Category Archives: Political science homework help

FEDERALISM RESEARCH PAPER

Question

FEDERALISM RESEARCH PAPER OR PRESENTATION INSTRUCTIONS
After carefully reading this module/week’s assigned materials related to federalism and the effects of federal agencies on public spending and budgeting, you will conduct your own research on federalism and draft a research paper analyzing the potential implications of federalism on the policies and politics of public budgeting. You are required to choose between producing a PowerPoint or video presentation or writing a research paper analyzing the concept of federalism as it applies to the politics and policy of public budgeting. Specifically, you will need to provide a nuanced analysis and explanation of

1) the role and/or impact of federalism in maintaining constitutionally limited federal government,

2) the potential impact of federalism on federal level public budgeting;

3) the impacts of federal agency spending on public budgeting; and

4) a Judeo-Christian analysis of the concepts of federalism in public budgeting.

Option 1: Research Paper

Write a research paper analyzing and evaluating the legal systems of the US, Israel, and a Middle East country of your choice as described above.

Sample paper

Federalism

Different countries have different forms of government largely based on the type of constitution of the country. Federalism in the world today comprises of two forms of government where the central or the federal government in a country shares the power and authority with state and regional governments. In simple terms, federalism can be defined as that form of government where there is division of power and authority. Notably, there is a great difference between a federal government and confederation which the general level of government is subordinate to the regional governments in a country. Research shows that there is a close relationship between federal government and a limited government. A limited government is that form of government whose powers and authority are controlled and restricted by the constitution of the country. However, even though the powers of a limited government are based on the constitution of a country, it is worth noting that some people argue and believe that these types of governments are not limited enough as they sometimes violate the constitution (Srithongrung, 2017). Notably, a limited government cannot intervene and control the lives of the people in a country without violating the provisions of the constitution. A good example of a limited government in the world today is the united states of America.  According to history, the independence constitution of the united states, which was made back in the days was meant to control and limit the powers of the government to eliminate or reduce the likelihood of anarchy or misuse of power in the country. This assignment will attempt to identify and describe the impact and influence of federalism on a limited government.

Public budgeting is one of the many functions of the government as it attempts to improve the lives of the people in the nation through the provision of goods and services that are important to their lives. Therefore, the government has a responsibility of matching the revenues of the company to its expenses which in turn ensures that they prioritize the need for the people. However, the powers of the government to provide such services and products to the public entirely depend on the constitution of a country. This means that federalism of any country significantly affects the lives of the people both politically and economically (Lynch et al., 2009). There are different ways to which the powers of a government can be limited that include the bill of rights as well as federalism.  The division of power between the central and regional governments ensures that each party in the federation is restricted in its exercise of power by the existence of other units.  Research shows that the main exploitive power is the government. Therefore, the division of power and authority in a country ensures that those in powerful positions do not operate exploitatively and unfairly, but rather puts the needs and desires of all people in the country into consideration. Notably, the constitution of the country lays down the permissible field of power and a government. However, the same constitution lays a clear plan of what those in power can and cannot do through restrictions on the exercise of power in the country. The American constitution, which is widely regarded as one of the most democratic constitutions in the globe today, as well as amendments incorporating fundamental, provides such provisions and restrictions to ensure that the federal government of the country does not misuse its powers and authority to suit personal endeavors and interests. However, in the recent years, the American constitutions, as well as fundamental amendments incorporating the bill of rights, have come under criticism from different people and organizations because of the way the judiciary of the country interprets the amendments and the constitution (Smith, 2014). According to the opposing camp, the constitution, particularly the bill of rights contained substantial brakes on the power and authority of the government and the Congress, which have been devalued by the judiciary in its new interpretation of the constitution. As significantly mentioned in the first amendment and throughout the bill of rights, the United States government is banned from directly influencing particular areas of the lives of the people such as religion, speech, and freedom of association and expression.

Government expenditure has been one of the major sources of public goods and services in most countries. Government spending comprises of all government consumptions, investment, and transfer payments. According to economist all government acquisitions in the form of products and services for current use, to directly satisfy the individual and collective needs of the community is always classified as government spending (In Rubin, 2015). However, the government and those in power cannot be left on their own to decide a number of funds that the government can spend on the provision of goods and services to the nation. Therefore, all government spending must be included in the national budget, which in turn helps to distribute the scarce resources to achieve the goals and aims of an organization or a country. Public budgeting is often characterized by its approaches, function, formation and the type of budget adopted by the government. Notably, the constitution of the country through fiscal policies helps to limit and control government expenditure.  The primary emphasis on the rule-based fiscal rules in the country at the state level is meant to attain debt sustainability through the numerical ceiling on borrowing and the use of borrowed resources for public spending. Research shows that one of the primary functions of the united states congress is to prevent the executive arm of the government from taking over the control of all the country’s legislative activities, rules, and regulations Musick & United States, 2010). Therefore, the Congress has to ensure that all the government spending is within the stipulated system by the constitution for public spending directly affects the lives of ordinary Americans. Therefore, the congress posses the sole power and authority to draft and pass budget policies thus leaving the president with the power to signing the said laws.  Through this division of power and authority in the country, the constitution ensures that no one single individual can sway the direction in which the country is governed and ruled. Thus, it is correct to state that the Congress often acts as the oversight of all government spending considering that they must approve each government budget and expenditure to ensure that those in power stay in line. Additionally, the Congress helps to hold both state and federal governments accountable for all their spending by ensuring that they account for every single cent allocated to them Smith, 2014).

To assist in ensuring that they meet the needs and demands of all citizens in the country, the United States government often appoints agencies in various fields to provide the much-needed services to the people. Government agencies largely comprise of state-appointed commissions that are permanent or semi-permanent organizations that must oversee and control the operations and particular functions, for example, the intelligence agency. Notably, there are different types of agencies in the country that have different functions that help in improving the lives of the people in the country (WetFeet (Firm), 2008). Research shows that the United States expenditure consists of a number expenditure that includes fundamental expenditure such as Medicare and social security programs. Therefore, it is evident that federal agencies in the country can increase government expenditure considering that employees of these agencies and commissions have to be paid. However, their benefits to the society and the government, in general, cannot be compared to the cost incurred in sustaining these agencies. For example, the largest percentage of the United States public expenditure goes to health care and military.  With the military, which can be described as one of the largest government agencies, it provides security and intelligence that helps to keep people living and working in the United States safe from external attacks. On the other side, the Medicare programs in the country help in improving the health standards of the people in the country if not maintaining the standard requirements. Therefore, government agencies assist in ensuring that there are transparency and accountability in all government spending as well as ensuring that all the needs and demands of the common citizen are meant. Without these agencies, products and services provided through public spending may not reach the people in the villages and on the ground (Srithongrung, 2017).

Judeo-Christian is one of the major concepts in the world today that rules and influences most of the decisions and beliefs of the people particularly the Christians.  According to research Judeo-Christian reforms and replaces the traditional Judaism as it seeks to move away from the traditional beliefs of the Jews.  According to this worldview, all Christians should create budgets to allocate resources in their order of priority and needs to ensure that they meet their needs and improves the lives of the people.  According to this perspective, the piece of timeless, practical wisdom, planning and preparation are significant to the achievement of individual and organizational goals and objectives (Wimbush, 2008). According to them, plans, particularly financial planning are essential to the human life considering that it helps to allocate the scarce resource to serve the needs of the people as well as serving God through tithes and offerings. Jesus stressed on creating a plan to ensure that people complete what is expected of them on time and within the designated budget.

From the above-detailed study, it is evident that public spending and budgeting is one of the common practices in human life.  Notably, through the sharing of power and authority between the state and federal government as well as between the three arms of government, the American Constitution helps to limit and control public budgeting and maintains constitutionally limited government.  The Congress is known to control all government budgets as well as holding those in power responsible and accountable for public spending.  Moreover, Judeo-Christian believes that through planning and budgeting both individual and organizations or countries for that matter stand a better chance of achieving their goals on time and within the budget.  Therefore, public budgeting is important to the lives of ordinary citizens.

References

In Rubin, I. (2015). Public budgeting: Policy, process, and politics.

Lynch, E., Brink, L., Flores, C., Mittelstet, S. K., Dowe, D., Dallas County Community College District, & KERA Dallas/Ft. Worth (Television station). (2009). Federalism. Dallas: Dallas County Community College District.

Musick, N., & United States. (2010). Public spending on transportation and water infrastructure. Washington, D.C.: Congress of the U.S., Congressional Budget Office.

Smith, J. (2014). Federalism. Vancouver: UBC Press.

Srithongrung, A. (2017). Capital Budgeting and Management Practices: Smoothing Out Rough Spots in Government Outlays. Public Budgeting & Finance. doi:10.1111/pbaf.12167

WetFeet (Firm). (2008). Careers in nonprofit and government agencies. San Francisco, CA: WetFeet, Inc.

Wimbush, V. L. (2008). Theorizing Scriptures: New Critical Orientations to a Cultural Phenomenon. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Related:

Limited Government and Balanced Budget

Limited Government and Balanced Budget

Question

All public budget policies and ideas ultimately arise from presumptive and foundational ideas related to the proper role and limits of government. After carefully reading this module/week’s reading assignments, you will conduct your own research and write a concise but thorough research paper examining the Constitutional limits on the federal government and the rationale employed by proponents of a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution.For this assignment you should

1) fully explain what is meant by “constitutionally limited government,”

2) provide an analysis of the general limits on government that should influence government spending/budgeting,

3) explain the relationship between constitutionally limited government and the rationale employed by proponents of a balanced budget amendment to the United States Constitution and

4) evaluate these issues in light of a Judeo-Christian worldview.

Sample paper

Limited Government and Balanced Budget

Budgeting and the creation of a financial plan are important to any organization considering that it gives the organization as well as the individual employees the sense of direction that is needed to succeed in the current volatile business. A financial budget gives an opportunity for an organization or a government to design and implement a financial plan based on their income and expenses. The budget often consists of the total funds allocated for a particular purpose and the summary of intended expenses along with proposals for how to meet them. The budgeting process comprises of all activities and actions undertaken by an organization or a government as they attempt to build a budget. A good budgeting process ensures that those responsible for adhering to it as well as implementing it are involved in every step to ensure that they understand what is expected of them (Haulman, 2016). This assignment will attempt to provide further research and information regarding limited government and balanced budget amendment.

Research shows that most Organization For Economic Cooperation And Development (OECD) nations are currently running substantial budget deficits as they attempt to move away from the effects of global recession. Therefore, the government of such countries directly influences the lives of the people by influencing their economic activities. In a limited government,  the powers and authority of the government to influence the lives and activities of the general public are limited by constitutional law, unlike the unlimited government. One of the notable countries that use limited government in the world today is the United States of America. Research shows that the united states constitution outlines a limited federal government.  The nation’s government is based on federalism with separation of powers and authority between the central government and the state governments (Wenzel, 2014).  Therefore, the United States government has only those powers that the people have specifically authorized and cannot go beyond those rules. Historians and politicians believe that limited government is ideologically opposite of the doctrines of absolutism and the divine rights of kings, which offers a single individual in a country unlimited sovereignty over the common citizens in the country.    Further research shows that the history of limited government started way back during the era of English Magna Carta back in 1512. Unlike those ancient times where the powers and authority of the king protected a few people, the current form of limited governments is based on the constitution of the country that helps limit the chances of anarchy and misuse of power in a country. The articles of confederation designed and implemented back in 1781 led to the introduction of a limited government. Unfortunately, the fact that these articles did not provide a way through which the united states government could raise money to finance its war, it led the country in financial chaos (Kruger, 2012).

Public expenditure is one of the important concepts of any government considering it influences the amount of money needed by the government to provide the much-needed products and services to its citizens. Public expenditure largely comprises of the value of products and services bought by a government and its articulations. Research shows that through public expenditure, the government has an opportunity of contributing to the current effective demand in a country, express a coordinated impulse on the economy as well as increasing public endowment of products for every citizen (Nishimura, Nourry, Seegmuller, & Venditti, 2013). However, in most governments and nations, particularly in cases where there is a limited government, the government budgeting and spending are often influenced by the constitution. The notion of limited government is one that was introduced by classic political liberalism and free market liberalism. Irrespective of the fact that politicians and economists differ on the determinants of a limited government, one thing is clear in that a limited government should protect the people by ensuring that they levy enough taxes to finance services related to these purposes.  Research shows that the political will of a limited government is one of the major determinants of the government budgeting. The priorities of a government, their desired state model as well as their interpretation of their powers and authority as well as current economic status influences their taxation policies. Notably, most of the government spending is financed by taxes levied on people and business. Therefore, the political will of the limited government influences the taxes on the people, which in turn influences budgeting and spending. Another major factor that substantially influences the spending of a limited government is the anti-cyclical broad control of the public expenditure. In such cases, the government employs automatic stabilizers and supporting schemes for unemployment to help improve the gross domestic product of a country which in turn calls for more spending (Stone, 2015). Finally, the state revenues are known to affect the level of spending in a country substantially. In cases where a country experiences unbalanced budget where there are higher or surplus revenues, the limited government is forced to spend more. However, in the case of the public deficit, fall in tax revenue or even recession, the government may be forced to cut its spending.

A balanced budget amendment is a constitutional requirement requiring that countries spend only what they can generate. Therefore, in the case of a limited government, the government cannot spend more than their income as the constitution prohibits the government from spending more than it can generate. In the current system in the united states, a balanced budget is one of the constitutional requirements, although it makes exceptions in the times of war, national emergency or recession. Notably, the constitution gives the Congress the power to suspend this clause in the constitution through supermajority rule.  For example, in the united states, all states have some form of the balanced budget except Vermont. However, the provisions of the constitution that govern the balanced budget of a country differs from nation to another or from, one state to another given the fact that different nations and states have a different level of income and expenditure. Therefore, the provisions of a constitution are the major determinants of government spending in most countries that have limited governments (Stone, 2015).

The concept of Judeo-Christian traditions are based on the Christian theory of suppression where the covenant between the Christians and God supersedes the Jewish one. According to judo-Christianism, Christians should respect those in power and authority, considering that public policies they design and implement are part of God’s image of the world.  As a result, those in power should respect the set principles and laws while the common citizens should respect and follow those in power (Harvey, n.d.,).

From the above discussion, it is easy to point out that limited government plays an important role in the creation and implementation of a balanced budget. However, the constitution of the country should be clear on how to handle different events and circumstances owing to the volatile and changing times.

References

Harvey, W. Z. (n.d.). 11. The Judeo-Christian Tradition’s Five Others. Is there a Judeo-Christian Tradition?. doi:10.1515/9783110416596-012

Haulman, C. A. (2016). Virginia and the panic of 1819: The first Great Depression and the Commonwealth. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.

Kruger, S. (2012). Governmental Fiscal Prudence, Writ Constitutionally. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/ssrn.1452062

Nishimura, K., Nourry, C., Seegmuller, T., & Venditti, A. (2013). Destabilizing balanced-budget consumption taxes in multi-sector economies. International Journal of Economic Theory, 9(1), 113-130. doi:10.1111/j.1742-7363.2013.12008.x

Stone, J. A. (2015). DO BALANCED-BUDGET RULES INCREASE GROWTH? Bulletin of Economic Research, 68(1), 79-89. doi:10.1111/boer.12038

Wenzel, N. G. (2014). Lessons from Constitutional Culture and the History of Constitutional Transfer: A Hope for Constitutionally Limited Government? International Advances in Economic Research, 20(2), 213-226. doi:10.1007/s11294-014-9462-3

Policy Change

Question

 Consider one or more major policy challenges, such as reforming health care, reforming the major federal entitlement programs (Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid), redesigning the tax code, or developing a national energy or climate change policy.

What do you think are the major advantages or disadvantages of incremental policy change? Similarly, what do you think are the major advantages or disadvantages or perusing policy change the is more far-reaching or radical, whether the ideas are endorsed by the right or left side of the political spectrum?

Answer

Policy Change

Policy change is the process of modifying the goals of a particular policy and the means of achieving the goals. In changing a policy, the administrators evaluate a number of options, including whether to use a different approach altogether or whether to increase the scope of the current policy approach. Policymaking is a complex process. Similarly, there are various complexities involved in policy change. A common approach in policy change is incremental policy change. Incremental policy change involves making small and incremental changes to exist policy programs or approaches. This paper examines the benefits and drawbacks of incremental policy change.

Advantages of Incremental Policy Change

Various advantages arise through implementation of policy change in small incremental steps. One of the advantages is that this approach gives stakeholders time to internalize the changes, leading to reduced resistance to change (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). Stakeholders are more likely to oppose a major change or feel frustrated. It is possible to avoid facing resistance from stakeholders by making small changes to the existing policy. For instance, while developing a national energy or climate policy, the government can make small adjustments over a period. This would allow stakeholders time to make the necessary changes. Closely related to the above is the advantage of passive the legislative process. Incremental policy change ensures that less political tension (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). This promotes the chances of new policy proposal passing the legislative stages. If there is a lot of political tension, the policy proposal may not pass the legislative stages due to disagreements. Thus, incremental policy change ensures that there is agreement among major stakeholders and the possibility of passing the legislative stages.

Another advantage of incremental policy change is that it offers predictability to the major stakeholders (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). Policy changes tend to have different impacts on business organizations. While some business organizations may enjoy benefits from policy changes, others may experience negative consequences. Business organizations prefer operating in predictable environments (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). Incremental policy changes offers predictability to business organizations. This is because it offers the business organizations an opportunity to reorganize operations to meet the policy change requirements. Abrupt policy changes create uncertainties in the business environment. Such an environment can lead to business failure.

Related: Public Policy

Proponents of incremental policy change assert that this approach guarantees success of the policy implementation. There is less likelihood of failure when small changes occur to the existing approach (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). In addition, incremental policy changes provide an opportunity to administrators to reverse a policy if it has significant and unintended negative consequences. By implementing small changes at a time, the administrators can easily observe the adverse consequences and make appropriate decisions on whether to continue with the policy change process. Another benefit is that incremental policy changes are less costly in the short run (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). This is because the realization of costs occurs in piecemeal basis. In the long run, the costs may add up the same. Nevertheless, incremental policy change enables business organizations to budget for costs in the long run. It is worth noting that business organizations are better suited in adjusting operations to cater to small cost increases rather than adjusting to larger changes.

Disadvantages of Incremental Policy Change that is Radical

Notwithstanding the benefits, incremental policy change has certain disadvantages. One of the key weakness is that it emphasizes on influencing the stakeholders to come to an agreement rather than focusing on clearing the social problem (Seavey, Aytur, & McGrath, 2014). A key element of incremental policy change is that it focuses more on the stakeholders reaching a compromise to adopt new approaches, rather than focusing on how to solve the actual problem. Another disadvantage is that incremental policy change may fail to bring about the intended results. This may occur when the social problem spreads rapidly, but on the other hand, the incremental policy changes only realize a small effect on the social problem. This may lead to a widening gap between the intended goals and the actual results. A disadvantage closely linked to this is that incremental policy change leads to perpetuation of the status quo. In other words, those who disadvantaged by the current policy continue to suffer as the changes made are small and with a lesser impact.

Related: The Americans with Disability Act of 1990

Advantages of Pursuing Policy Change that is More Radical

One of the advantages of policy change that is more far-reaching is that it generates and sustains a lot of interest among various stakeholders. These stakeholders are responsible for policy development from the initial stages to the latter stages. In line with this, a policy change that is more far-reaching attracts a lot of attention meaning that there is thorough scrutiny before passing into law. This ensures that all issues or concerns arising from the implementation of the new policy are addressed. When developing a policy that is more far-reaching, there are higher chances that the public is involved in the development process. This ensures that the policy development process is fair and serves the interest of the larger public. For instance, the public may participate though a referendum process. Public involvement may also involve interactions through the internet, where the public provides opinion about various issues.

Another advantage of policy change that is more radical is that there is high awareness of the possible benefits and drawbacks of the policy change. The public is more informed about what to expect with the new policy change. There could also be formal and informal discussions on the topic. This leads to a better understanding of the social problem and the best ways of solving the problem.

Disadvantages of Pursuing Policy Change that is More Radical

A major disadvantage of pursuing policy change that is more radical is political influence. A policy change that is more radical attracts political commentary, which is often biased (Kraft & Furlong, 2013). Politicians may provide misleading information to the public for political mileage. This means there is no objectivity when deciding on the appropriateness of the public policy that is radical. The public’s opinion is largely subject to political commentary and manipulation. As such, there is a high risk of making a wrong decision due to political influence. Another disadvantage is the influence of large business organizations in making such policy decisions. Large business organizations may come together to influence voters for their own interests. For instance, they may spend resources to sway the voter’s opinion for their own interests. This is likely to arise when developing a national energy or climate policy. This happened in California where state oil companies influenced voters to support the ban on the state’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Kraft & Furlong, 2013). Such influences may leading to inappropriate policy decisions.

References

Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2013). Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives. Thousand Oaks, Calif. [u.a.: CQ Press.

Seavey, J. W., Aytur, S. A., & McGrath, R. J. (2014). Health policy analysis: Framework and tools for success. New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Evaluative Criteria in Policy Making

Education Policy Reflection Paper

Education Policy Reflection

Education policy aims at improving the quality of education in various institutions. Over the course of America’s education history, the government has enacted various policies to improve the quality of education. The government has also increased its role in ensuring access and equity to education among all citizens. Access and equity aim at ensuring that those who are disadvantage get equal access to education. The first part of this paper examines the policies that the Federal Government has enacted over time to address quality concerns in the K-12 education system. The second part examines the Engel v. Vitale 370 U.S. 421 case law and its overall impact.

Question 1

The Federal Government has enacted a number of policies to address quality concerns in the K-12 education system. One of the earliest policies is the enactment of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. The major purpose of this law was to enhance equal access to education among students from different socio-economic backgrounds (Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), 2015). The ESEA provides for the development of state-sponsored programs in particular schools or localities. These programs help in catering towards the specific needs of students with various challenges including disability, learning difficulties, English language difficulties, and those from poor backgrounds (VCU, 2015). The act provides for funds to help in purchasing of instructional materials, enhance professional development, promote parental involvement, and in supporting of various educational programs. The act also seeks to improve standards of education and accountability at both the elementary and secondary levels.

In 2002, the Federal Government introduced the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was an update of the ESEA Act of 1965. This act was introduced following the realization that the American education system had waned in international competitiveness. The key role of the act was to ensure that the Federal Government took more interest in encouraging schools to be more responsible for the success of the students. The new act also emphasized on the need for increased collaboration between states and schools to ensure academic progress of particular groups of students including English-language learners, the poor, minority learners, those in special needs education, and the minority. The NCLB law required that states introduce reading and mathematics tests in grades 3 to 8 and even in high school. These tests were for tacking the progress of the students and including the various subgroups of students.

Related: The Americans with Disability Act of 1990

Under the NCLB Act, different states had to set proficiency levels for various groups of students. This system is known as the adequate yearly progress (“Education Week”, 2015). Schools that failed to achieve their goals or proficiency levels for over two consecutive years faced a number of sanctions including offering free tutoring. Another sanction is that the schools could allow learners to transfer to other schools within the same state. Under serious circumstances where a school continued missing targets, the state had the legal mandate to intervene and take over the school (“Education Week”, 2015). In case the state took over the school, there were different options available including closing the school, apply a different strategy, or transform the school into a charter institution. Under the NCLB Act, teachers must have the necessary qualifications and certification by the appropriate bodies. The act also ensures that there is fair distribution of teachers in different schools basing on their qualifications.

The National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) is a national assessment program for students across the nation. This is the most recent program that aims to address the quality concerns in the K-12 education system. This program aims at evaluating students’ knowledge level in various topic areas. The assessments cover different areas such as reading, arts, writing, mathematics, geography, economics, engineering literacy, and among others (National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), 2017). This program is currently assessing students’ core competence areas including reading, writing, and mathematics, with additional subject areas to be included in 2018 and 2019. The program utilizes similar metrics and assessments across the entire nation. As such, this assessment provides a uniform measure of competency levels in all students across the nation (NCES, 2017). This program enhances the tracking of students’ progress over time. The program is the first of its kind that attempts to track students’ progress across the nation and applying a scientific approach.

The education proposals are increasingly focusing test scores as quality indicators. The No Child Left Behind Act requires that states conduct assessments in grade 3 and 8, and another assessment in secondary levels. The assessments focus mainly on mathematics, science, and language. The three subjects are the key pillars covered by the assessments. In the recent period, various states have begun placing mandatory tests at high school levels before awarding of the high school diploma. Majority of students are in schools conducting high school tests before the diploma certification. These education reforms are meant to ensure that the country’s educational standards are at par with standards in other countries. Most high schools are proposing an increase in required courses to include English, mathematics, and science. Another proposal is to increase the number of students who are conversant in foreign languages that critical to the security of the nation.

Related: Public Policy

Question 2

Kraft and Furlong’s (2015) Policy Process Model consists of six different stages that apply in policymaking. The policy development process is a continuous process, contrary to the view that it is a one-time process. Under the model, the first process in policy development is agenda setting. This stage is the most critical one in the Policy Process Model. The agenda setting stage involves defining the policy problem that various actors should focus on. At this stage, there is identification of the problem facing the citizens. This problem must be serious enough to warrant the involvement of the government. On most occasions, the private sector cannot adequately solve this problem. According to Kraft and Furlong (2015), the problem should be well defined in order to encourage various players to pay attention.

In Engel v. Vitale 370 U.S. 421 (1962), the problem was the reciting of Regents’ prayer by the School District. Some parents felt that the school’s practice of reciting the prayer was not in line with their religious beliefs. In addition, reciting the Regents’ prayer contravened the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, which advocates for religious neutrality of the state and all its arms. Although the state law had authorized the reciting of the Regents’ Prayer, this contravened the constitution, which advocated for religious neutrality. Subsequently, the Supreme Court invalidated this law. Stage 5 of the Policy Process Model involves evaluating the success of the program. The policy did work because it helped in curtailing the established of prayer in public institutions. Although the prayer seems innocuous in that, it does not exclude other religious denominations, failing to curtail this requirement could have provided the leeway for the establishment of other prayers that could encourage religious segregation. As James Madison pointed out, “it is important to take alarm at the first experiment on our liberties” (Findlaw, n.d).

References

Education Week. (2015). No Child Left Behind: An Overview. Retrieved from http://www.edweek.org/ew/section/multimedia/no-child-left-behind-overview-definition- summary.html

Findlaw. (n.d). United States Supreme Court ENGEL v. VITALE, (1962): No. 468. Retrieved from http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/370/421.html

Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2015). Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives. Los Angeles: Sage/CQ Press.

National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES). (2017). NAEP overview. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). (2015). Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. Retrieved from http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/programs/education/elementary-and-secondary- education-act-of-1965/

Evaluative Criteria in Policy Making

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990

The rule of law of the country states that all people are equal before the law of the country. This is the main drive that led to the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. ADA is often considered the first far reaching social liberties law that prioritizes the necessities of the general population with inabilities, precluding any type of segregation, especially in business, open administrations, open convenience and telecommunication. Research shows that the ADA has the most far-reaching influence on the United States workplace since the civil rights act of 1964. Unfortunately, many American citizens remain uncertain about their rights and responsibilities owing to the terms used in the act such as reasonable accommodation (Recupero & Harms, 2013). As a result, most of the Americans are not sure how they should interact effectively and legally with people with disabilities. The primary objective of the act of the act is to set a clear definition of disabilities and protect American citizens working and living in the United States from discrimination by disability. The act attempts to offer a clear mandate prohibiting the segregation of individuals with disabilities, provide standards for enforcing standards defining disability and discrimination and to make sure that the government assistance in enforcing the already established standards. This study will attempt to provide the overview of the law, public trends and faith integration of the law.

Overview of the law

The journey to the formulation and the signing of the ADA did not begin when the act was signed in 1990 neither did it began in 1998 when the first ADA was introduced in the United States Congress. History shows that the journey began decades ago in urban groups and towns in the US when individuals with impairments begun to challenge societal checks that isolated them from their gatherings and social requests, and when parents and guardians of children with disabilities begun to challenge the restriction of their children. Along these lines, there was the establishment of neighborhood social events to advocate for the benefits of people with disabilities all through the United States. Besides, there was the establishment of the free living improvement which tried the notion that individuals living with disabilities required association and moreover combat for and outfitted organizations for people with failures to live in the community (Kraft, 2012). The ADA came as an alleviation to a huge number of individuals who make up the incapacity rights development and the general population who have worked for a considerable length of time arranging and going to dissents and doing what they accept was ideal for the cause they had faith in.

The Americans with Disabilities Act endeavor to give social liberty insurance to people with incapacities like those given to people by race, shading, sex, national origin, age, and religion. Some of the major provisions of this act include:

Related: Reflection Paper

Equal employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities – before the implementation of the law, most of the people living with disabilities were marginalized in their places of work and at times forced to leave their occupation. However, the act is designed to help such individuals get a similar work openings and advantages accessible to individuals without any handicaps. Therefore, employees are required by the law to provide reasonable accommodation to all qualified employees and applicants irrespective of their physical appearance. Notably, this provision characterizes incapacity and builds up rules for the sensible settlement process and addresses restorative examination and request (Stefan, n.d).

Nondiscrimination by inability in state and neighborhood taxpayer supported organizations – the law precludes any kind of separation or isolation against qualified people with incapacities in all projects, exercises, and administrations of open associations. Consequently, this law is connected to all state and government workplaces, their organizations or different instrumentalities and extraordinary purpose regions of the state and central government. The arrangement outlines the regulatory procedures that ought to be trailed by every open association, as well as necessities for self-assessment and getting ready for sensible arrangements.

Despite the fact that the ADA was meant to protect the rights of people living with disabilities, it is correct to say that it has both advantages and disadvantages just like any other concept. One of the primary pros of this act is the fact that it opens doors and opportunities for employment for disabled citizens living and working in the United States. Additionally, the act helps to implement workplace standards and government demands that allow disabled individuals to work and live like any other person would in the workplace. On the other hand, there are those who feel that the implementation and execution of the ADA can be costly and expensive to many organizations. Research shows that that material, apparatuses and structures fitted to address the issues of impaired people can frequently be all the more expensive compared to the standard tools and structures for other people (Heaphy, 2010). However, organizations can be exempted from the implementation of this law but have to prove undue hardship.

Public policy trends

With the changing times and trends in the globe over the last two decades, the Americans with Disabilities Act has been amended severally accommodate these changes. One of the major amendments occurred in 2008, and the new law was intended to clarify the scope of the definition of disability act under the ADA and came into effect on first January 2009. The primary purpose of the new law which was widely referred to as ADAAA was to respond to various Supreme Court decisions that had translated the ADA’s meaning of incapacity. The tight understanding of the Supreme Court left many debilitated people in the dissent of the law’s security for numerous people living with hindrances, for example, malignancy, diabetes and epilepsy who had been casualties of unfavorable activities because of their incapacities.

As a result of this misunderstanding, the lawmakers were forced to make substantial changes to the ADA definition of disability to make sure that at no other point in future disabled individuals will be denied their rights by the law. Under the new law, the term substantially limits shall be constructed in favor of expansive coverage to the extent permitted by the term generously confines should be developed for sweeping scope to the degree allowed by the terms of the ADA and in making an individual appraisal required by the ADA the term might be translated and connected to require a level of useful impediment that is lower than the standard (Heaphy, 2010). This is a clear indication that the new law has clarified all the issues that were present in the original ADA to guarantee better service to the American citizens.

Related: Case: Engaging in Supportive Confrontation

Faith integration

The disability rights movements through their efforts have managed to show the plight and treacheries confronted by people with inabilities to the American public and legislators. Biblically, it is wrong for one human being to mistreat the other based on their shortcomings or disabilities. According to the book of Galatians chapter three and verses 28, the Bible says that there is neither a Jew nor Greek, there is neither a slave nor free, there is no male and female, for all of us, are all one in Christ Jesus. This verse clearly shows that all human beings as part of God’s creation are equal in his eyes irrespective of their race, ethnicity, abilities, disabilities and physical appearance. Therefore, all individuals should be treated equal and should have equal opportunities. Additionally, in the book of Leviticus chapter 19 and verses 14, the Bible says that as human beings we should not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the Lord (Clasby, 2008). In a real sense, the cursing and stumbling blocks to the disabled include all the injustices, discrimination and humiliation they have to go in the society. However, with the implementation of the ADA, people living with disability have a safe place to live in.

From the above research, it is easy to say that there are there are dreadfully many individuals whose dedication and diligent work added to the section of this notable legislation to protect the disabled. However, it is the duty of every member of the society to see to that our family members, our friends and every member of the society is not discriminated because of their disability. The implementation of the law cannot be left in the hands of a few in the society

References

Clasby, N. T. (2008). Core Teachings. God, the Bible, and Human Consciousness, 145-155. doi:10.1057/9780230611986_9

Heaphy, D. G. (2010). Section 504 the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act in Public Health Education. Public Health Perspectives on Disability, 227-253. doi:10.1007/978-1-4419-7341-2_11

Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2012). Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives. Sage.

Recupero, P. R., & Harms, S. E. (2013). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act in Disability Evaluations. Clinical Guide to Mental Disability Evaluations, 259-289. doi:10.1007/978-1-4614-5447-2_10

Stefan, S. (n.d.). Private insurance and the Americans With Disabilities Act. Unequal rights: Discrimination against people with mental disabilities and the Americans With Disabilities Act, 249-306. doi:10.1037/10386-006

Evaluative Criteria in Policy Making

Evaluative Criteria in Policy Making

Evaluative Criteria in Policy Making

Policymaking is a complex process. Various alternatives confront policymakers during the policymaking process. The evaluation criteria ordinarily depend on the combination of various values and facts available for a specific policy. The policymakers may look at the qualities or principles that the community holds as intrinsically valuable while making policy decisions. For instance, policymakers may settle on a particular policy based on its fairness to all individuals. The evaluation criteria outline the specific values that a particular policy should fulfill. Policymakers may rely on single evaluative criteria or opt for more than one depending on the circumstances. This paper examines the applicability of different evaluative criteria including economic costs, efficiency, policy effectiveness, and equity.

As earlier mentioned, policymakers may opt for a particular evaluative criteria depending on the context or circumstances surrounding the policy decision. As such, there is no ‘standard’ evaluation criterion to apply across all situations. Policymakers use a number of evaluative criteria to make justifications for the application of particular policies (Kraft & Furlong, 2012). The first evaluative criterion is efficiency. Efficiency is a measure that looks at the program goals vis-a-vis the costs. The measure aims at establishing whether the program benefits outweigh the costs. Efficiency aims at ensuring that scarce resources are allocated to their best uses. It measures how various inputs such as time, equipment, funds, expertise, and others are utilized.

The second evaluative criterion is policy effectiveness. This criterion examines the extent to which a particular intervention’s objectives are achieved (Kraft & Furlong, 2012). In other words, effectiveness measures the achievement of goals and objectives of the project. Every project or policy aims to achieve specific objectives. Policymakers may opt to scrap a particular policy or project basing on its effectiveness. If the policy is unable to achieve its effectiveness, then there are higher chances it may face elimination. Policymakers may also measure whether there is a possibility of achieving certain goals and objectives through implementation of particular policies in future. If the probability is low, such policies may be dismissed in the earlier stages.

Related: REFLECTION PAPER- THE GROWTH OF US GOVERNMENT

Another important evaluative criterion is equity. Equity refers to fairness or justice of the particular processes or the outcomes of particular decisions (Kraft & Furlong, 2012). Equity ensures that all subgroups share equally the benefits and any costs arising from a particular policy intervention. From Chapter 6, equity has two dimensions in the policymaking process. The first dimension involves ensuring that the decision making process is fair among all participants. The second dimension examines the fairness of the results of the decisions made. Equity is important because it ensures that all policy interventions affect all subgroups or particular populations in a fair way. It ensures that all subgroups experience fair treatment and that none is disadvantaged through enactment of new policy interventions.

Another important criterion is social acceptability. This refers to the extent to which the public supports a particular policy intervention (Kraft & Furlong, 2012). Public support is critical because most of public policy interventions affect the citizens. As such, their opinions or support of the policy is critical. Another important criterion is sustainability. Sustainability refers to the possibility of continuing the policy intervention even after the key development assistance ceases. Financial sustainability is of great significance to any policy intervention. Sustainability is the ability of various stakeholders to maintain the intervention benefits. Other evaluative criteria include impact, relevance, technical feasibility, administrative feasibility, political feasibility, liberty, and among others.

It is true that some criteria are more important for certain kings of policy questions than for others. From Chapter 6, it is clear that policy analysts are interested in identifying whether one alternative is better than another in addressing a particular policy question. Policy analysts prefer using a criterion that is line with a set of given circumstances and that align to a policy area. For instance, policy analysts are more likely to apply efficiency as an evaluation criterion in developing of regulatory policies and evaluation of market-based approaches. Equity as an evaluative criterion would best fit policy questions relating to civil rights, access to education, access to health services, equality in taxation, and disability rights. Social acceptability as an evaluative criterion would best fit enactment of controversial policies that touch on the lives of all citizens, such as crime control measures, right to abort, and among others. It might not make sense to evaluate a controversial policy that touches on the lives of all citizens in a community basing on efficiency. Similarly, it might not make sense to evaluate the decision to apply taxes basing on political feasibility.

To conclude, evaluative criteria in policy making are critical in helping analyze the suitability of a particular policy intervention. There are different evaluative criteria depending on the set of circumstances and the policy area under consideration. Common evaluative criteria include equity, efficiency, policy effectiveness, sustainability, social acceptability, and among others. Policy analysts must weigh the different criteria and settle on the logical criterion.

References

Chapter 6

Kraft, M. E., Furlong, S. R., (2012). 5th Ed. Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism

Public Policy

Public Policy

Question 1

The policy commitments do make the quality of the analysis suspect. The quality of the policy making process vary remarkably. In one instance, the quality may be high while in another, the policy developers can overlook fundamental issues or processes. It is worth noting that analysis occurs in think tanks and interest groups pushing for the specific policy issues. The interest groups and think tanks may fail to conduct a thorough analysis of the issues in the proposed policies. Another critical issue to note is that the purpose and objectivity of policy development could be different from what people expect (Kraft & Furlong, 2015). It is not entirely impossible for the interest groups and think tanks to push or lobby for a particular public policy that promotes their interests or that of particular groups.

It is important to be aware that during policy analysis and development, there could be certain inherent issues that are overlooked. For instance, the interest groups and think tanks may make wide assumptions about a proposed policy. These assumptions could be wrong, thus making the quality of the analysis wrong. There is also the possibility of using wrong methods in evaluating the quality of the proposed policy. Applying the wrong methods could erode the quality of the process and thus making the quality of the analysis suspect. Individuals at different levels of the policymaking process should be alert to ensure that policy development is sound. Engagement in the policy development process and a good understanding of the contemporary issues affecting individuals can help in the development of sound policies.

Question 2

The influence of interest groups and/or think tanks can drive cynicism about the legal and policy process. One way these groups can drive cynicism is through overburdening the policymaking process with numerous push for new policy or with evidence concerning a particular policy (Holman & Luneburg, 2012). Interest groups and think tanks are vulnerable to accountability problems and corruption. As such, it is possible to influence them in one way or another. The power to influence interest groups or think tanks means that organizations can control them to champion for their own interests. This creates a form of distrust towards the interest groups and think tanks. Further, interest groups may be selective in championing for the interests of the public. For instance, they may opt to champion those policies that create high publicity for their own gain.

Leadership of organizations may not participate in the legal and policy process. Instead, the legal and policy process are the preserve of the interest groups and think tanks. The interest groups and think tanks have immense wealth, access to information, political contacts, and well-planned lobbying operations that they can use to their advantage. In addition, it is worth noting that majority of the interest group members play a small or are passive members. Only a few members in the interest groups’ upper hierarchy actively participate in bringing change. Although the leadership may not participate directly, it may still influence the process through providing funds. This is not a bad thing considering that fact that the organization’s image may be affected when the top management engages in some actions.

The Bible asserts that Christians should participate fully in the political process. According to the Scriptures, politics is about making decisions about how resources are shared. As such, it would be risky to leave such a critical task to the nonbelievers who may be led by greed. The Bible calls upon citizenship in the nation. Luke 20:25 says “Then give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ This indicates that politics and servanthood are two distinct processes, yet none is wrong. The Bible calls upon all Christians to pray for leaders or those in high positions that they may bring peace. This is in 1st Timothy 2:1-2. The Bible encourages leaders to adopt ideals that promote peace and prosperity among individuals.

The Scriptures encourage individuals to obey the leadership. Christians should live as law-abiding citizens. They should preserve order in the society and promote the welfare of every member. 1st Peter 2: 13-14 says, ““For the Lord’s sake accept the authority of every human institution, whether of the emperor as supreme, or of governors, as sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right.” The Bible asserts that one of the key roles of the governing authority is to ensure that Christians have personal as well as religious freedoms. This is well captured in Galatians 5:1, which says, “As servants of God, live as free people…”

References

Holman, C., & Luneburg, W. (2012). Lobbying and transparency: A comparative analysis of regulatory reform. Interest Groups & Advocacy, 1(1), 75-104. doi:10.1057/iga.2012.4

Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2015). Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives. Los Angeles: Sage/CQ Press.

Liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism

Reflection Paper- The growth of US Government

Reflection Paper

The concepts learnt from this week’s materials

1. The growth of US Government

I have learned that the US government has grown to the level where it can influence the lives of all people. The government can enact laws and regulations that directly impacts on the lives of the citizens. Despite the growth in the government, citizens are still divided into two groups. One group supports most of the actions of the government while the other disagrees with most of the undertakings of the government. This division materialized in 2013 when there was a total shutdown of the government due to highly divergent views. There are various factors that have contributed to the growth of government. They include; physical expansion of the US as well as the growth of the population.

2. Federalism

The government structure is based on this principle. This principle allows various units to share power. The citizens of United States are subjected to city laws, county laws, state laws and government laws. The power in the United States has been divided between the federal government and the non-federal government. This mode of governance was framed in the constitution after noticing that the state had too much power. The Constitution of the United States gives broad powers to the federal government but not to the state governments. However, the constitution emphasizes what the states can’t do.

3. Policy making process influencers

The government: The government can sponsor bills to parliament to be debated and adopted. The government can also develop executive laws and regulations to help govern the country. There are so many regulations and regulation bodies that have been created by the federal government.

The public: The opinion of the public is always required in the process of policy making. The public can participate in the discussions surrounding policies being developed. The input of the public is often considered when developing policies. There are instances where the policies being made must go through a referendum.

Interest groups: These may include the specific people who the policy will affect. The interested parties may also be private companies, non-governmental organizations, professionals (like doctors, teachers, nurses, etc.), civil rights groups, religious groups, and special needs groups among others.

4. Lobbying

Lobbying is also another concept that was covered. This entails promotion of policy agenda. The concerned stakeholders are brought on board to support certain policies. For instance, the health care practitioners can be lobbied to propose various policies that can be used to develop or improve healthcare conditions. Lobbying entails hiring qualified professionals to argue specific clauses in decision-making forums like the Congress. This technique is usually controversial and has often been challenged by citizens. Lobbying is present in all levels of government of United States. When correctly executed, it can have positive influence on the policy-making process.

The most important concept introduced, and why

Federalism was the most important concept introduced. All the other concepts revolve around federalism concept. For instance, it is through federalism principle that different parties have been empowered to contribute to the policy-making process. It is through power sharing that the public as well as interested parties get involved in the policy-making process. Another reason is that the growth of the government of the United States can be associated with the principle of federalism. These are just a few other concepts that stem out of the main concept of federalism.

How the legal concept/principle affect the organizational leadership environment?

Just like in the governance of the country, the principle of federalism has influenced how the leaderships of various organizations are structured. In most organizations, the leadership I divided into different classes. Just like in federalism where there is the top federal government, other organizations are also lead by top management. Most organizations have been departmentalized. For instance, in business organizations, the overall head may be the CEO, but there are other departmental heads like the Marketing Executive, the Chief Financial officer, human resource manager, and administration among others.

Was there a topic discussed that you did not understand?

The topics were comprehensively covered and I have no issue with any of them. Additionally, the notes given assisted in improving my understanding of the topics covered last week.

Week 2 ORG578 Discussion Board

  1. Heidi Wilson against Citicorp service center

Heidi got promoted to the level of manager at Citicorp service center in 2009, but she did not get any bonuses or a pay rise, she got upset because it was evident that her male predecessor was making more than she did. Heidi was bypassed for a premium and pay increase in 2011 for the second time, so she requested for a market analysis in the company, but her supervisor refused to authorize it. Heidi later was fired in March 2011 without severance pay, and she decided to file a lawsuit against the enterprise.

The court concluded that the evaluations made by Heidi’s supervisor were too subjective. Citicorp also used the weak economy as justification for paying Heidi less than her male counterparts pay. The court later ruled for Heidi, and the decision sent a crucial message to other large organizations and employers that the law is clear on gender equality in workplaces. People should note that there is a law against discrimination, the Equal pay act of 1963, but there is still discrimination against female executive in most institutions (Richardson, 2000).

  1. Samantha Elauf against Abercrombie & Fitch

Recently, the United States Supreme Court revived a lawsuit on discrimination filed by Samantha against Abercrombie, a company that had declined to hire Samantha because she wore a headscarf. The company managers claimed that they could not hire Samantha since her attire clashed with the organization’s official dress code, described as classic East Coast collegiate style.

The organization had at least, suspected that the applicant was a Muslim and that maybe he wore a head scarf for religious reasons. The organization’s decision to decline her application, as Justice Scalia said, was driven by the hiring manager’s desire to avoid accommodation her religious practice, the judge said that that was enough reason for Samantha to sue the company under a federal employment discrimination rule. A jury had earlier awarded Samantha 20000 dollars, but the appeal court overturned the award claiming the Samantha should have first informed the company that she wore head scarf before applying for the post (Kraft & Furlong, 2012).

The court ruled for Samantha, a decision that got applauded by groups that represent religious minorities in the United States. The group leaders said that the ruling would assist a lot in protecting the minority religions against discrimination in workplaces and other social settings. The decision also affirmed the fundamental right of all Americans to practice their faith freely without the fear of getting denied major career opportunities. After the trial, Samantha said that her experience with Abercrombie made her feel inferior in the society because the company disrespected her religious beliefs. The complainant added that she was born in American just like any other person of a different faith; therefore she expected to be treated just like anyone else.

  1. There was no religious principle in the case because all the decisions got cited from the United States law regarding equal pay and religious discrimination. Equal pay for equal work is one of the most important principles learned from the lesson. When two people of different races or sex perform duties that are equally difficult, they deserve the same amount of compensation because it is their work that matters, not their condition. The principle grounded in the European Union law.

References

Kraft, M. E., & Furlong, S. R. (2012). Public Policy: Politics, Analysis, and Alternatives. Sage.

Richardson, J. (2000). Government, interest groups and policy change. Political Studies, 48(5), 1006-1025.

Case study : Conflict Resolution

Reflection Paper

Reflection Paper

  1. Briefly identify the concepts that you learned from this week’s materials.

This week I learned a number of key concepts from the textbook, lecture, video, presentations, and discussion boards. From the textbook, I learnt a lot about what constitutes public policy, why government is involved in policy development, how the government develops public policy, and the various contexts of public policy. I learnt that public policy refers to the actions (or lack of actions) by government officials towards particular problems affecting the citizens. A number of factors or contexts affect the development of public policy. These include social context, political context, economic context, cultural context, and governing context. The government may get involved in public policy development due to various reasons. Some of the key reasons identified include ethical reasons, to avert market failure, and for political reasons. The government effects public policy through a number of tools such as introducing market incentives, regulation, education, taxes, and through other means (Kraft & Furlong, 2012).

The video presentation provides an overview of what to expect in this course. From the video presentation, I learned that there exists a close connection between public policy and the law. I have learned a lot about how policymakers develop or influence laws, and thus the close connection between policymaking and development of law. The lectures, presentations and discussion boards have enhanced my understanding of public policy and the law. With regard to law, I have learned about various sources of law in the US. Some of the sources include the US Constitution, statutes, administrative law, common law, state laws, executive orders, and among others. I have also gained a better understanding of the public policy making process. Lastly, I have learned a lot about the citizens’ influence in policy decisions. The key thing is that citizens have the ability to influence policy decisions. The study of public policy attempts to increase individuals’ awareness of policy development and the role they play.

  1. What was the most important concept introduced, and why do you deem that concept to be the most important concept of that week’s materials?

The most important concept introduced is that it is possible to remove unnecessary and unclear laws or policies. Once the government introduces policies, it is possible to revise these policies if they are unfavourable or when they have unforeseen consequences. Citizens have the ability to influence not only policy making but also to influence the nature of existing policies. There are different approaches applied in evaluating proposed policies. For instance, concerned individuals can measure the effectiveness of proposed policies in order to understand how helpful they are to the society. It is also possible to evaluate the technical feasibility of the new policies. Technical feasibility relates to the operability of the proposed policies (Kraft & Furlong, 2012). Another major aspect is the political feasibility of the new policy.

This concept is the most important because it helps explain the steps that citizens can take in case an unnecessary and unclear law becomes effective. It is worth noting that during the development of policies, some individuals may be driven by selfish interests to pass laws that do not cater to the interests of the larger public. Further, this concept enables one to learn about the various ways of making improvements to policies introduced by the government. It is important to learn how to improve on public policy in order to reflect on the changing needs or perspectives in the community. The public policy improvement process involves three key stages. The first stage involves development of initiatives that increase public awareness about particular policy or law through availing statistics or micro data. In the second stage, the public understands the information given and mobilization efforts begin. This leads to the development of better policy in the final stage.

  1. In your opinion, how does this legal concept/principle affect the organizational leadership environment?

This legal concept has a critical impact to the organizational leadership environment. The ability to amend policies helps in developing positive relationships at different organizational levels. Organizations experience changes in the environment as time elapses. Changes within their environment often call for changes in organizations within such environments in order to survive the competition. Change is vital for organizations that seek at surviving in volatile and complex environments. Some changes may be simple, requiring the organization to reorganize a few aspects. On the other hand, some changes may be complex and necessitate the organization to undergo restructuring. In some situations, the organization may find that the existing laws does not allow it to implement change effectively.

  1. Was there a topic discussed that you did not understand? If so, identify the nature of your question about the aspect of the material.

The topic I did not understand concerns government transparency. There are strong debates in the public sector concerning government transparency in the making of public policy. Governments enhance their transparency by increasing the amount of information they provide to the public. However, governments do not share all information with the public. The current government maintains some information as classified, meaning not all is provided to the public. In the recent period, there has been increased concerns over the need to improve government transparency. This is due to the need for accountability in the public sector. According to Grimmelikhuijsen and Meijer (2014), revealing the effectiveness of government policies to the public through performance indicators can improve the level of trust to the government. This is according to transparency optimists.

On the other hand, transparency pessimists hold contrary opinion. According to transparency pessimists, showing the public the effectiveness of government policies does not improve public trust (Grimmelikhuijsen & Meijer, 2014). This group argues that increase government transparency will likely contribute to politics of scandal. Another possible consequence of high transparency is the de-legitimization of the government. The pessimists argue that the public policy making is a complex process. As such, the government should commit itself to communicating every aspect of the public policy process to the public. This brings me to the nature of the question about the aspect of the material. Can we trust our current government with transparency during the policy making process?

References

Grimmelikhuijsen, S.G., and Meijer, A.J. (2014). The effects of transparency on the perceived trustworthiness of a government organization: evidence from an online experiment. Journal of Public Administration Theory and Research, 24(1), 137-157.

https://calbaptist.webex.com/calbaptist/ldr.php?RCID=fe2ef1f9d742fe09e153babe47dd36f7

Kraft, M. E., Furlong, S. R., (2012). 5th Ed. Public policy: Politics, analysis, and alternatives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN-10: 1483345785

Case study : Conflict Resolution

Case: Engaging in Supportive Confrontation

What are the problems, and who owns them based on the window on behavior?

The problem in this scenario is that Joe has realized a growing distance between him and Kim Kahn, the assistant manager for the Tools and Hardware. On several occasions, Joe has realized that the relationship between him and Kim is diminishing. According to him, Kim is pushing him away through his words and actions. He feels that Kim makes sarcastic and offensive comments during management meetings that are targeted towards him. In this case, Joe owns the problem since he is the one bothered by Kim’s actions and comments. He is upset that he has to keep working with Kim while enduring his behavior. This is a brewing conflict that should be solved as soon as possible. Joe and Kim are workmates and therefore it is important to resolve the conflict before it gets out of control. Failure to find a solution will affect their productivity and hence impact the business (Mindtools.com, 2017).

What research and reflection should Joe do to test his assumptions and perceptions? What are the facts?

The first thing that Joe should do is conduct some organized research concerning the situation in order to get clarity. This step will allow him to see the situation as it is and it will help him avoid getting to a worse situation with Kim. Research will enable him to clear his perceptions and assumptions and get the facts. Joe should establish whether his problem is imaginary or real. This is because the problem could actually be in his mind and not real. In addition, he should find out whether Kim is the real cause of the problem or not. If he established that Joe is the cause of the problem, he will have the confidence to confront him. As part of his research, Joe should find out the underlying reasons why Kim behaves the way he does and what motivates him to act in that manner. Joe needs to determine whether Kim’s actions are driven by personal issues he may have with him or they are driven by his personality. It would not be appropriate to confront him before he can establish whether Kim acts the same way with other people or just him. It has been indicated that Kim is gruff by nature and is not really a people person. Determining what could able the actual cause of his behavior will inform Joe’s next step.

In addition, he should state any assumptions he has made about Kim and find out if they are true. It is also important to find out if there is anything he does not know about the situation. Could he be misjudging Kim? Could there be something that Kim is withholding from him like he is doing him? These are some of the questions that Joe should answer before taking another step. Additionally, he should find out whether Kim knows his actions could be affecting people (Griffith and Goodwin, 2012).

Through self reflection, Joe has an opportunity to think critically. This will help him to analyze his thought process and gain insight on his reasoning and personal mental processes. Just like looking in a mirror and drawing a line on what is acceptable and what is not, Joe can find some answers to the questions that this situation raise. Joe should look into his views, beliefs and attitudes to establish whether they influence how he reacts to the problem. Secondly, he should reflect on his emotional state of mind in line with this conflict. He should be able to know how this situation makes him feel. Is he angry, hurt, worried, disappointed or confused and what could be the reasons behind these feelings? Thirdly, reflection will help him establish if he has any responsibility to take in the conflict. There could be a chance that he has also contributed towards the conflict knowingly or unknowingly. Finally, he should be able to understand the outcome he desires for the situation.

The fact of this situation is that there is a conflict that needs to be resolved as soon as possible. Conflicts are not easy to avoid at the workplace and hence measures of resolving conflict should be invested in. the situation is making Joe uncomfortable and he understands and is willing to address it. This is the reason why he approached Jim Talent. Joe and Kim should work in a friendly environment and it cannot be easy to have one unless the conflict is resolved.

Does Joe have legitimate reasons to feel as he does?

Joe is justified to feel the way he does. He has realized that there is a distance growing between him and Kim. Having worked together in the past, there must be a reason why their relationship is strained. In the course of their duties, the two have to interact frequently, since Joe’s team perform many tasks for the Tool and Hardware department in which Kim is the assistant manager. In order to eliminate the tension that is developing, Joe understands that a solution is needed. Some of Kim’s actions and sentiments have been hurtful to Joe. It is therefore important for the two parties to address it so that their past relationship can be restored. If the problem is not addressed as soon as possible, it will impact Joe’s work. Kim could be totally unaware of how his behavior affects Joe and thus the more reason to resolve the conflict.

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Should Joe seek to change his attitude, change his environment, or confront Kim regarding Kim’s behavior?

There are three alternatives that Joe can consider in resolving this conflict. He can change his attitude, change his environment or confront Kim about his behavior. If he chooses to change his attitude, he has to take a psychological move of taking the unacceptable behavior from his window into the acceptable area so that he no longer has a problem with Kim. Thus, the only option he has is to ignore the problem. Alternatively, he can change his environment. The only way he can achieve this is if his moves to another department where he has no direct contact with Kim. None of these approaches can be effective in solving this problem. It is impossible for Joe to ignore the problem and assume that it will not bother him anymore. In addition, changing the environment will not be a good move for a conflict that would be solved easily by talking with Kim. Both Joe and Kim hold managerial positions and changing departments could affect the business. This leaves him with the option of confronting Kim about his behavior.

The only viable method of addressing the issue is to talk to Kim about his behavior. He should let him know how his actions are affecting their working relationship. Having a face to face conversation with Kim will enable him to know if Kim has any issues with him. When Joe approached Jim seeking help about the issue, he was advised to talk with Kim about it. This will give the two parties a chance to get to the root cause of the problem. For people who have worked together in that past and who will be working together in the future, it is a better idea if they get to solve the issue themselves. The confrontation is not to pick a fight; rather, the goal is to motivate Kim to create a better working environment for both of them as well as other employees. This is an attempt to persuade Kim in order for him to change his behavior so that they can relate as they used to in the past. Joe should also offer support to Kim and help if he needs any help.

References

Griffith, D. B., & Goodwin, C. (2012). Conflict Survival Kit; Tools for Resolving Conflicting at Work. Upper Saddle River: Pearson.

Mindtools.com,. (2017). Conflict Resolution: Using “Interest-Based Relational” Approach. Mindtools.com. Retrieved 4 April 2017, from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_81.htm

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