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PSC 211 Midterm: PSC211 Midterm Study Guide

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Political Science
PSC 211

Week 2—Policy making in local governments • Policy making process 1. Issue creation 2. Agenda building 3. Generate and evaluate alternatives 4. Decide a solution 5. Implement a solution 6. Policy evaluation and feedback • Which questions should be addressed in each process? 1. Which issues to address o What is problem that needs to be solved? o What gives rise to the problem? o How does the issue get defined as public manner? 2. Agenda Building o Why is this more important than others in time, alternatives and resources? o How to bring awareness to issue? o Who participants in agenda building process? o Who is likely to support/oppose the action? 3. Generate and evaluate alternatives o Options are there for attaining policy goal o What key interest groups who will be affected or affect alternatives? o What are benefits/costs of doing it? o What are constraints/opportunities? 4. Decide a solution o Which criteria should we use? o Does alternative bring “win win” solution that address needs of many? o When disagreements exist, how does many one group or interest group gain the upper hand? 5. Implementation o How does administration carry out? o How is discretion used by administration in carrying out policy? o Is there a need to coordinate among agencies in other gov’s on carrying out decisions made? 6. Outcomes/Feedback o Impact on individuals o Policy intended its goals • Policy makers in local governments and their influences on the policy making process a. Chief executive i. 2 types- mayors and managers. b. Council members i. Legislative branch at local level, vary under mayor-council and council- manager. c. Bureaucrats 1 i. public officials and people who operate departments, central to top policy making process. d. Citizens i. How citizens exert influence in policymaking process? 1. contacts with local governments, specific decisions to achieve policy objectives. 2. influence decisions by joining interest’s groups, hold most power in elections. Week 3—Comparative forms of local government 1. Political machine in 19 century in the US a. Political city i. A form of local government in the pre-reform era (1880s) 1. Population growth in urban areas, increase in industrialization. Uneven pattern of economic segregation and ethnic groups- led for a call increasing public services ii. Mayor-council model 1. "weak," decentralized and fragmented government powers. Used checks and balances, directly elected department heads. Elections bases on districts for the Council, had partisan ballots 2. Reformed government a. Administrative city i. Reformed government led to this. b. Manager –council model as a new form of local government i. New form of local government in the reformed government. ii. Reformation of mayor-council model, voters act as individual stock holders, the council is responsible for policy making (board of directors), manager makes administrative decisions (CEO) c. What are the changes made from the reform movement (Political city vs. Administrative city)? i. The role of mayor in the changed form of local government 1. Administrative: ceremoniously chosen 2. Political: directly elected ii. Election of council members 1. Administrative: small and unpaid group of members 2. Political: large group of paid members. iii. Personnel system 1. Administrative: merit based selection process. 2. Political: positions filled based on patronage iv. Contracting and purchasing 1. Administrative: utilizes a bidding system that allows all interested parties. 2. Political: powered by favoritism 2 v. Emphasized value CASE—Fairfax county, VA and King county, WA 1. Government form of Fairfax county, VA and King county, WA a. Power of the chief executive between two localities (e.g. authority to appoint/fire department heads, veto power, tenure approval from councils, etc.) b. Which government form do you think is best to deal with “a certain social problem (e.g. climate change)? Why? What would be limitations? Week 04—Intergovernmental Relation I: American Federalism Federalism: a system of governance in which a national, overarching government shares powers with substantial governments. 1. How did the nature of US federalism change over time? a. Dual federalism i. Separate and distinct jurisdictions and responsibilities, did not interact with each other. b. Cooperative federalism i. 1930-1960, great depression and Roosevelt administration, government intervention in state and local governments to address economic and social issues. – birth of intergovernmental relations. c. Co-optive federalism i. Kennedy and Nixon administration, centralized, increased grant-in-aid and mandates, lots to address environmental issues. d. New federalism i. What are characteristics of each type of the federalism? 1. 1980-current, reducing grant-in-aid, gives more power and authority to state and local governments *ad-hoc federalism ii. No need to memorize the “Cake analogy” 2. Different federal funds and characteristics of each type a. The way to distribute: Formula vs. Project grants i. Formula grant: have strict guidelines when it comes to the selection process, no room for interpretation. Grants are not competitive. ii. Project grant: awarded at the discretion of the granting agency and extremely competitive in nature. b. The way to be spent: Categorical vs. block grants i. Categorical grant: located for a specific purpose and make up majority of federal grants that are awarded. ii. Block grant: more flexible with spending mandates and accounts for 18% of federal grants. 3. Dillon’s rule and Home rule and local government autonomy a. What are the implications of each rule to local government autonomy? i. Refers to AL local government’s ability to initiate legislation without interference from state government.
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