Politics

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform

The Stafford Act and Priorities for Reform
Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Berkeley Electronic Press, Vol. 6, issue 1: Article 13 

Moss, M., Schellhamer, C. & David A Berman.
01/01/2009

During the past fifty years, federal disaster policy in the United States has been shaped by an ongoing conflict between proponents who favor federal intervention following a disaster and those who believe disaster response should be the responsibility of state and local governments and charity. This article explores the existing federal disaster policy landscape within the United States with a focus on the Stafford Act, the cultural and political forces that produced it, and how the current system is ill equipped to aid in the response and recovery from major catastrophes. The Stafford Act defines how federal disasters are declared, determines the types of assistance to be provided by the federal government, and establishes cost sharing arrangements among federal, state, and local governments. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) carries out the provisions of the Stafford Act and distributes much of the assistance provided by the Act. With the establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the threat of domestic terrorism, and large-scale natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, the limits of the Stafford Act and FEMA have been shown. We look at several areas where the shortcomings of the Stafford Act have emerged and propose directions for reform.

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It

A Government Ill Executed: The Decline of the Federal Service and How to Reverse It
Harvard University Press,

Light, P.C.
05/01/2008

The federal government is having increasing difficulty faithfully executing the laws, which is what Alexander Hamilton called "the true test" of a good government. This book diagnoses the symptoms, explains their general causes, and proposes ways to improve the effectiveness of the federal government. Employing Hamilton's seven measures of an energetic federal service, Paul Light shows how the government is wanting in each measure.

After assessing the federal report card, Light offers a comprehensive agenda for reform, including new laws limiting the number of political appointees, reducing the layers of government management, reducing the size of government as its baby-boom employees retire, revitalizing the federal career, and reducing the heavy outsourcing of federal work. Although there are many ways to fix each of the seven problems with government, only a comprehensive agenda will bring the kind of reform needed to reverse the overall erosion of the capacity to faithfully execute all the laws.

 

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update

Public Opinion toward Legislating for the Future: An Update
Policy Report for New York University's Brademas Center for the Study of Congress,

Light, P.C.
04/01/2008

The past two years have been unsettled at best for Congress. Public approval toward Congress remains low, legislative debates have been contentious, polarization remains high, and Congress has a mixed record in dealing with major long-term issues such as Social Security and Medicare. The State Children's Health Insurance program has been delayed awaiting a compromise that might expand coverage, immigration reform has been waylaid by the intensity of opposition across the party lines, energy reform was diluted by ongoing disputes about how to reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil, and the war in Iraq continues to dictate the pace of major legislative debates.

Anti-Fett Politik: Ubergevicht und staatliche Interventionspolitik in den USA

Anti-Fett Politik: Ubergevicht und staatliche Interventionspolitik in den USA
in H. Schmidt-Semisch & F. Schorb, eds., Kreuzzug gegen Fette [Political Crusade Against Fat]. Translated from original. Wiesbaden, Germany: VS Verlag / Springer Publishing

Kersh, R. & Monroe, J.
02/01/2008

Der Aufruf des Surgeon Generals 2 beginnt dramatisch: „Übergewicht und Adipositas haben epidemische Ausmaße erreicht...." (Satcher zit. nach Mokdad 2001). Wissenschaftler, Regierungssprecher, Medienexperten, Journalisten und Lobbygruppen stimmen zunehmend lauter in diesen alarmistischen Chor ein. Im Gegensatz aber zu vielen anderen Public-Health-Problemen ist Adipositas zu großen Teilen individuellen Verhaltensweisen wie Essen und Trinken geschuldet. In den Vereinigten Staaten mit ihrer starken Kultur des Individualismus wird Privates oft als Tabuzone für staatliche Interventionen betrachtet: „Die Regierung sollte sich aus den persönlichen Entscheidungen, die ich treffe, heraushalten", schreibt der Washingtoner Universitätsprofessor Robert Rüssel, „meine bzw. deine Essgewohnheiten rechtfertigen nicht, dass mir die Regierung in den Kochtopf guckt" (zit. nach St. Louis Dispatch: 21.03.2002).

Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants

Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants
The New Press

Castaneda, J.
01/01/2008

From the massive nationwide rally in support of immigrant rights in May 2006 to protests against the increasingly frequent immigration raids across the country, the public debate on immigration reform has largely centered on Mexican immigrants. Yet, in the United States, we rarely hear the Mexican perspective on the issue.

In “portraits that defy American stereotypes of who is a Mexican immigrant” (Booklist), former Mexican foreign minister and eminent scholar Jorge G. Castañeda describes just who makes up the newest generation of immigrants from Mexico, why they have chosen to live in the United States, where they work, and what they ultimately hope to achieve. Drawing on his wide-ranging experience, Casteñeda examines the century-long historical background behind the labor exchange between Mexico and the United States, while offering an insider’s account of the official conversations and secret negotiations between the two countries in recent years.

Both authoritative and timely, Ex Mex is essential reading for all who want to make sense of the complex issue of immigration.

"Government by the People"

"Government by the People"
Chapters on Federalism, Congress, The Presidency, Bureaucracy, Public Policy Process, Economic Policy, Social Policy, and Foreign Policy

David Magleby, Paul C. Light
01/01/2008

Building on decades of authoritative scholarship, this completely updated text continues to offer accessible, carefully crafted, and straightforward coverage of the foundations of American politics, as well consistent focus on the achievements of a government by the people

 

In an increasingly cynical world, GBTP emphasizes that politics matters and encourages, motivates, and even inspires students–with accounts of individual and collective acts of courageousness, intellect, and integrity in the political arena–to be effective and informed citizens.  

 

With each chapter now framed by nationally-selected learning objectives and chapter mastery self-tests, several compelling new features, and an all new contemporary design, this thoroughly updated Twenty-Third Edition continues in the book’s long tradition for excellence.  As we enter this very complex political era, there is no more reliable or more relevant text to help you advance your students from being simple onlookers to knowledgeable participants in the American political experience.

Lobbyists: Ten Myths About Power and Influence

Lobbyists: Ten Myths About Power and Influence
Health Politics & Policy, Jan 2008, 4th ed.

Kersh, R.
01/01/2008

The fourth edition of Health Politics and Policy examines the political arena in which United States health care policies are made, and provides a framework for understanding how the process works. This book conveys the excitement of health care politics and covers the issues facing the American health care system. Factors that shape health policy are discussed in detail, including values, private players, and government, as well as the resulting dynamic of these forces. A comparison of the U.S. system to others offers a foundation for understanding our system within an international context.

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