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Anaysis Of Articles Regarding Public Policy, Legislation And Politics

807 words - 4 pages

Article Summary American (and other Western) democratic political theory: Legitimizes decisions made through elective and legislative processes. Places a high value on participation and representation. Fears the “king” or, in modern terms, authoritarianism. Rejects transfer of decisions (often called “discretion” in public administration literature) to administrators.  Basic Issue, Part 1  Are the servants of the public to decide their own course, or is their course, or is their course of action to be decided by a body outside themselves?  My answer is that the servants of the public are not to decide their own course; they are to be responsible to the elected representatives of the public, and these are to determine the course of action of the public servants to the most minute degree that is technically feasible. It has long been customary to distinguish between policy-making and policy execution. But while the distinction has a great deal of value as a relative matter of emphasis, it cannot any longer be accepted in this absolute form. Public policy, to put it flatly, is a continuous process, the formulation of which is inseparable from its execution. Public policy is being formed as it is being executed, and it is likewise being executed as it is being formed. This view is controversial to Carl J. Friedrich.This objection looks like a simple assertion that however desirable representative participation may be in normative political theory, it is unachievable in practice if that is Friedrich’s claim, is it (a) a claim about ethics, or (b) relevant to ethics? Friedrich makes at least two more claims. He says that: The problems that governments face are too complicated to be solved by legislation.  To solve them by legislation is to forever condemn us to yesterday’s technology. Is this a matter of ethics? Legislatures sometimes get it wrong.  The people reject legislation and the legislative process may not respond to the popular will as promptly as the bureaucracy.  He cites examples where the bureaucracy failed to implement unpopular laws. Is this a matter of ethics? Thus a wine tax was quietly allowed to drop out of sight, just as the potato control act remained a dead letter in the United States. Suppose you read:  A month after a city policy shift resulted in a sharp increase in the number of arrests of homeless people, a police officer accused of refusing to arrest a homeless man sleeping in a Lower...

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