public Television.
- U.S. Congress: The Congressional Record captures proceedings and debates of the United States Congress, first published in 1873. This is the official record of the U.S. Congress, published by the U.S. Government Publishing Office and issued when Congress is in session. New content is available daily.
- Executive Branch: The White House provides information on major policy priorities.
- Supreme Court: The opinions written by justices are later compiled into United States Reports, the Court’s official publication.
- The U.S. Congress Needs Advice about Science and Technology: Reviews mechanisms for science and technology input to Congress, pros and cons of each and gaps.
- U.S. Department of State: Major policy topics at the national-international intersection.
- United Nations: Each major agency or division within the United Nations conducts policy analysis:
- Conference on Trade and Development
- Department of Economic and Social Affairs
- Development Programme
- Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
- Environment Programme
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- Human Rights Commission
- Industrial Development Organization
- International Atomic Energy Agency
- International Civil Aviation Organization
- International Fund for Agricultural Development
- International Labour Organization
- International Maritime Organization
- International Monetary Fund
- International Telecommunications Union
- Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States
- Office on Drugs and Crime
- Universal Postal Union
- World Bank Group
- World Food Programme
- World Health Organization
- World Intellectual Property Organization
- World Meteorological Organization
- World Tourism Organization