Public Policy in the Field of Public Administration
Public policy refers to the act by government to address certain problems affecting members of the public. Various governmental organizations formulate and implement public policy so as to address issues affecting the public. Besides, public administration defines the process of implementing public policy. Therefore, public policy fits quite well in the field of public administration; the study of public administration enables one to acquire knowledge on how to manage organizations, public policy analysis and solving public problems. Public administration involves professional experts for the development of sound public policies that can help in solving, easing or preventing the problems.
Public administration requires skills like budgeting, research and management, which are important in the implementation of government policy. A public administrator oversees the design and execution of government policies. Public policy is just one among the various pillars of public administration. Other pillars include human resource, statistics and ethics. The public administrators are legislators, mayors, public servants among others. This fits well in the agenda of public policy. For instance, a mayor seeks legislation on public policy and undertakes its implementation for the benefit of the general public.
Co-Relation between a Public Policy and a Public Problem
A public problem can be defined as any crisis that affects the public including scarce resources, natural disasters (earthquakes, floods, and famines), poor physical condition (health), social problems, economic crisis, and poverty among several others. Over the years, it has been the responsibility of the public administrators to integrate efforts and approaches to solving problems. As a result of this, the public administration uses experts to create sound public policies aimed at solving, easing or preventing the mentioned problems. Professionals with experience help the administrators to build and establish the necessary infrastructure so as to curb the issues (Dunn, 2012).
The first step towards the mitigation of public problem is realizing that the situation can be altered. Even though public management is different from public analysis, certain public policy programs borrow skills and practices from both systems in order to enhance decision-making and leadership. A good analysis is required before the application of professional skills in the formulation and implementation of public policy. This will make sure that the policy is effective when applied (Egonmwan, 1991). For example, poverty is a renowned public problem that is complex and has a lot of controversies with regards to its causes, methods of eradication and measures. Thus, public policy that ensures public economic growth would be an ideal way of fighting poverty.
The benchmark of public policy in handling public problems is comprehensive analysis by the practitioners that supports effective collection of data, evaluation of reports and solution of complex issues. Public policy planners must have skills like critical thinking, problem solving and analysis (Dunn, 2012).
Concepts of Political Socializing and Political Culture
Political culture is defined as the attitudes, ideas, feelings and values that the people for the government, politics and their role in the political arena. It can also refer to the beliefs, behaviors, customs and distinguishing features of a political system. Political culture explains the way in which people view the political systems around them. It goes beyond just opinions and involves the ways of living based on political beliefs, and also gives a reflection on the things that the people are willing and capable of integrating. It directs the general political viewpoint of the people and is usually constant in nature. Political culture gives the implication that people know their rights, duties and responsibilities as well as expectations (Ethridge & Handleman, 2012). It should also be noted that political systems vary from one country to another, and does not necessarily suggest that people from the same community have similar opinions. Nevertheless, the approaches of these people to political issues are in a way, similar.
Political socializing on the other hand refers to the process of the development of political values, ideas, beliefs and opinions in every member of a given society. On other terms, it can be defined as the process of developing a political culture. It refers to what people learn through social media and interactions with one another. Compared to political culture that is generally applied, political socializing focuses on individuals. It implies upbringing and interactions. It uses agents of socializing to influence the people’s political culture. The primary and secondary agents of this concept include family and the media respectively (Ethridge & Handelman, 2012).
Difference between institutional and Racial Politics
Racial politics is defined as the exploitation of the issues of race in advancing political agenda. A nation that exercises racial politics has a political party that is representative of racial groups. In a system like this, not all the races are included in one party. For instance, Malaysia practiced racial politics for 51 years. Therefore, it is not easy to find a hero from Malaysia since heroism is linked to a particular race like the Malaysian Indian or Malaysian Chinese. In the United States, a social rift existed along racial lines. The second-class citizenship and racial divide that governed the African Americans during the regime of the former federal governments have resulted into racial systems across the states (Kinder & Sanders, 1996).
On the contrary, institutional politics is a system of governorship that is balanced and does not restrict the freedom of individual citizens and is based on the consent of the people who participated in its formulation. It is focused on reducing the level of oppression of governments on the minor members of a society (Amenta, 2000). For example, institutional politics in the United States ensures that power is shared between the national government and the states. Institutional politics is mainly governed by the constitution that outlines the rules and defines the way in which power should be shared among political institutions.
Relevance of Grassroots Mobilization in Public Policy
Grassroots mobilization defines the process of encouraging political belief, ideas and values of a community (Hochstetler, 1993). The act is still relevant in influencing political party because it enhances the development of s stronger base for making their issues to be heard by the legislators. Today, organizations, associations and politicians are using grassroots mobilization for influencing public policies, and various groups to influence the opinions of the masses concerning issues. Several tactical strategies are commonly used in the mobilization, like holding press conferences or issuance of press releases. Besides, the increase in the use of social media like Facebook and Twitter makes it cheaper, easier and fast to initiate grassroots mobilization.
It usually occurs that the concerns of those seeking legislation vary from those of the public. This makes grassroots mobilization critical in changing the community’s opinion towards a particular avenue (Schafft, 1999). For example, the public holds the perception that crime is the first problem followed by economic growth and then international affairs. On the other hand, mobilizes listed health as the first issue followed by environmental conservation. Even though grassroots mobilization has greatly altered the manner of communication, it remains focused on addressing the same issues as it was many years ago.
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