Choose the ANZOG case study about the Western Australia Shark
Problem Definition Exercise
Political, Governance and Legal Environment – Assessment No 1.
This problem definition exercise requires you to adapt the case study learning to show you have an understanding and awareness of the importance of problem definition as well as the difficulties frequently experienced as governments attempt to define what a problem is from their perspective and then find possible solutions to a problem.
Which policy problem?
Students are welcome to choose their own case study. Choose an issue that interests you and that
you think will enable you to engage with the idea of problem definition. If you are unsure about the case you have chosen, please send me an email. I would recommend starting with:
• The ANZOG Case Library – https://www.anzsog.edu.au/resource-library/case-
• The Analysis & Policy Observatory Collections – https://apo.org.au/collections If you would prefer to choose a set case study:
• You may choose the ANZOG case study about the Western Australia Shark
Cull, and the government’s response to increasing numbers of shark bites. You can use that
case alone, or if you want to, base your answer on the Queensland government’s policy response to
similar problems. Here are some case materials to get you started:
o Off the Hook: Western Australia’s shark cull (A)
o Off the Hook: Western Australia’s shark cull (B)
o C. Neff 2012 ‘Australian Beach Safety and the Politics of Shark Attacks’
While governments and their advisers spend a lot of time on the problems, they decide to focus on
unintended consequences may overwhelm benefits. This might result in consequences of other
groups in society or may in fact result in political consequences for the government that were not
This exercise calls on you to consider:
1) What is the problem being described?
2) How do we know it’s a problem?
3) What is its nature, causes and consequences and for whom?
4) What, if anything can be done about the problem?
5) Who should do it?
In your response you should show an awareness of any contrasting viewpoints and provide an analysis of the nature of the problem. Remember to incorporate some of the readings from the course and the literature on public policy. For example, you could begin by raising where problem definition fits in the policy cycle and the difficulties around it, and/or why
governments choose certain things and not others. Though however you decide to structure your argument, remember to
consider the political, economic, social and any other factors you think are relevant. Logical structure
that takes the marker through the problem and your analysis so that it’s easily understood is key.
So, in other words: you are formulating your own analysis and definition of the policy problem by
drawing on the theories and techniques outlined in the course and in the readings.
Before writing your assessment, please consult the rubric to ensure you address the
Please make sure you reference appropriately (Harvard or APA
Minimum of 8 references and maximum 10 are required
Utilises current, appropriate and credible sources which strongly support
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