Contemporary U.S. federalism particularly since the late1960s has evolved over the course of pluralism alternating exercisable governmental powers between the federal and state governments. The complexity of the power relationship has been observed in a variety of policies during the past quarter-century as has the discussion of whether or not contemporary U.S. federalism has developed in a way that increase effective public policy performance. Focusing mainly on the period of the past 50 years of U.S. federalism history, this article suggests that federalism dynamics have not exercised either constant liberal or conservative influence on public policy performance. Instead, this article suggests that the clear functional responsibility between the federal government and state and local governments have characterized contemporary U.S. federalism-more federal responsibility for redistribution and more state and local responsibility for development, which in turn increased public policy performance. This feature has been quite substantial since 1970s. As a result, this article suggests that despite the increased complexity of the U.S. federal system, it has evolved in such an appropriate way that would increase the efficiency of federal system by dividing a clear intergovernmental responsibility on major policy platforms.
The case of Novi Sad European Capital of Culture 2021 (NS2021), in which various rationales of cultural policy (local, national, supranational) thread a complex web of political interactions, brings interesting challenges to the theoretical landscape of cultural policy research. We start with the analysis of the Bidbook NS2021 as a cultural policy text, discussing its inconsistencies and ambiguities. Then we study the context and the policy process through participant observation and interviews with key authors. We find that the policy-making process is best explained as contingent - meaning that it is dependent on the historical discourses, demands of the specific policy genre, external requirements and internal pressures, and individual agencies and accidents. In the concluding section, we discuss theoretical and methodological implications that policy contingency poses to cultural policy studies.
Monica Mihaela Maer Matei, Cristina Mocanu and Ana-Maria Zamfir
Education is a key factor that can contribute to the economic growth, supporting the social mobility and the living standard improvement. Both from the scientific point of view, as well as from the policy making process point of view, it is essential to know how individuals choose their educational path, in order to understand what is and can be the role of different educational routes in ensuring social mobility and improving standard of living. In this article we explore the factors that explain attitudes and decisions of individuals for vocational vs. general education in Romania. Our analysis is based on data from a national survey among adult Romanian population. Attitudes regarding the choice of vocational vs. general education are analysed by employing decision trees method in order to assess the extent to which vocational education is considered a valuable education path or an educational alternative for those with lower socio-economic background.
Marta Jeruszka-Bielak, Ewa Sicińska, Liesbeth de Wit, Jiří Ruprich, Irena Řehůřková, Kerry A. Brown, Lada Timotijevic, Anne-Mette Sonne, Pernille Haugaard, Antonella Guzzon, Noé Brito Garcia, Eleni Alevritou, Maria Hermoso, Yuliya Sarmant, Liisa Lähteenmäki, Wojciech Roszkowski and Monique M. Raats
The objective was to identify the main factors influencing micronutrient policies in the opinion of policy actors in ten European countries. Study was carried out during Jan-Nov 2010 in European countries: the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Spain. Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with representatives of stakeholders involved in the vitamin D, folate and iodine policy making process. Fifty eight key informants representing mainly scientific advisory bodies (n=24) and governmental organisations (n=19) participated in the study. The remaining interviewees represented non-governmental organisations (n=6), industry (n=4) or were independent academic or health professional experts (n=5). Data were analysed by theoretical interpretative thematic analysis. Insights from interviewees on the development of micronutrient policies were grouped using the Public Health Nutrition Policy-making model. The main factors influencing the micronutrient policies were: systematic monitoring of nutrition and health, causal relationships between consumers’ diet-related behaviours and health outcomes, scientific recommendations from national bodies (Science area); scientific recommendations from international authorities and experiences of other countries, EU legislation, cultural factors (Wider context) and political environment, national capacity to deal with the problem, national legislation, economics, stakeholder engagement, relationships between stakeholders (Policy and institutions area). The spectrum and weight of the factors influencing nutritional policy depends on nutrient, country and degree of its “advanced status” within nutrition policy, political environment, culture and socio-economic conditions as well as the point of view (who is expressing the opinion).
The aim of this paper is to provide a geographical urban policy perspective on the strategy of Smart Cities in the specific context of Czechia. Considering that the implementation of the Smart Cities (SC) concept is still relatively young in Czechia, it is highly relevant to examine the time-space diffusion of this concept in Czechia in the geographical lens: where the first initiative to build a smart city started, when the process was started and by whom; in other words, to provide basic empirical evidence of understanding the policy mobility and implementation of smart city policy into the urban development strategies. In the first of our approach, we evaluate the implementation of the term “smart city” in strategic city documents. The next step is the analysis of the strategic urban (city) and smart city documents by distinguishing conceptually distinct pillars of the SC concept and an overview of actors and policy-makers who initiate and support individual pillars of the concept of SC in Czechia. The results of the analysis highlight the differences between the implemented SC topics into city strategies which are caused by fragmented policy mobility, its modifications and influence of key actors who have found the opportunity to participate in policy-making processes at the certain spatial level.
The history of the European Parliament can be seen as part of the development process toward a federal parliament supported by some researchers, but however another viewpoint of EU nature, as an international organization would be influenced from the European Parliament’s viewpoint as well. It has been admitted that formal upcoming changes have turned it into a codecision-maker with the Council of Ministers. There isn’t any other organization, where the member countries should share the decision-making process with the institutions which have been selected directly. In fact, during the creation of the united Europe, the power of the European Parliament have continuously increased trying to reduce the “democratic deficit” for which the Community is accused. Also the role of the EP role as an alternative point of access in the "policy-making'" process for interests that feel excluded from the domination of business interests could help in building a sense of European Identity among such groups in the longer term. The European Parliament appoints an Ombudsman, who may receive complaints from any citizen of the Union or from any other natural person or legal entity living or having his/her statutory residence/registered office in a member country. The cases handled by an Ombudsman are related to the bad administration of the institutions or community bodies’ activities except the Court of Justice and the General Court in their court functions. The Ombudsman works in full competence and does not accept or require directives from any other organization. During his assignment must not perform any other professional activity for free or against payment. He is appointed by the European Parliament with the same duration of his legislature having a renewable mandate. In the DPB are provided also the Ombudsman’s norms that might have in the cases of bad administration in conjunction with the activity of institutions in this sector. Thus, it will be solved the problem of accusation for lacking of transparency addressed to this sector.
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