Policy Agenda (policy + agenda)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Humanities and Social Sciences

Selected Abstracts

A Policy Agenda for Post-Apartheid South Africa (Introduction)

IDS BULLETIN, Issue 4 2006
Raphael Kaplinsky
No abstract is available for this article. [source]

Leading from Below: How Sub-National Governments Influence Policy Agendas

J.N. Keddie
This article takes a state's eye view of trends towards a more centralised system of governance in Australia. It argues that while globalisation strengthens the roles of national governments it also provides less noticed public policy and management opportunities for sub-national governments. The article shows how state governments in Australia can use high-level policy proposals to reinforce their continuing relevance as key members of a federal system of government. It proposes that skilful deployment of policy ideas and analyses can enable the states to sustain alternative national agendas despite hostility or lack of interest by the federal government. In conclusion, the article examines the implications for federal-state relations under the Rudd government. It suggests that the elements for productive reform agendas are present but that bringing them together will require considerable effort. [source]

Education for Social Change: Girls' Secondary Schooling in Eritrea

Tanja R. Müller
One central pillar of the Eritrean revolution is the modernization of gender roles within Eritrean society, through education. This article, based on ethnographic style research, looks at the personal experiences of young women in Eritrean secondary schools. These girls' journeys are discussed in terms of gender resistance, exemplifying modernity, and gender accommodation, exemplifying tradition. It is argued that these categories are not as dichotomous as claimed by the education policy agenda: in contrast, many young women strive to find a balance between the two. Ultimately, the success of the Eritrean model of the modernization of gender roles should be measured in terms of having created an environment in which women are able to strive to fulfil their aspirations. [source]

Recapturing the Universal in the University

Ronald Barnett
Abstract The idea of ,the university' has stood for universal themes,of knowing, of truthfulness, of learning, of human development, and of critical reason. Through its affirming and sustaining of such themes, the university came itself to stand for universality in at least two senses: the university was neither partial (in its truth criteria) nor local in its significance (at least, the university was an institution of the nation state and even had global significance). Now, this universalism has been shot down: on the one hand, universal themes have been impugned as passé in a postmodern age; in the ,knowledge society', knowledge with a capital ,K' is giving way to multiple and even local knowledges (plural). On the other hand, the very process of globalization has been accused of being a new process of colonization. Global universities, accordingly, may be seen as a vehicle for the imposition of Western modes of reason (often suspected in turn of being no more than Western economic reason at that). Diversity is the new watchword, a term that,we may note,has come to be part of the framing of the contemporary policy agenda for higher education. Accordingly, in such a situation of multiple meanings, both within and across institutions, the university becomes an institutional means for developing the capacities,at both the personal and the societal levels,to live with ,strangeness': perhaps here lies a new universal for the university? But, then, if that is the case, if strangeness is the new universal for the university, some large challenges await those who would claim to lead and manage universities. [source]

Alcohol and Russian mortality: a continuing crisis

ADDICTION, Issue 10 2009
David A. Leon
ABSTRACT Background Russia remains in the grip of a mortality crisis in which alcohol plays a central role. In 2007, male life expectancy at birth was 61 years, while for females it was 74 years. Alcohol is implicated particularly in deaths among working-age men. Aims To review the current state of knowledge about the contribution of alcohol to the continuing very high mortality seen among Russian adults Results Conservative estimates attribute 31,43% of deaths among working-age men to alcohol. This latter estimate would imply a minimum of 170 000 excess deaths due to hazardous alcohol consumption in Russia per year. Men drink appreciably more than women in Russia. Hazardous drinking is most prevalent among people with low levels of education and those who are economically disadvantaged, partly because some of the available sources of ethanol are very cheap and easy to obtain. The best estimates available suggest that per capita consumption among adults is 15,18 litres of pure ethanol per year. However, reliable estimation of the total volume of alcohol consumed per capita in Russia is very difficult because of the diversity of sources of ethanol that are available, for many of which data do not exist. These include both illegal spirits, as well as legal non-beverage alcohols (such as medicinal tinctures). In 2006 regulations were introduced aimed at reducing the production and sale of non-beverage alcohols that are commonly drunk. These appear to have been only partially successful. Conclusion There is convincing evidence that alcohol plays an important role in explaining high mortality in Russia, in particular among working age men. However, there remain important uncertainties about the precise scale of the problem and about the health effects of the distinctive pattern of alcohol consumption that is prevalent in Russia today. While there is a need for further research, enough is known to justify the development of a comprehensive inter-sectoral alcohol control strategy. The recent fall in life expectancy in Russia should give a renewed urgency to attempts to move the policy agenda forward. [source]

Moving Mountains: will qualifications systems promote lifelong learning?

This article aims at providing a check list of possible mechanisms to trigger more and better lifelong learning from within the national qualifications system. It analyses the existing policy responses to the lifelong learning agenda in the countries under study and identifies possible mechanisms within the qualifications system that could impact on the behaviour of the many stakeholders. There are many other ways to impact on lifelong learning but they are not addressed in this article which focuses on the role of national qualifications systems. Two mechanisms in particular are studied in more detail because they seem to be at the top of the research and policy agenda of many countries: qualifications frameworks and recognition of non-formal and informal learning systems. [source]

Managing Diversity? ,Community Cohesion' and Its Limits in Neoliberal Urban Policy

Julie MacLeavy
The concept of ,community cohesion' has played a defining role in the institution of a new policy agenda for regenerating urban areas in many liberal welfare states. Its particular interpretation supports the installation of urban programmes that are based not on the improvement of the built environment, but rather investment in the social and cultural composition of cities. In particular, the economic and civic participation of individuals living within deprived urban areas is positioned as a key means of redressing situations of inequality and disadvantage. This article reviews the concept of ,community cohesion', its use in urban policy in the UK, and the recent literature on this subject. Through an indicative discussion of the New Deal for Communities programme, it explores the potential implications of ,community cohesion' for disadvantaged policy subjects and considers especially its provisions for ethnic minority groups: a constellation of community in which individuals are understood to experience a ,double disadvantage' as a result of their disproportionate concentration in deprived urban areas, and their subjection to the consequences of racial discrimination (as well as language and cultural barriers). [source]

The European Parliament and the Commission Crisis: A New Assertiveness?

GOVERNANCE, Issue 3 2002
David Judge
This article examines two claims made about the "Commission crisis" of 1999: first, that the accountability of the Commission to the European Parliament (EP) was significantly increased; and, second, that the model of parliamentary government in the European Union (EU) was advanced by events in 1999. In analyzing the crisis and its consequences, this article focuses upon the powers of dismissal and appointment, and what these powers reveal about the capacity of the EP both to hold the Commission responsible for its collective and individual actions and to influence its policy agenda. If a parliamentary model is to develop in the EU, the negative parliamentary powers of censure and dismissal have to be balanced by the positive powers of appointment and enhanced executive responsiveness. On both counts,dismissal and appointment,the 1999 "Commission crisis" did not point to the clear and unambiguous dawning of a "genuine European parliamentary democracy." [source]

Global crisis and beyond: Sustainable growth trajectories for the developing world

Jayati GHOSH
Abstract. Despite recent signs of output recovery, casual resumption of the growth model that crashed in 2008,09 will exacerbate the domestic and global imbalances that caused the crisis in the first place , to the detriment of the real economy, equitable development, and employment recovery. The model's environmental unsustainability is also evident. The author therefore argues for a broad policy agenda including reform of the international financial system, development strategies re-focused on wage-driven domestic demand and viable agriculture, fiscal promotion of greener technologies and demand patterns, and redistributive social policies to reduce inequalities and act as macroeconomic stabilizers in downturns. [source]

The Concept of Social Exclusion in the European Union: Context, Development and Possibilities

Rob Atkinson
In recent years the term ,social exclusion' has come to occupy a central place in the discussion of social policy and inequality in Europe. While the notion has acquired important strategic connotations, by stressing structural and cultural/social processes, the precise meaning of the term remains somewhat elusive. This article focuses on the reason for and the manner in which the notion of social exclusion has developed within the EU social policy discourse, aiming to provide a clearer understanding of its origins, functions and multiple dimensions. Whilst adopting a critical approach to the notion of social exclusion, the article suggests that the concept has played a positive role in keeping issues such as inequality and poverty on the policy agenda. The article also suggests possible ways in which social exclusion might be developed in a climate which has become less conducive, if not hostile, to an autonomous, activist EU social policy. [source]

Solving nursing shortages: a common priority

James Buchan
Aims and objectives., This paper provides a context for this special edition. It highlights the scale of the challenge of nursing shortages, but also makes the point that there is a policy agenda that provides workable solutions. Results., An overview of nurse:population ratios in different countries and regions of the world, highlighting considerable variations, with Africa and South East Asia having the lowest average ratios. The paper argues that the ,shortage' of nurses is not necessarily a shortage of individuals with nursing qualifications, it is a shortage of nurses willing to work in the present conditions. The causes of shortages are multi-faceted, and there is no single global measure of their extent and nature, there is growing evidence of the impact of relatively low staffing levels on health care delivery and outcomes. The main causes of nursing shortages are highlighted: inadequate workforce planning and allocation mechanisms, resource constrained undersupply of new staff, poor recruitment, retention and ,return' policies, and ineffective use of available nursing resources through inappropriate skill mix and utilisation, poor incentive structures and inadequate career support. Conclusions., What now faces policy makers in Japan, Europe and other developed countries is a policy agenda with a core of common themes. First, themes related to addressing supply side issues: getting, keeping and keeping in touch with relatively scarce nurses. Second, themes related to dealing with demand side challenges. The paper concludes that the main challenge for policy makers is to develop a co-ordinated package of policies that provide a long term and sustainable solution. Relevance to clinical practice., This paper highlights the impact that nursing shortages has on clinical practice and in health service delivery. It outlines scope for addressing shortage problems and therefore for providing a more positive staffing environment in which clinical practice can be delivered. [source]

Parental negotiations of the moral terrain of risk in relation to young people with intellectual disabilities

Kathryn Almack
Abstract This paper draws upon parental accounts from a study of the process of transition for a cohort of 28 young people with relatively severe intellectual disabilities who left special schools in 2004 and 2005 in two adjacent English localities. This paper examines how parents negotiate these boundaries and position themselves in relation to risk. A primary concern identified by parents during this transition period focuses on the risk of harm facing these vulnerable young people (whether through accidents or through sexual, emotional, physical or financial abuse) as they move into the adult world. These concerns are juxtaposed with discourses that increasingly promote the possibilities for people with intellectual disabilities to express and follow their own wishes and aspirations. For example, the policy agenda in England and Wales actively endorses the start of adult life as a time of opportunity for young people and promotes the values of independence and choice. In accounting for the management of risk in the young people's lives, we conclude that parents navigate complex boundaries between being seen to be over-protective and ,letting go'; between trusting others to act in the young adults' best interests and allowing these young people the autonomy to negotiate risk. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Social planning: past, present, and future

Ray Bromley
This article discusses the history of the idea of social planning, and of the pioneering Masters Programme in Social Planning established at the University of Wales Swansea in 1973. Swansea's initiative in social planning led to the creation of the University's Centre for Development Studies (CDS), and it broadened development studies as an academic and policy field. Social planning is a controversial term because it has sometimes been associated with social engineering and totalitarianism. Nevertheless, it has a very important intellectual and policy agenda, and if the word ,planning' proves a liability it can be replaced by ,policy' or ,strategy'. The major questions reviewed at CDS-Swansea in the 1970s are still pertinent, and new dimensions have been added through growing concerns for nation-building, sustainability, democracy, gender equity and human rights. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Business Power and Tax Reform: Taxing Income and Profits in Chile and Argentina

Tasha Fairfield
ABSTRACT This article examines efforts to increase taxation of highly concentrated, undertapped income and profits in Latin America in the aftermath of structural adjustment. Argentina has advanced further than Chile in two policy areas: corporate taxation, which taps firm-level profits; and tax agency access to bank information, which helps reduce income tax evasion. These outcomes are explained by drawing on the classic concepts of business instrumental power, which entails political actions, and structural power, which arises from investment decisions. In Chile, strong instrumental power removed reforms in both areas from the policy agenda. In Argentina, much weaker instrumental power at the cross-sectoral level facilitated corporate tax increases. Bank information access was expanded after Argentina's 2001 crisis weakened the financial sector's instrumental power and reduced structural power. [source]

Evaluation across an intergovernmental context: Issues raised through different perspectives on Even Start

Susan Boser
Although the authorizing environment may dictate the nature and use of evaluations, state and locally conducted evaluation provides a distinct lens for understanding the conditions affecting program implementation and the outcomes of programs under study. The learning that transpires at the state and local government levels through evaluation can motivate stakeholders to use evaluation to influence the policy agenda. [source]

The Reagan Democrat Phenomenon: How Wise Was the Conventional Wisdom?

POLITICS & POLICY, Issue 4 2005
Julio Borquez
This article examines vote defection by white Democrats in the presidential elections of 1980,1988 and reconsiders the foundations of the "Reagan Democrat" phenomenon. The conventional wisdom has been that the defection of Reagan Democrats was motivated by conservative policy preferences, especially on race and redistribution. National Election Study data from 1980,1988 are used to test a multivariate model of vote choice. In 1980 and 1984, Democratic defectors were much more influenced by performance assessments than by policy preferences. Contrary to the prevailing storyline, Reagan Democrats were not voting to endorse a conservative policy agenda, but were more generally punishing Jimmy Carter in 1980 for poor performance in office and rewarding Ronald Reagan in 1984 for a job well done. Racial policy was a more potent influence on defection in 1988. [source]

Getting Dirty-Minded: Implementing Presidential Policy Agendas Administratively

Robert F. Durant
With polarization in Congress persistent, with staggering issues and international threats facing the nation, and with fiscal stress an enduring fact of life, presidents have for decades turned to the tools of the administrative presidency to advance and implement their policy agendas. As the Barack Obama administration completed its first six months in office amid great challenges and hopes, the president was no exception in counting on his appointees to wield the tools of the administrative presidency to advance his protean policy agenda for America. This essay offers 10 research-based lessons for new appointees charged with advancing presidential agendas administratively to ponder as they do so. [source]

From Cooperative to Opportunistic Federalism: Reflections on the Half-Century Anniversary of the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations

Tim Conlan
In 1955, the Commission on Intergovernmental Relations,the Kestnbaum Commission,embellished the intellectual framework of cooperative federalism and laid out a policy agenda for promoting it. Since then, our intergovernmental system has evolved from a predominantly cooperative federal,state,local system to one characterized by corrosive opportunistic behavior, greater policy prescriptiveness, eroding institutional capacity for intergovernmental analysis, and shifting paradigms of public management. These trends threaten to undermine effective intergovernmental relations and management. Recent developments, however, offer some promise for building new institutions of intergovernmental analysis, more effective paradigms of intergovernmental public management, and greater horizontal cooperation. [source]

Designing out vulnerability, building in respect: violence, safety and sex work policy

Teela Sanders
Abstract One recent finding about the prostitution market is the differences in the extent and nature of violence experienced between women who work on the street and those who work from indoor sex work venues. This paper brings together extensive qualitative fieldwork from two cities in the UK to unpack the intricacies in relation to violence and safety for indoor workers. Firstly, we document the types of violence women experience in indoor venues noting how the vulnerabilities surrounding work-based hazards are dependent on the environment in which sex is sold. Secondly, we highlight the protection strategies that indoor workers and management develop to maintain safety and order in the establishment. Thirdly, we use these empirical findings to suggest that violence should be a high priority on the policy agenda. Here we contend that the organizational and cultural conditions that seem to offer some protection from violence in indoor settings could be useful for informing the management of street sex work. Finally, drawing on the crime prevention literature, we argue that it is possible to go a considerable way to designing out vulnerability in sex work, but not only through physical and organizational change but building in respect for sex workers rights by developing policies that promote the employment/human rights and citizenship for sex workers. This argument is made in light of the Coordinated Prostitution Strategy. [source]

The Government Agenda in Parliamentary Democracies

Lanny W. Martin
Lawmaking is a challenge for coalition governments because it inherently demands cooperation and compromise by parties with divergent policy goals. The jurisdictional system of cabinet government exacerbates the problem by providing parties the means to undermine the coalition bargain in the pursuit of their own policy interests. In this article, I explore whether arrangements that allow partners to police one another induce compromise on one of the most important decisions taken by a government,the organization of the policy agenda. In an analysis of original data on the timing and policy content of over 800 government bills from four European democracies, I show that coalition governments pursue a largely "accommodative" agenda. Policy initiatives dealing with issues that are more attractive to all partners in the coalition are likely to be given priority on the agenda, while those dealing with relatively unattractive issues are likely to be postponed. [source]

Effective Practice in Probation: An Example of ,Advanced Liberal' Responsibilisation?

Hazel Kemshall
This article argues that the dominant emphasis upon effective practice in probation work, particularly the emergence of effective programmes can be understood as an example of a key mechanism of social control in advanced liberal societies. Utilising Rose's concept of ,responsibilisation' the article examines the role of effective programmes in the emerging social policy agenda of citizen re-moralisation, responsibilisation and inclusion exemplified in late modern advanced liberal welfare states. The article concludes that the embracement of effective programmes has reconstituted the probation service as a key agency in the social control and exclusion of those citizens deemed ,intransigent' or ,irresponsible', thus assisting in the demarcation of those who can play a full role in the welfare society from those who cannot. [source]

Women, Armed Conflict, and Peacemaking in Sri Lanka: Toward a Political Economy Perspective

Asoka Bandarage
This article discusses women's roles as victims, perpetrators, and peacemakers in armed conflicts in contemporary Sri Lanka. It covers such phenomena as rape as a weapon of war, women IDPs, "war widows," female-headed households, women suicide bombers, mothers for peace, and feminist peace activism. The article points out that aggression and victimization need to be understood as occurring across ethnicity and gender as well as within ethnic and gender groups. Contributing toward a political economy perspective, the article considers the complex intersection of gender, ethnicity, caste, and social class within the confluence of local, regional, and international forces. The article concludes by emphasizing the need to broaden the social class and local bases of feminist peace activism and to formulate an integrated gender-, ethnicity- and class-sensitive policy agenda for postconflict development in Sri Lanka. [source]

The Policies and Politics of Industrial Upgrading in Thailand during the Thaksin Era (2001,2006)

Laurids S. Lauridsen
What happens when developing countries can no longer grow by simply exploiting their existing comparative advantages in natural resources or cheap labor? When entering the 21st century Thailand was confronted with that question, but in comparison with other East Asian countries it was also a laggard in relation to industrial technology development. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra placed industrial upgrading high on the policy agenda. This article combines a policy cycle analysis with a political analysis. It examines the ability and willingness of the Thaksin government to design and implement an adequate and coherent set of industrial upgrading policies with a particular emphasis on implementation issues. It is argued that although many initiatives were taken during the Thaksin era, they did not add up to an adequate and coherent set of industrial upgrading policies. This was partly due to institutional legacies in the bureaucratic system but mainly a result of the logic of politics, including the nature of political coalition-building. [source]

An Evaluation of the Economic Approaches Used by Policy Actors towards Investment in Place-Based Partnerships in Victoria

Chris McDonald
Place-based partnerships are supported by the state and include various organisations and interests within particular geographic areas. The Victorian government has established place-based partnerships to plan and coordinate resource allocation decisions to meet objectives such as economic development and social inclusion. In the literature there are positive and negative views of these partnerships. One view is that they allow regions to build competitive advantage, while another is that they are a means of pursuing a neoliberal policy agenda that seeks to reduce government protection and investment. We help clarify the tensions between positive and negative views of partnerships by examining the economic approaches used by policy actors toward place-based partnerships in Victoria. We find that policy actors combine neoclassical and institutionalist approaches to argue that partnerships generate networks that enable more efficient and equitable resource allocation within places. [source]

Coerciveness and the selection of environmental policy instruments

Douglas Macdonald
This article analyses the relative coerciveness associated with the instruments used by municipal, provincial and federal governments in Canada to address three major successive pollution threats - sewage, industrial toxic waste, and greenhouse-gas emissions - that have appeared on the policy agenda over the course of the past century. During that time, there has been an overall trend of declining coerciveness, with one exception. In the case of toxic waste, established regulatory regimes were made more coercive some years after they were first put in place. These findings can best be explained by theories of instrument choice that look to interactions among relevant state and societal actors in the policy network. It is suggested that one aspect of that process in particular - the balance of power between regulator and "regulatee" -is of importance in explaining relative coerciveness. We must first understand theability of the regulator to coerce before we can explain the selection of more or less coercive instruments. Sommaire: Le degré de coercition est un attribut souvent utilisé pour classer les politiques publiques. L'auteur de cet article analyse la coercition associée aux instruments politiques utilisés par les gouvemements fédéral, municipaux et provinciaux au Canada au cours du siècle demier. Les gouvernements en question tentent de s'attaquer à trois importantes menaces successives de pollution qui ont figuré au programme d'élaboration des politiques, à savoir les égouts, les déchets toxiques industriels et les émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Pendant cette période, les politiques coercitives connaissaient un déclin, exception faite des déchets toxiques où des règlements établis sont devenus plus coercitifs quelques années après leur mise en place. Les théories du choix des instruments politiques qui étudient les interactions entre les acteurs gouvernementaux et sociaux en matiére d'élaboration des politiques expliquent mieux les résultats relevés. On pense qu'un aspect particulier de ce processus, à savoir l'équilibre du pouvoir entre l'autorité de réglementation et les réglementés, est important pour expliquer la coercition relative. Nous devons dans un premier temps comprendre lacnpacité de l'autorité de réglementation à contraindre avant de pouvoir expliquer le choix d'instruments plus ou moins coercitifs. [source]

Childhood disadvantage and health inequalities: a framework for policy based on lifecourse research

H. Graham
Abstract Tackling health inequalities is moving up the policy agenda of richer societies like the UK, with governments looking for evidence to guide policy review and development. Observational studies of how childhood disadvantage compromises health in adulthood are an important part of the evidence base, but are largely inaccessible to the policy community. We develop a framework which captures the findings of these studies. Our framework highlights how disadvantage in childhood adversely affects both socio-economic circumstances and health in adulthood through a set of interlocking processes. Key among these are children's developmental health (their physical, cognitive and emotional development) and health behaviours, together with the associated educational and social trajectories. In breaking down the link between childhood disadvantage and adult health into its constituent elements, the framework provides a basis for understanding where and how policies can make a difference. The paper argues that the process of policy review and development needs to include both new programmes and the mainstream policies in which they are embedded. [source]

Childhood risks and protective factors in social exclusion

CHILDREN & SOCIETY, Issue 5 2001
John Bynner
Combating social exclusion is a dominant theme in the current policy agenda. Yet the term social exclusion is of relatively recent origin. It was promoted originally in France in policy debates surrounding disability (Evans, 2000) and through theoretical developments in sociology and political science about the increasing detachment of certain individuals and groups from the state in late modernity (Beck and others, 1994). A quite different and more long-standing research tradition is to be found in developmental psychology,respectively in the sub-fields of ,developmental psychopathology' (Rutter, 1993) and ,life course theory and lifespan developmental psychology' (Elder and others 1993, 1998a&b; Lerner,1998; Lerner and others, 2000). The two themes come together in the idea of risk: Which children are most vulnerable to adult psychiatric disorders or criminality? Which children are likely to become socially excluded as adults? A dialogue between risk and social exclusion is likely to be fruitful in bringing together large and diverse research literatures combining both explanatory and intervention studies to bear on a central problem of modern society. The purpose of this paper is to begin such a task, but selectively, focusing on the main themes of research, as illuminated by key findings. The paper concludes with a consideration of recent policy initiatives to combat social exclusion, in which the ideas of risk and protection have a central place. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Rethinking the Emerging Post-Washington Consensus

Ziya Öni
The objective of this article is to provide a critical assessment of the emerging Post-Washington Consensus (PWC), as the new influential vision in the development debate. The authors begin by tracing the main record of the Washington Consensus, the set of neoliberal economic policies propagated largely by key Bretton Woods institutions like the World Bank and the IMF, that penetrated into the economic policy agendas of many developing countries from the late 1970s onwards. They then outline the main tenets of the PWC, emerging from the shortcomings of that record and the reaction it created in the political realm. The authors accept that the PWC, in so far as it influences the actual practice of key Bretton Woods institutions, provides an improvement over the Washington Consensus. Yet, at the same time, they draw attention to the failure of the PWC, as reflected in current policy practice, to provide a sufficiently broad framework for dealing with key and pressing development issues such as income distribution, poverty and self-sustained growth. [source]

Conceptualizing desertification in Southern Europe: stakeholder interpretations and multiple policy agendas

M. Juntti
Abstract This paper explores the link between agricultural, environmental and structural policies and desertification in Southern Europe. The focus is on the way policy goals evolve in the implementation process and become translated into actions at the operative level. The results derive from policy stakeholder interviews from four research areas situated in Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. The significance of policies as drivers of desertification varies between the case study areas, and harmful land management practices often result from power imbalances between interest groups involved in land-use planning and policy implementation rather than from flaws in the policies themselves. The vagueness of the definition of what ,desertification' constitutes allows for different interpretations of its nature, significance and the consequent weight it is given in land management decision-making, thus lending itself to be both misinterpreted and misappropriated by different stakeholder interests. The paper discusses the interplay between five different discourses of desertification and four distinct agendas of policy implementation and land use. The agendas either enhance or mitigate desertification and represent the interests of actors who have acquired a powerful position in the network of stakeholders, often relying on, and simultaneously maintaining, discourses and structures that lend them first right to decision-making over the natural resources of the locality. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment. [source]

The "strong leadership" of George W. Bush

Fred I. Greenstein
Abstract This paper further explores the phenomenon of the "strong leader" by presenting an account of President George W. Bush, whose early conduct in the White House seemed far from strong, but who rose to the challenge of the terrorist attacks on the US of September 11, 2001 and began to preside with authority and assertiveness over an administration that went to great lengths to put its stamp on the national and international policy agendas, but was intensely controversial in the policies it advanced. The paper provides a three dimensional account of Bush, reviewing his early years, political rise and presidential performance, and then analyzes his leadership style in terms of six criteria that have proven useful for characterizing and assessing earlier chief executives , emotional intelligence, cognitive style, effectiveness as a public communicator, organizational capacity, political skill, and the extent to which the president is guided by a realistic policy vision. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]