Adviser to Electoral Commission in Britain

| March 22, 2014

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You are an adviser to the Electoral Commission in Britain. The Commission is concerned by low rates of turnout at recent elections. Drawing on the comparative literature on electoral participation, set out the factors that have been found to contribute to turnout, and identify what ? if any ? measures might be recommended to the Commission to stimulate turnout. (The Commission can recommend measures to other actors; it does not necessarily need to take the actions itself.)
NB; you may substitute the Electoral Commission for an equivalent actor/agency in another country.
Guidelines on writing.
How does a policy report differ from the usual essay? Both engage directly with the literature on the particular topic. However, while an essay merely provides a substantive response to the question, a policy report goes beyond this to identify some practical steps that a policy actor might take in response to the specified problem. So a policy report must contain the following elements:
(a) Review of the secondary literature on the causes of a particular issue or problem
(b) Based on direct evidence within the secondary literature (if policy solutions are addressed) and/or on extrapolation from the causes of an issue identified within that literature, a review of the potential actions available to policy makers to address the issue, along with a recommendation on which action(s) would be most appropriate.
Note that this is not a piece of policy analysis as such; students shouldn?t worry too much about the particular policy actors or the role they play. Of more relevance is the ability of students to identify ? based on the secondary literature ? the general factors that might affect a particular form of social behaviour and, based on that, the kind of policy responses that might be appropriate.
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