$20.00 POL 201
Short Essay – Policy-making in the Federal
The U.S. government's expansive role in public
policy is caught in a swirl of conflicting cross-currents. On the one hand,
popular expectations about government's responsibility to solve problems often
exceed the capacity of state and local authorities to respond effectively. On
the other hand, policies developed at the national level may not sufficiently
reflect the great diversity of interests across the U.S. to be effective at the
local level. Moreover, the search for effective policy is further complicated by
theoretical debates about the constitutional framework of federalism, e.g., what
limits on national power can be derived from the 10th Amendment?
Select a policy issue that is in the middle of these cross-currents
between national, state, and local authority. It must be a policy area
other than education (the focus of Discussion One in Week Two). Some
examples include: federal health care policy (e.g., “Obamacare”, Medicaid – not
Medicare); federal transportation policy (e.g., federal transportation
subsidies); federal highway policy (e.g., federal rules about the minimum
drinking age, speed limits, or safety); federal urban planning and renewal
policy; federal poverty, welfare and unemployment policies; national security
policies that intersect/conflict with local police power; and federal disaster
planning and relief. These are only examples. The policy area that you select
must have a significant “federalism” component that requires national, state,
and local interaction. It should also involve issues with a strong potential
for tension or conflict among different levels of government.
and write an essay on a specific policy in the area that you select. (Note: The
word “policy” is used interchangeably with the word “program.”) Your essay
- Clearly identify and focus on a specific federal policy or program (the
policy must raises issues of “federalism” because it requires national,
state and local interaction and invites tension across different levels of
- Summarize the elements of the policy, including the problem it is supposed
to solve or improve.
- Briefly summarize the history of the policy.
- Explain how the policy raises issues of “federalism”
- Analyze the main pros and cons in debates about the policy.
- Evaluate the pros and cons from two perspectives:
- The policy’s effectiveness. (Justify your assessment by clearly explaining
your definition of "effectiveness" and how it should be measured or determined.)
- The policy’s consistency with the constitutional framework of federalism.
(Justify your assessment by clearly explaining your interpretation of American
federalism's constitutional framework and why the federal policy is or is not
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POL 201 Week 2 Discussion 2; Modern Challenges Presented by Federalism.docx (13K) (Preview)
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POL201 (American National Government - Ashford) Week 1 to 5.zip (197K)
POL 201 Week 1 Discussion 1; Basic Principles of the Constitution.docx
POL 201 Week 1 Discussion 2; The Constitution.docx
POL 201 Week 2 Discussion 1; Visit Your Congressman Virtually.docx
POL 201 Week 2 Discussion 2; Modern Challenges Presented by Federalism.docx
POL 201 Week 3 Discussion 1; Public Opinion and the Presidency.docx
POL 201 Week 3 Discussion 2; Process of the Supreme Court.docx
POL 201 Week 4 Discussion 1; Electoral College.docx
POL 201 Week 4 Discussion 2; The Media.docx
POL 201 Week 5 Discussion 1; Environmental Policy in the Era of Global Warming.docx
POL 201 Week 5 Discussion 2; Assessing the Bush Doctrine.docx
POL 201 Week 5 Final Paper; Root Causes of the 2008-2009 Economic Crisis.docx
POL 201 Week 2 Assignment; Civil Liberties.docx