Factors Affecting Policy American Indians and Social Policy

Systems Approach to Policy Making

Contextual Factors

Cultural: American perception of the importance of causes of social problems=a responsibility for problem(s) and societal obligation to assist those in need (deserving and undeserving poor).

Economic:           Government’s control of resources. Ex: tax revenues, corporate benefits, government budgetary priorities, etc.

Institutional: Government’s administrative capabilities to develop and implement social programs and maintain balance in            federal, state and local jurisdiction.

Social: Changes in social environment that shape policy.  Ex: war, immigration, demographic factors, industrialization, urbanization, etc.

Sequencing of Events: Timing of important developments on evolution of U.S. policy.  Ex: civil rights, terrorism, or nationalization of health care.

Legal: Influence of constitutional provisions.  Judiciary both creates new and reshapes old social policy; negates policy; establishes procedural policy.  Ex: Roe vs. Wade; Brown vs. the Board of Education, etc.

Political Factors

The political process encourages or discourages expansion of public obligation-policy is enacted, defeated or the issue is not given political consideration.

American Response to Social Problems

An attentive public evaluates the effects on citizens and makes moral evaluations which in turn influence the larger societal context and the political process.

(Source:  Jansson & Bruce (1997).  The Reluctant Welfare State.)