Scandalous Politics

Author: Juliet F. Gainsborough
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589016156
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Little work has been done to systematically analyze how high-profile incidents of child neglect and abuse shape child welfare policymaking in the United States. In Scandalous Politics, Juliet Gainsborough presents quantitative analysis of all fifty states and qualitative case studies of three states (Florida, Colorado, and New Jersey) that reveal how well-publicized child welfare scandals result in adoption of new legislation and new administrative procedures. Gainsborough’s quantitative analysis suggests that child welfare policymaking is frequently reactive, while the case studies provide more detail about variations and the legislative process. For example, the case studies illustrate how the nature and extent of the policy response varies according to particular characteristics of the political environment in the state and the administrative structure of the child welfare system. Scandalous Politics increases our understanding of the politics of child welfare at both the state and federal level and provides new insights into existing theories of agenda-setting and the policy process. It will be of interest to everyone involved with child welfare policymaking and especially public policy and public administration scholars.

The Politics of Policy Change

Author: Daniel Béland
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589018891
Format: PDF, ePub
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For generations, debating the expansion or contraction of the American welfare state has produced some of the nation's most heated legislative battles. Attempting social policy reform is both risky and complicated, especially when it involves dealing with powerful vested interests, sharp ideological disagreements, and a nervous public. The Politics of Policy Change compares and contrasts recent developments in three major federal policy areas in the United States: welfare, Medicare, and Social Security. Daniel Béland and Alex Waddan argue that we should pay close attention to the role of ideas when explaining the motivations for, and obstacles to, policy change. This insightful book concentrates on three cases of social policy reform (or attempted reform) that took place during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Béland and Waddan further employ their framework to help explain the meaning of the 2010 health insurance reform and other developments that have taken place during the Obama presidency. The result is a book that will improve our understanding of the politics of policy change in contemporary federal politics.

Medicaid Politics

Author: Frank J. Thompson
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589019342
Format: PDF, ePub
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Medicaid, one of the largest federal programs in the United States, gives grants to states to provide health insurance for over 60 million low-income Americans. As private health insurance benefits have relentlessly eroded, the program has played an increasingly important role. Yet Medicaid’s prominence in the health care arena has come as a surprise. Many astute observers of the Medicaid debate have long claimed that “a program for the poor is a poor program� prone to erosion because it serves a stigmatized, politically weak clientele. Means-tested programs for the poor are often politically unpopular, and there is pressure from fiscally conservative lawmakers to scale back the $350-billion-per-year program even as more and more Americans have come to rely on it. For their part, health reformers had long assumed that Medicaid would fade away as the country moved toward universal health insurance. Instead, Medicaid has proved remarkably durable, expanding and becoming a major pillar of America’s health insurance system. In Medicaid Politics, political scientist Frank J. Thompson examines the program’s profound evolution during the presidential administrations of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama and its pivotal role in the epic health reform law of 2010. This clear and accessible book details the specific forces embedded in American federalism that contributed so much to Medicaid’s growth and durability during this period. It also looks to the future outlining the political dynamics that could yield major program retrenchment.

The Congressional Budget Office

Author: Philip G. Joyce
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1589017587
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Created in 1974, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has become one of the most influential forces in national policymaking. A critical component of our system of checks and balances, the CBO has given Congress the analytical capacity to challenge the president on budget issues while it protects the public interest, providing honest numbers about Congress's own budget proposals. The book discusses the CBO’s role in larger budget policy and the more narrow "scoring" of individual legislation, such as its role in the 2009–2010 Obama health care reform. It also describes how the first director, Alice Rivlin, and seven successors managed to create and sustain a nonpartisan, highly credible agency in the middle of one of the most partisan institutions imaginable. The Congressional Budget Office: Honest Numbers, Power, and Policy draws on interviews with high-level participants in the budget debates of the last 35 years to tell the story of the CBO. A combination of political history, economic history, and organizational development, The Congressional Budget Office offers an important, first book-length history of this influential agency.

New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research

Author: National Research Council
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 0309285127
Format: PDF, ePub
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Each year, child protective services receive reports of child abuse and neglect involving six million children, and many more go unreported. The long-term human and fiscal consequences of child abuse and neglect are not relegated to the victims themselves -- they also impact their families, future relationships, and society. In 1993, the National Research Council (NRC) issued the report, Under-standing Child Abuse and Neglect, which provided an overview of the research on child abuse and neglect. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research updates the 1993 report and provides new recommendations to respond to this public health challenge. According to this report, while there has been great progress in child abuse and neglect research, a coordinated, national research infrastructure with high-level federal support needs to be established and implemented immediately. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research recommends an actionable framework to guide and support future child abuse and neglect research. This report calls for a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to child abuse and neglect research that examines factors related to both children and adults across physical, mental, and behavioral health domains--including those in child welfare, economic support, criminal justice, education, and health care systems--and assesses the needs of a variety of subpopulations. It should also clarify the causal pathways related to child abuse and neglect and, more importantly, assess efforts to interrupt these pathways. New Directions in Child Abuse and Neglect Research identifies four areas to look to in developing a coordinated research enterprise: a national strategic plan, a national surveillance system, a new generation of researchers, and changes in the federal and state programmatic and policy response.

God and the Welfare State

Author: Lew Daly
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262262509
Format: PDF, ePub
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When the Bush administration's faith-based initiative was introduced in 2001 as the next stage of the "war on poverty," it provoked a flurry of protest for violating the church-state divide. Most critics didn't ask whether it could work. God and the Welfare State is the first book to trace the ideas behind George W. Bush's faith-based initiative from their roots in Catholic natural law theory and Dutch Calvinism to an American think tank, the Center for Public Justice. Comparing Bush's plan with the ways the same ideas have played out in Christian Democratic welfare policies in Europe, the author is skeptical that it will be an effective new way to fight poverty. But he takes the animating ideas very seriously, as they go to the heart of the relationship among religion, government, and social welfare. In the end Daly argues that these ideas -- which are now entrenched in federal and state politics -- are a truly radical departure from American traditions of governance. Although Bush's initiative roughly overlaps with more conventional conservative efforts to strengthen private power in economic life, it promises an unprecedented shift in the balance of power between secular and religious approaches to social problems and suggests a broader template for "faith-based governance," in which the state would have a much more limited role in social policy.

People Politics and Child Welfare in British Columbia

Author: Leslie T. Foster
Publisher: UBC Press
ISBN: 0774840978
Format: PDF, Mobi
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People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia traces the evolution of policies and programs intended to protect children in BC from neglect and abuse. Analyzing this evolution reveals that child protection policy and practice has reflected the priorities of politicians and public servants in power. With few exceptions, efforts to establish effective programs have focused on structural arrangements, staffing responsibilities, and rules to regulate the practice of child welfare workers. Contributors to this book conclude that these attempts have been unsuccessful thus far because they have failed to address the impact of poverty on clients. The need to respect the cultural traditions and values of First Nations clients has also been ignored. Effective services require recognizing and remedying poverty's impact, establishing community control over services, and developing a radically different approach to the day-to-day practice of child welfare workers. People, Politics, and Child Welfare in British Columbia provides a crucial assessment of the state of child welfare in the province. Practitioners, scholars, and students in social work, child and youth care, education, and other human-service professions will find this book particularly important.

Fenced Off

Author: Juliet F. Gainsborough
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589018112
Format: PDF, ePub
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Since the 1980s a distinctive suburban politics has emerged in the United States, Juliet F. Gainsborough argues in Fenced Off . As suburbs have become less economically and socially dependent on the central cities, suburban and urban dwellers have diverged not only in their voting patterns but also in their thinking about national politics. While political reporters have long noted this difference, few quantitative studies have been conducted on suburbanization alone—above and beyond race or class—as a political trend. Using census and public opinion statistics, along with data on congressional districts and party platforms, Gainsborough demonstrates that this "ideology of localism" weakens when suburbs experience city-like problems and strengthens when racial and economic differences with the nearby city increase. In addition, Gainsborough uses national survey data from the 1950s to the 1990s to show that a separate suburban politics has arisen only during the last two decades. Further, she argues, the political differences between urban and suburban voters have found expression in changes in congressional representation and new electoral strategies for the major political parties. As Congressional districts become increasingly suburban, "soccer moms" and liveability agendas come to dominate party platforms, and the needs of the urban poor disappear from political debate. Fenced Off uses the tools of political science to prove what political commentators have sensed—that the suburbs offer a powerful voting bloc that is being courted with sophisticated new strategies.

The Failure of Governance in Bell California

Author: Thom Reilly
Publisher: Lexington Books
ISBN: 1498512135
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“How could this have happened?” The question still lingers among officials and residents of the small southern California town of Bell. Corruption is hardly an isolated challenge to the governance of America’s cities. But following decades of benign obscurity, Bell witnessed the emergence of a truly astonishing level of public wrongdoing—a level succinctly described by Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley as “corruption on steroids.” Even discounting the enormous sums involved—the top administrator paid himself nearly $800,000 a year in a town with a $35,000 average income—this was no ordinary failure of governance. The picture that emerges from years of federal, state, and local investigations, trials, depositions, and media accounts is of an elaborate culture of corruption and deceit created and sustained by top city administrators, councilmembers, police officers, numerous municipal employees, and consultants. The Failure of Governance in Bell California: Big-Time Corruption in a Small Town details how Bell was rendered vulnerable to such massive malfeasance by a disengaged public, lack of established ethical norms, absence of effective checks and balances, and minimal coverage by an overextended area news media. It is a grim and nearly unbelievable story. Yet even these factors fail to fully explain how such large-scale corruption could have arisen. More specifically, how did it occur within a structure—the council-manager form of government—that had been deliberately designed to promote good governance? Why were so many officials and employees prepared to participate in or overlook the ongoing corruption? To what degree can theories of governance, such as contagion theory or the “rover bandit” theme, explain the success of such blatant wrongdoing? The Failure of Governance, by Arizona State University Professor Thom Reilly—himself former county manager of Clark County, Nevada—pursues answers to these and related questions through an analysis of municipal operations that will afford the reader deeper insight into the inner workings of city governments—corrupt and otherwise. By considering factors arising from both theory and practice, Reilly makes clear, in other words, why the sad saga of Bell, California represents both a case study and a warning.