Honest Numbers and Democracy: Social Policy Analysis in the White House, Congress, and the Federal Agencies

Georgetown University Press
Free sample

In Honest Numbers and Democracy, Walter Williams offers a revealing history of policy analysis in the federal government and a scorching critique of what’s wrong with social policy analysis today. Williams, a policy insider who witnessed the birth of domestic policy analysis during the Johnson administration, contends that the increasingly partisan U.S. political environment is vitiating both "honest numbers" — the data used to direct public policy — and, more importantly, honest analysts, particularly in the White House.

Drawing heavily on candid off-the-record interviews with political executives, career civil servants, elected officials and Washington-based journalists, Williams documents the steady deformation of social policy analysis under the pressure of ideological politics waged by both the executive and legislative branches. Beginning with the Reagan era and continuing into Clinton’s tenure, Williams focuses on the presidents’ growing penchant to misuse and hide numbers provided by their own analysts to assist in major policy decisions.

Honest Numbers and Democracy is the first book to examine in-depth the impact of the electronic revolution, its information overload, and rampant public distrust of the federal government's data on the practice of policy analysis.

A hard-hitting account of the factors threatening the credibility of the policymaking process, this book will be required reading for policy professionals, presidential watchers, and anyone interested in the future of U.S. democracy.

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About the author

Walter Williams is professor emeritus at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington and a frequent contributor to the editorial pages of newspapers across the country.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Apr 1, 1998
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9781589018587
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Hardly an American today escapes being polled or surveyed or sampled. In this illuminating history, Jean Converse shows how survey research came to be perhaps the single most important development in twentieth-century social science. Everyone interested in survey methods and public opinion, including social scientists in many fi elds, will find this volume a major resource. Converse traces the beginnings of survey research in the practical worlds of politics and business, where elite groups sought information so as to infl uence mass democratic publics and markets. During the Depression and World War II, the federal government played a major role in developing surveys on a national scale. In the 1940s certain key individuals with academic connections and experience in polling, business, or government research brought surveys into academic life. By the 1960s, what was initially viewed with suspicion had achieved a measure of scientific acceptance of survey research. The author draws upon a wealth of material in archives, interviews, and published work to trace the origins of the early organizations (the Bureau of Applied Social Research, the National Opinion Research Center, and the Survey Research Center of Michigan), and to capture the perspectives of front-line fi gures such as Paul Lazarsfeld, George Gallup, Elmo Roper, and Rensis Likert. She writes with sensitivity and style, revealing how academic survey research, along with its commercial and political cousins, came of age in the United States.
In politics, you begin by asking theoretically interesting questions. Sometimes statistics can help answer those questions. When it comes to applied statistics, students shouldn’t just learn a vast array of formula—they need to learn the basic concepts of statistics as solutions to particular problems. Peter Galderisi demonstrates that statistics are a summary of how to answer the problem: learn the math but only after learning the concepts and methodological considerations that give it context.

With this as a starting point, Understanding Political Science Statistics asks students to consider how to address a research problem conceptually before being led to the appropriate formula. Throughout, Galderisi looks at problems through a lens of "observations and expectations," which can be applied to myriad statistical techniques, both descriptive and inferential. This approach links the answers researchers get from their individual data analysis to the research designs and questions from which these analyses are derived.

By emphasizing the underlying logic of statistical analysis for greater understanding and drawing on applications and examples from political science (including law), the book illustrates how students can apply statistical concepts and techniques in their own research, in future coursework, and simply as an informed consumer of numbers in public discourse.

The following features help students master the material:

Legal and Methodological sidebars highlight key concepts and provide applied examples on law, politics, and methodology;

End-of-chapter exercises allow students to test their mastery of the basic concepts and techniques along the way;

A Sample Solutions Guide provides worked-out answers for odd-numbered exercises, with all answers available in the Instructor’s Manual;

Key Terms are helpfully called out in both Marginal Definitions and a Glossary;

A Companion Website (www.routledge.com/cw/galderisi) with further resources for both students and instructors;

A diverse array of data sets include subsets of the ANES and Eurobarometer surveys; CCES; US Congressional district data; and a cross-national dataset with political, economic, and demographic variables; and

Companion guides to SPSS and Stata walk students through the procedures for analysis and provide exercises that go hand-in-hand with online data sets.

Although integrating security into the design of applications has proven to deliver resilient products, there are few books available that provide guidance on how to incorporate security into the design of an application. Filling this need, Security for Service Oriented Architectures examines both application and security architectures and illustrates the relationship between the two.

Supplying authoritative guidance on how to design distributed and resilient applications, the book provides an overview of the various standards that service oriented and distributed applications leverage, including SOAP, HTML 5, SAML, XML Encryption, XML Signature, WS-Security, and WS-SecureConversation. It examines emerging issues of privacy and discusses how to design applications within a secure context to facilitate the understanding of these technologies you need to make intelligent decisions regarding their design.

This complete guide to security for web services and SOA considers the malicious user story of the abuses and attacks against applications as examples of how design flaws and oversights have subverted the goals of providing resilient business functionality. It reviews recent research on access control for simple and conversation-based web services, advanced digital identity management techniques, and access control for web-based workflows.

Filled with illustrative examples and analyses of critical issues, this book provides both security and software architects with a bridge between software and service-oriented architectures and security architectures, with the goal of providing a means to develop software architectures that leverage security architectures.

It is also a reliable source of reference on Web services standards. Coverage includes the four types of architectures, implementing and securing SOA, Web 2.0, other SOA platforms, auditing SOAs, and defending and detecting attacks.
In this new edition of Beyond Machiavelli, Beryl Radin updates her popular overview of the field of policy analysis. Radin, winner of the John Gaus Award from the American Political Science Association, considers the critical issues that confront the policy analysis practitioner, changes in the field, including the globalization of policy analysis, and the dramatic changes in the policy environment. She examines schools and careers; the conflict between the imperatives of analysis and the world of politics; the analytic tools that have been used, created, or discarded over the past fifty years; the relationship between decision makers and analysts as the field has multiplied and spread; and the assumptions about the availability and appropriateness of information that can be used in the analytic task.

Once found largely in the United States, policy analysis has become global, and Radin discusses the field’s new paradigms, methodologies and concepts of success. This new edition considers changes in expertise, controversies in the field, today’s career prospects, and the impact of 9/11 on the field. She profiles three additional policy analysis organizations and updates the profiles of the organizations in the first edition. Continuing the trajectory of the fictional characters from the first edition, Radin adds a character representing the new generation just entering the field. The book discusses the shifts in society’s attitudes toward public action, the availability of resources to meet public needs, and the dimensions of policymaking.

Written for students, faculty, and practitioners, the book concludes with a look at the possible dimensions of the policy analysis field and profession as it moves into the future.

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