Unit 2 полностью
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PUBLIC POLICY – MAKING
(1) Public policies are government decisions on behalf of the nation addressing specific problems of public concern. Actually, public policy is a pattern of government activity on some topic or matter that reflects the interests of society or particular segments of society. The specific course of action that is eventually taken with respect to some problem is decided through the public policy process. The term “public policy process” refers to the various processes by which public policy is formed. There is no single process by which this is achieved. Public policy is formed through numerous processes including public opinion, the media, and even demonstrations. The government, whether it is city, state, or federal, develops public policy in terms of laws, regulations, decisions, and actions. When public policy is formulated by the Congress, regulations issued in the Federal Register, executive orders issued by the president, or decisions handed down by the Supreme Court.
(2) There are three parts of public policy – making : problems, players, and policy. The problem is the issue that needs to be addressed. The player is the individual or group that is influential in forming a plan to address the problem in question. The policy is the finalized course of action decided upon by the government. In most cases, policies are widely open to interpretation by non – governmental players, including those in the private sector. Public policy is also made by leaders of religious and cultural institutions.
(3) The rational model for the public policy – making process is typically divided into four stages: public opinion formation, policy formulation, implementation and evaluation. The first stage is the public opinion formation. It starts with changing public expectations that creates a gap between the real state of things in some area and what the public wants from the government to be done or improved. At this stage the issue becomes widely discussed in the public policy debate speak to societal groups through meetings, radio or TV talk shows, hold press conferences and issue press releases. Thus, it is placed on the public policy agenda where it will be the subject of some kind of action.
(4) The second stage of the public policy life cycle is public policy formulation. This stage is otherwise called the legislative phase as it involves specific legislative proposals that have been introduced in the Congress and will directly or indirectly impact the problem. The issues at this stage become politicized and take on form and substance as proposed legislative enactments. The key actors at this stage are elected office- holders who introduce and debate the legislation and eventually vote to support or defeat it.
(5) The third stage of the policy- making process is known as the stage of public policy implementation. This phase focuses on law or the implementation of legislation that has been previously enacted. Sometimes it is called the executive stage. Although it may seem to be a highly technical process, implementation is in fact very much a political process. It involves a great deal of bargaining and negotiation between different groups of people in and out of government. During this stage, a new executive agency may be formed and the regulations may be issued implementing the legislation. The principal actors at this point are the regulators in government agencies who are writing and enforcing rules.One of the biggest problems at the implementation stage of policy-making is coordination.After officials at the federal level write a law and the subsequent regulations,people outside of the federal center are typically the ones to implement the policy . These implementators may be local officials , state administrators , or federal bureaucrats headquartered in regional offices around the country.
(6) Evaluation is the fourth stage of policy-making process.It is very important because the knowledge gained from it helps to identify problems that arise out of current policy. Evaluation studies provide the feedback to policymakers on programme performance.Policy evaluation helps analyze which parts of a programme are working and which are not;it also specifies alternate approaches that might improve a programme`s success.Evaluating public policy is extremely difficult as data may be imperfect and problematic assumptions may be done about future trends.In addition , there may be some factors influencing the outcomes of policy that simply can`t be measured . By drawing attention to emerging problems, policy evaluation influences the future policy actions and subsequent legislation , because programme shortcomings become more evident during these stages.Thus, the process is really circular with the ``end``,often marking the beginning of a new round of policy-making.
(7) Unfortunately , those who frame the issue to be addressed by policy often exert an enormous amount of influence over the entire process through their personalities , personal interests and political affiliations .The bias is extenuated by the players involved.The final outcome of the process , as well as its implementation , is therefore not as effective as that which could result from a purely rational process.Overall,however,public policy continues to be vital in addressing social concerns.
(8) Public policies in all modern societies are based on social considerations related to improving life quality of the nation and cover a broad field from education and economic policy to environment protection .There are a number of public policy issues that are traditionally more important and controversial than others .Some of the oldest and most timeless public policy issues include public health,public welfare , policy, fire service , and transportation. Public healthcare once universally thought of little concern has been elevated to the level of public policy . While in earlier periods the strength of nation was measured in terms of armaments one of the most important indicators of society development nowadays has become infant mortality, death with drug addiction as well as ability to finance for elderly population.
I.Answer the following questions.Reread the text if you do not remember the information.
1.What is public policy formed through?
2.What are the three main parts of public policy-making?
3.How many stages does the rational model of the public policy-making process include?
4.Why is it important to change public expectations at the first stage of the public policy-making process?
5.Why is the second stage of the public policy-making process called ``the legislative phase``?
6.What are the third and the forth stages of the public policy-making process focused on?
7.What are the most important public policy issues?
8.Public healthcare was of little concern in earlier times ,wasn`t it?
9.Who exerts a great amount of influence over the process of policy-making?
II.Work with a partner.Decide if the following statements are true or false.Find the sentences in the text that support your answer.
1.Public policy is a pattern of government activity that reflects the interests of society.
2.All the four stages of the public policy-making process are interrelated.
3.Religious and cultural institutions are excluded from making public policy.
4.There is always a gap between the real state of things in some area and what the public wants from the government to be improved.
5.Participants in the public policy debate speak to societal groups through various information sources.
6.The third stage of the public policy-making process is called the public opinion formation .
7.Sometimes the second stage of the public policy-making process is called the executive stage.
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