Disaster, Learning, and the Possibility of Change

Answer the following questions after you complete chapter 5, “Disaster, Learning, and the Possibility of Change”.  Then respond to two classmate’s posts once I submit this discussion post. Will have 12 hours to respond to classmates.

What is the major lesson that Birkland imparts about policy learning and policy (re)formation? Does policy learning always occur?


Thank you, here’s my classmate’s post. I have until 11pm pacific time today to respond.Maria Merino MartinezYesterdayNov 7 at 10:38pmManage Discussion EntryAs straightforward as it seems for policy learning and policy reformation to occur, it is more complex than expected. The federal government is held responsible for setting policies and it takes more events and time to actually make change. As of now the relief programs have been the strategic move for politicians when an emergency strikes the country. Disasters are seen as focusing events and the goal of many is to look for strategies to promote problem solving solutions. Policy reformation can occur as a result of the attention gathered from disasters from news outlets. The public would expect politicians to act accordingly to the disaster. However, politicians need to be strategic in following existing conditions as well as have the least opposition from colleagues. Policy learning does not always occur because of constraints from colleagues, upper ranks, budget and other entities in politics to create effective policies. Edith PerezYesterdayNov 7 at 10:36pmManage Discussion EntryA major lesson that Birkland imparts about policy learning and policy (re)formation is that focusing events can open the window of opportunity for policy change. Policy change is more likely to occur when focusing events attract attention/concern from huge amounts of people, including elites, which leads a window of opportunity for policy change. When an event such as a hurricane or earthquake occur, masses of people grow concern and due to the majority of the populations concerns about safety, the policy change window opens up. Even so, policy learning does not always occur after a focusing event. Birkland gives the example of storms/hurricanes in Florida. Florida has had a number amounts of storms/hurricanes that have raised concern, yet Florida has yet to make changes to its building standards. Focusing events as huge as natural disasters open a window of opportunity for policy change, yet policy learning does not always occur and eventually the policy window closes.

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