policy brief analyzing responses to a social justice dilemma

Social Justice 2019 -20 Assignment 1 (Policy Brief) – Guidelines __________________________________________________________________________
Policy Brief – Guidance
Task: written policy brief analysing responses to a social justice dilemma
Length: 2,500 words
Weighting: 50%
Deadline: 24.02.20  (on moodle by midnight) __________________________________________________________________________

  1. Style – your policy brief should be written in clear English. You do not need to use a style that is overly academic – make sure that any reasonably well-informed person would understand what you think the issue is, what the possible policy solutions are and what you think is the best solution. You are welcome to use bullets and numbering, but you must write in good English prose – that is, in full sentences. You are encouraged to refer to some of the theories of justice that we have discussed in class, but you do not have to refer to them all and the focus of your policy brief should not be mostly on the theory. Make sure that any reference you make to theory would be understandable to someone who is not familiar with the theories and make sure that whatever you write about theory clearly supports you in advocating the policy solution that you advocate.
  2. Structure – you are free to decide what will be the exact structure of your policy brief. However, the basic structure of your presentation should resemble
  3. a) Statement of Social/Public Policy Problem – outline a problem in social or public policy. The problem can be from Sandel, can concern something of importance in your community or can be taken from the news or current affairs.
  4. b) Description of Social/Public Policy Problem – describe the problem using evidence. Make clear why the problem is a problem of social justice and set out clearly what problems of justice exist in this area.
  5. c) Possible Policy Solutions – propose a number (up to three) policy solutions to this problem. We would ideally like you to consider more than one possible policy solution to the problem that you have identified. The solutions may be your own or may be those advocated by some political party or interest group. Make sure that you set out in detail how the policy solutions would work and how it would address the issues of justice you have identified in (b).
  6. d) Advantages and Disadvantages of the Policy Solutions – set out clearly both the pros and the cons of your proposed policy solutions.
  7. e) Preferred Solution – state what you think the best policy solution is to the problem and make clear – in terms of the evidence you have cited – why it is the best.
  8. f) References (essential) – it is essential that you consult a range of sources in writing your policy brief. These sources can be books, journal articles, newspaper or magazine articles, respectable websites, etc. It is essential that you use a referencing system, preferably the Harvard system, and that you provide a full list of references at the end of your policy brief containing all the important information regarding the sources that you cite.
  9. g) Further guidance – for further guidance regarding referencing and bibliography see: http://www.bbk.ac.uk/mybirkbeck/services/facilities/support/bibliography
  10. h) Examples – you can find a number of examples of policy briefs online. You are welcome to look at these examples for guidance and ideas, but please be aware that this module has its own requirements and it will not do if you simply copy these ideas (or even if stick to them too closely). Additional good examples can be found here (on Stanford University’s website): http://www.stanford.edu/class/siw198q/modelppr/amber1.htm and http://www.stanford.edu/class/siw198q/modelppr/amber2.htm

(Note: for the purpose of this assignment, it is not necessary to write your policy brief as a memo. It is probably also worth noticing that the Stanford examples are written in bullet-style and can be hard to understand – we suggest you adopt a more flowing style). A good ‘how to’ guide on writing a policy brief can be found here (on the website of International Policy Fellowships) https://www.icpolicyadvocacy.org/sites/icpa/files/downloads/icpa_policy_briefs_essential_guide.pdf