Explain how American public policy has evolved from a top-down management and a stages heuristic policy approach to a more inclusive, collaborative, and nuanced approach to public policy and governance. In your answer, be sure to evaluate trade-offs that public policy analysts face regarding social equity, efficiency, and effectiveness. Choose and identify a specific United States domestic public policy area of your choice to frame your answer.
EVOLUTION OF AMERICAN PUBLIC POLICY
Public policies of a country consist of the laws, actions, course of actions and funding priorities that a government undertakes. The policies are usually discussed by a collaboration of government members in their own ways of interests. The policies of the United States of America comprises of every rules and regulations taken by its federal government. The federal government is the primary governing bodies who approves the policies and take executive decisions and legal precedents. Public policies are very important for the social welfare of people of the United States that has been evolved from ancient time to this latest era.
Public policy possesses the power of changing the future of even great wars. The participation of U.S in first and Second World War has resulted into a dramatic shift into its public policy indicating the expansion of power of government as well as people (Draper, 2017).
There is actually a range of historic evidence that has helped shaping the modern approach in which ways the policy has been created. A sheer manifestation of modern ideals has been upheld by Magna Carta and U.S constitutions (Erikson & Tedin, 2015).
In recent years, Magna Carta is considered as one of the most significant and longstanding instances in the history of public policy. It has been first proposed by King John I who has signed it in 1215 CE. The introduction of Magna Carta has first paved the way for the idea that there needs to be a check on governmental power. According to the views of Esteva (2014), Magna Carta has been the foremost policy and foundation to protect the rights of common in Anglo Saxon tradition.
Almost 550 years later of Magna Carta, U.S constitution has codified the principles for the new land and an enlightened age. America has been founded on a particular assumption that people hold the right to participate in the procedure of law creation that eventually influences the part of human rights and public policy (Programs.online.american.edu, 2019). This has been a newer form of government that determines a balanced way of creating law at the place of aristocratic power of dictation. This has given rise to the right of common people to elect the policy leaders for defining policy further.
In the latest era, the expansion of bureaucracy has been one of the most fundamental differences between the latest American public policy and the traditional way. The U.S president still holds a veto power over the current legislation. However, the traditional policy making procedure has experienced a drastic shift in terms of applying modern approaches that includes public discussion, pre-existing policy revisions and debates over accessibility (Programs.online.american.edu, 2019).
It can be precisely noticed that policy making procedure has been drastically evolved from a top down management process into a way that shares people’s involvement more. This has been greatly observed in Economic policy, Domestic policy and as well as foreign policy. As influenced by the views of Kulaç & Özgür (2017), in recent day’s public policy process, problems have been conceptualized for bringing them to the governmental agenda while the formulated solutions and alternative have been generated by different public institutions to apply, evaluate and revise the policy proposals. For example, public policy has been evolved by times. In response of the former president of USA, George H.W. Bush regarding the national drug control strategy, Congress has passed the legislation to have control over drug abuses. This legislation has been developed with a certain motto of enforcing drug prevention policies and programs into several universities, colleges and schools as the primary condition of eligibility for receiving federal financial assistance (Bsu.edu, 2019). On 12th December, 1989, Bush has signed the “Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 Public Law 101-226”. The amendments has advocated for the provisional changes of the certain act along with Higher Education Act 1965 in its section no. 22 (Congress.gov, 2019). The participation of U.S Congress with two distinctive bodies such as Senate and “House of Representatives” has ensured the change in policy making procedure that includes involvement of people. In latest political scenario of U.S., these two houses actually tend to provide a check and balance and ensure equal representation of states (Dunn, 2015).
The study of policymaking in latest political era of U.S can be broken down in six distinct stages that have ensured the rights and voice of people in the part of developing public policy. According to the views of Kulaç & Özgür (2017), the framework works in different stages of policy process that includes even evaluation of the policy problem towards a notational end point by when a policy tends to be implemented.
The six stages of the model precisely are agenda setting, policy formulation, legitimation, implementation, evaluation, and lastly policy maintenance in terms of either succession or termination. Agenda setting identifies the major problem that in seeking the attention of government while policy formulation deals with setting the objectives by cost estimation. Legitimation ensures the support and approval whereas implementation establishes organisation to be liable to implement the policy. Evaluation measures the success based on which further the policy has been maintained in terms of succession or termination (Geschundkunstgesch.tu-berlin.de, 2019).
Though the application of the specific approach may vary depending upon the political environment and governmental support, the primary system outline remains the same. For instance, this approach can be observed in the part of policy making of Drug Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 (Congress.gov, 2019). The Drug free school program is one of the violence prevention programs that have been funded by Federal government. The application of the act has included a range of state, federal and local actions for ensuring the accountability. It has gone through four accountability mechanisms. Firstly, an application procedure requiring the support and approval from local and state program plans with the next stage of monitoring activities by the help of state agencies. Thirdly, periodic report, analysis and evaluation have been ensured while on the last stage the use of sub-state advisory councils has been noticed (Gao.gov, 2019).
A trade-off is a balanced situation that is achieved between two desirable features. The concept of trade-offs suggest a strategic choice that are made to accept having less of one thing and getting more of other. However, policy analysts are the key factor who evaluates the trade offs. They are responsible for developing government policies and provide advice to the public. Social equity has been a challenging and significant role that a public analyst does. The analyst helps to increase the political and economical issues of the minor and major peoples. Based on the views of Skocpol (2016), efficient and social protection can help to prevent today’s inequalities. Gender inequality in public life is the main problem facing situation faced by the public analyst. Except these, upper-level and lower-level groups are well distributed or not are also ensured by the policy analysts. According to the views of Head & Alford (2015), disadvantaged children with poor background suffer more than wealthier students. However, policy analyst makes sure that all children’s are educated irrespective of their drug addiction and poor sufferer drawbacks. Effectiveness and efficacy is required to draw a notion of useful work played by the policy analysts. In different policies, laws and regulations, policy analysts face issues related to social equity, effectiveness and efficiency. They face sheer conflict between politics and markets generated from disagreements over the outcome of different market processes. Equity stands for fairness. Hence, making a policy equally applicable for all sometimes fetches direct conflict with efficiency level (Cabrerizo et al. 2015). In this part, in order to maintain the equity, the policy has been restricted to provide better support to those who are from poorer background and are suffering more from drug addiction.
The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 in accordance with DFSCA has a significant development in pursuing enforcement action against illegal drug administration (congress.gov, 2019). Public policy act has also ensured the methods for drug control by the following ways:
Seek required training: The federal government must guide the drug addicted people to strengthen and understand the DFSCA mandates. Recently, NIAAA in accordance with maintains a website for the drug addicted students. Thus, more prevention for college drinking addictions should be taken care of.
Data collection: Research methodology and policy inventories should be maintained annually to find out the improvement of drug addicted students. School and college administrators must take initiative to use data and draw conclusions about the drug administration program effectiveness.
Warning related to overlapping: There are many other federal policies that shares similarities with DFSCA in preserving specific requirements. In order to ensure proper compliance with DFSCA, annual notification must be checked.
International trafficking: Disrupting domestic drug trafficking problems must be enhanced to control the drug-related problem.
Reduction in deaths due to overdose: It was reported that there are many invented drugs that can limit the number of overdosage caused by drug addiction in USA (Sederer 2016).
Impact of social networking: Employing TV, radio and social media as a means to guide the families about drug addiction programs.
On the basis of above study, it can be concluded that public policy process are conceptualized and brought about by the government agenda. In the above assignment, Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 has been studied and the approaches of the public policy and government are also mentioned.
Bsu.edu (2019), Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://www.bsu.edu/about/administrativeoffices/studentrights/policiesandprocedures/sdfcampus/schoolsact
Cabrerizo, F. J., Chiclana, F., Al-Hmouz, R., Morfeq, A., Balamash, A. S., & Herrera-Viedma, E. (2015). Fuzzy decision making and consensus: challenges. Journal of Intelligent & Fuzzy Systems, 29(3), 1109-1118. Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://sci2s.ugr.es/sites/default/files/ficherosPublicaciones/1955_JIFS-2015-29-3-1109-1118.pdf
Congress.gov (2019), H.R.3614 – Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989, Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://www.congress.gov/bill/101st-congress/house-bill/3614
Congress.gov (2019). H.R.5484 – Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 Retrieved on 10 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.congress.gov/bill/99th-congress/house-bill/5484
Draper, T. (2017). American business and public policy: The politics of foreign trade. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved on 12 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351315630
Dror, Y. (2017). Public policy making reexamined. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved on 09 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781351495585
Dunn, W. N. (2015). Public policy analysis. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved on 08 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/William_Dunn10/publication/258260603_Public_Policy_Analysis/links/554252fa0cf234bdb21a104b/Public-Policy-Analysis.pdf
Erikson, R. S., & Tedin, K. L. (2015). American public opinion: Its origins, content and impact. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved on 11 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781317350392
Esteva, G. (2014). Commoning in the new society. Community Development Journal, 49(1), i144-i159. Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Gustavo_Esteva/publication/274033168_Commoning_in_the_New_Society/links/56eee9e508ae4b8b5e7546d6.pdf
Gao.gov (2019), SAFE AND DRUG-FREE SCHOOLS, Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://www.gao.gov/assets/230/224781.pdf
Geschundkunstgesch.tu-berlin.de (2019), Handbook of Public Policy Analysis Theory, Politics,and Methods, Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: http://www.geschundkunstgesch.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/fg95/Hauptordner_Megaprojekte/GarbManonPeters2006HPPA-EIAchapter.pdf
Head, B. W., & Alford, J. (2015). Wicked problems: Implications for public policy and management. Administration & Society, 47(6), 711-739. Retrieved on 11 January 2019. Retrieved from Head, B. W., & Alford, J. (2015). Wicked problems: Implications for public policy and management. Administration & Society, 47(6), 711-739.
Kulaç, O., & Özgür, H. (2017). An Overview of the Stages (Heuristics) Model as a Public Policy Analysis Framework. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 13(12). Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: http://eujournal.org/index.php/esj/article/viewFile/9250/8789
Programs.online.american.edu (2019), The Evolution of Public Policy, Retrieved on: 15th January, 2019, Retrieved from: https://programs.online.american.edu/mpap/resource/the-evolution-of-public-policy
Skocpol, T. (2016). Introduction. PS: Political Science & Politics, 49(3), 433-436. Retrieved on 10 January 2019. Retrieved from http://www.rochelleterman.com/ComparativeExam/sites/default/files/Bibliography%20and%20Summaries/Skopcol.pdf
The Catholic University of America (2019). Summary of Federal Laws Retrieved on 12 January 2019. Retrieved from http://counsel.cua.edu/fedlaw/dfsca.cfm
Waldo, D. (2017). The administrative state: A study of the political theory of American public administration. Abingdon: Routledge. Retrieved on 13 January 2019. Retrieved from https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9781315130859
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