Governing under Stress: The Implementation of Obama's Economic Stimulus Program

Georgetown University Press
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The underappreciated but surprisingly successful implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) helped rescue the economy during the Great Recession and represented one of the most important achievements of the Obama presidency. It tested all levels of government with urgent time frames and extensive accountability requirements. While ARRA passed most tests with comparatively little mismanagement or fraud, negative public and media perceptions of the initiative deprived the president of political credit.

Drawing on more than two hundred interviews and nationwide field research, Governing under Stress examines a range of ARRA stimulus programs to analyze the fraught politics, complex implementation, and impact of the legislation. Essays from public administration scholars use ARRA to study how to implement large federal programs in our modern era of indirect, networked governance. Throughout, the contributors present potent insights into the most pressing challenges facing public policy and management, and they uncover important lessons about policy instruments and networks, the effects of transparency and accountability, and the successes and failures of different types of government intervention.

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About the author

Timothy J. Conlan is university professor of government at George Mason University. He coauthored Pathways of Power with Paul L. Posner.

Paul L. Posner is the director of the Graduate Public Administration Program, head of the Centers on the Public Service at George Mason University, and author of The Politics of Unfunded Mandates.

Priscilla M. Regan is a professor in the School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs at George Mason University.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Jan 1, 2017
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9781626163713
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / American Government / National
Political Science / General
Political Science / Public Policy / Economic Policy
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Timothy J. Conlan
America's complex system of multi-layered government faces new challenges as a result of rapidly changing economic, technological, and demographic trends. An aging population, economic globalization, and homeland security concerns are among the powerful factors testing the system's capacity and flexibility. Major policy challenges and responses are now overwhelmingly intergovernmental in nature, and as a result, the fortunes of all levels of government are more intertwined and interdependent than ever before. This volume, cosponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), defines an agenda for improving the performance of America's intergovernmental system. The early chapters present the current state of practice in intergovernmental relations, including discussion of trends toward centralization, devolution, and other power-sharing arrangements. The fiscal underpinnings of the system are analyzed, along with the long-term implications of current trends in financing at all levels. The authors identify the principal tools used to define intergovernmental management–grants, mandates, preemptions—in discussing emerging models and best practices in the design and management of those tools. In tergovernmental Management for the 21st Century applies these crosscutting themes to critical policy areas where intergovernmental management and cooperation are essential, such as homeland security, education, welfare, health care, and the environment. It concludes with an authoritative assessment of the system's capacity to govern, oversee, and improve. Contributors include Jocelyn Johnston (American University), Shelley Metzenbaum (University of Maryland), Richard Nathan (SUNY at Albany), Barry Rabe (University of Michigan), Beryl Radin (American University), Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institution), Ray Sheppach (National Governors Association), Frank Shafroth (George Mason University), Troy Smith (BYU–Hawaii), Carl Stenberg (University of North Carolina), Carol Weissert (Florida State University), Charles Wise (Indiana University), and Kenneth Wong (Brown University).
Timothy J. Conlan
While civics textbooks describe an idealized model of “how a bill becomes law;” journalists often emphasize special interest lobbying and generous campaign contributions to Congress; and other textbooks describe common stages through which all policies progress, these approaches fail to convey—much less explain—the tremendous diversity in political processes that shape specific policies in contemporary Washington.

Bridging the gap between textbook models of how public policy should work, and how the process actually works in contemporary Washington, Pathways of Power provides a framework that integrates the roles of political interests and policy ideals in the contemporary policy process. This book argues that the policy process can be understood as a set of four distinctive pathways of policymaking—pluralist, partisan, expert, and symbolic—that draw upon different political resources, appeal to different political actors, and elicit unique strategies and styles of coalition building.

Revealing the strategic behavior of policy actors who compete to shift policies onto pathways that maximize their resources and influence, the book provides a fresh approach to understanding the seeming chaos and volatility of the policy process today. The book’s use of a wide universe of major policy decisions and case studies, focused on such key areas as health care, federal budgeting, and tax policy, provides a useful foundation for students of the policy process as well as for policy practitioners eager to learn more about their craft.

Dinesh D'Souza
"Of course, everything [D'Souza] says here is accurate... But it's not going to sit well with people on the American left who, of course, are portraying themselves as the exact opposite of all of this." —RUSH LIMBAUGH

The explosive new book from Dinesh D'Souza, author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers Hillary's America, America, and Obama's America.

What is "the big lie" of the Democratic Party? That conservatives—and President Donald Trump in particular—are fascists. Nazis, even. In a typical comment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow says the Trump era is reminiscent of "what it was like when Hitler first became chancellor."

But in fact, this audacious lie is a complete inversion of the truth. Yes, there is a fascist threat in America—but that threat is from the Left and the Democratic Party. The Democratic left has an ideology virtually identical with fascism and routinely borrows tactics of intimidation and political terror from the Nazi Brownshirts.

To cover up their insidious fascist agenda, Democrats loudly accuse President Trump and other Republicans of being Nazis—an obvious lie, considering the GOP has been fighting the Democrats over slavery, genocide, racism and fascism from the beginning.

Now, finally, Dinesh D'Souza explodes the Left's big lie. He expertly exonerates President Trump and his supporters, then uncovers the Democratic Left's long, cozy relationship with Nazism: how the racist and genocidal acts of early Democrats inspired Adolf Hitler's campaign of death; how fascist philosophers influenced the great 20th century lions of the American Left; and how today's anti-free speech, anti-capitalist, anti-religious liberty, pro-violence Democratic Party is a frightening simulacrum of the Nazi Party.

Hitler coined the term "the big lie" to describe a lie that "the great masses of the people" will fall for precisely because of how bold and monstrous the lie is. In The Big Lie, D'Souza shows that the Democratic Left's orchestrated campaign to paint President Trump and conservatives as Nazis to cover up its own fascism is, in fact, the biggest lie of all.
Priscilla M. Regan
While technological threats to personal privacy have proliferated rapidly, legislation designed to protect privacy has been slow and incremental. In this study of legislative attempts to reconcile privacy and technology, Priscilla Regan examines congressional policy making in three key areas: computerized databases, wiretapping, and polygraph testing. In each case, she argues, legislation has represented an unbalanced compromise benefiting those with a vested interest in new technology over those advocating privacy protection. Legislating Privacy explores the dynamics of congressional policy formulation and traces the limited response of legislators to the concept of privacy as a fundamental individual right. According to Regan, we will need an expanded understanding of the social value of privacy if we are to achieve greater protection from emerging technologies such as Caller ID and genetic testing. Specifically, she argues that a recognition of the social importance of privacy will shift both the terms of the policy debate and the patterns of interest-group action in future congressional activity on privacy issues.

Originally published in 1995.

A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

Timothy J. Conlan
While civics textbooks describe an idealized model of “how a bill becomes law;” journalists often emphasize special interest lobbying and generous campaign contributions to Congress; and other textbooks describe common stages through which all policies progress, these approaches fail to convey—much less explain—the tremendous diversity in political processes that shape specific policies in contemporary Washington.

Bridging the gap between textbook models of how public policy should work, and how the process actually works in contemporary Washington, Pathways of Power provides a framework that integrates the roles of political interests and policy ideals in the contemporary policy process. This book argues that the policy process can be understood as a set of four distinctive pathways of policymaking—pluralist, partisan, expert, and symbolic—that draw upon different political resources, appeal to different political actors, and elicit unique strategies and styles of coalition building.

Revealing the strategic behavior of policy actors who compete to shift policies onto pathways that maximize their resources and influence, the book provides a fresh approach to understanding the seeming chaos and volatility of the policy process today. The book’s use of a wide universe of major policy decisions and case studies, focused on such key areas as health care, federal budgeting, and tax policy, provides a useful foundation for students of the policy process as well as for policy practitioners eager to learn more about their craft.

Timothy J. Conlan
America's complex system of multi-layered government faces new challenges as a result of rapidly changing economic, technological, and demographic trends. An aging population, economic globalization, and homeland security concerns are among the powerful factors testing the system's capacity and flexibility. Major policy challenges and responses are now overwhelmingly intergovernmental in nature, and as a result, the fortunes of all levels of government are more intertwined and interdependent than ever before. This volume, cosponsored by the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA), defines an agenda for improving the performance of America's intergovernmental system. The early chapters present the current state of practice in intergovernmental relations, including discussion of trends toward centralization, devolution, and other power-sharing arrangements. The fiscal underpinnings of the system are analyzed, along with the long-term implications of current trends in financing at all levels. The authors identify the principal tools used to define intergovernmental management–grants, mandates, preemptions—in discussing emerging models and best practices in the design and management of those tools. In tergovernmental Management for the 21st Century applies these crosscutting themes to critical policy areas where intergovernmental management and cooperation are essential, such as homeland security, education, welfare, health care, and the environment. It concludes with an authoritative assessment of the system's capacity to govern, oversee, and improve. Contributors include Jocelyn Johnston (American University), Shelley Metzenbaum (University of Maryland), Richard Nathan (SUNY at Albany), Barry Rabe (University of Michigan), Beryl Radin (American University), Alice Rivlin (Brookings Institution), Ray Sheppach (National Governors Association), Frank Shafroth (George Mason University), Troy Smith (BYU–Hawaii), Carl Stenberg (University of North Carolina), Carol Weissert (Florida State University), Charles Wise (Indiana University), and Kenneth Wong (Brown University).
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