Policy

A policy is a deliberate system of principles to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol. Policies are generally adopted by a governance body within an organization. Policies can assist in both subjective and objective decision making. Policies to assist in subjective decision making usually assist senior management with decisions that must be based on the relative merits of a number of factors, and as a result are often hard to test objectively, e.g. work-life balance policy. In contrast policies to assist in objective decision making are usually operational in nature and can be objectively tested, e.g. password policy.[1]

The term may apply to government, private sector organizations and groups, as well as individuals. Presidential executive orders, corporate privacy policies, and parliamentary rules of order are all examples of policy. Policy differs from rules or law. While law can compel or prohibit behaviors (e.g. a law requiring the payment of taxes on income), policy merely guides actions toward those that are most likely to achieve a desired outcome.

Policy or policy study may also refer to the process of making important organizational decisions, including the identification of different alternatives such as programs or spending priorities, and choosing among them on the basis of the impact they will have. Policies can be understood as political, managerial, financial, and administrative mechanisms arranged to reach explicit goals. In public corporate finance, a critical accounting policy is a policy for a firm/company or an industry that is considered to have a notably high subjective element, and that has a material impact on the financial statements.

Impact

Intended effects

The intended effects of a policy vary widely according to the organization and the context in which they are made. Broadly, policies are typically instituted to avoid some negative effect that has been noticed in the organization, or to seek some positive benefit.

Corporate purchasing policies provide an example of how organizations attempt to avoid negative effects. Many large companies have policies that all purchases above a certain value must be performed through a purchasing process. By requiring this standard purchasing process through policy, the organization can limit waste and standardize the way purchasing is done.

The State of California provides an example of benefit-seeking policy. In recent years, the numbers of hybrid cars in California has increased dramatically, in part because of policy changes in Federal law that provided USD $1,500 in tax credits (since phased out) as well as the use of high-occupancy vehicle lanes to hybrid owners (no loew hybrid vehicles). In this case, the organization (state and/or federal government) created an effect (increased ownership and use of hybrid vehicles) through policy (tax breaks, highway lanes).

Unintended effects

Policies frequently have side effects or unintended consequences. Because the environments that policies seek to influence or manipulate are typically complex adaptive systems (e.g. governments, societies, large companies), making a policy change can have counterintuitive results. For example, a government may make a policy decision to raise taxes, in hopes of increasing overall tax revenue. Depending on the size of the tax increase, this may have the overall effect of reducing tax revenue by causing capital flight or by creating a rate so high that citizens are deterred from earning the money that is taxed. (See the Laffer curve.)

The policy formulation process theoretically includes an attempt to assess as many areas of potential policy impact as possible, to lessen the chances that a given policy will have unexpected or unintended consequences.

Policy cycle

In political science, the policy cycle is a tool used for the analyzing of the development of a policy item. It can also be referred to as a "stagist approach", "stages heuristic" or "stages approach". It is thus a rule of thumb rather than the actual reality of how policy is created, but has been influential in how political scientists looked at policy in general.[2] It was developed as a theory from Harold Lasswell's work.

One version by James E. Anderson, in his Public Policy-Making (1974) has the following stages:

  1. Agenda setting (Problem identification) - The recognition of certain subject as a problem demanding further government attention.
  2. Policy Formulation - Involves exploring a variation of options or alternative courses of action available for addressing the problem. (appraisal, dialogue, formulation, and consolidation)
  3. Decision-making - Government decides on an ultimate course of action, whether to perpetuate the policy status quo or alter it. (Decision could be 'positive', 'negative', or 'no-action')
  4. Implementation - The ultimate decision made earlier will be put into practice.
  5. Evaluation - Assesses the effectiveness of a public policy in terms of its perceived intentions and results. Policy actors attempt to determine whether the course of action is a success or failure by examining its impact and outcomes.

An eight step policy cycle is developed in detail in The Australian Policy Handbook by Peter Bridgman and Glyn Davis: (now with Catherine Althaus in its 4th and 5th editions)

  1. Issue identification
  2. Policy analysis
  3. Consultation (which permeates the entire process)
  4. Policy instrument development
  5. Building coordination and coalitions
  6. Program Design: Decision making
  7. Policy Implementation
  8. Policy Evaluation

The Althaus, Bridgman & Davis model is heuristic and iterative. It is intentionally normative and not meant to be diagnostic or predictive. Policy cycles are typically characterized as adopting a classical approach, and tend to describe processes from the perspective of policy decision makers. Accordingly, some postpositivist academics challenge cyclical models as unresponsive and unrealistic, preferring systemic and more complex models.[3] They consider a broader range of actors involved in the policy space that includes civil society organisations, the media, intellectuals, think tanks or policy research institutes, corporations, lobbyists, etc.

Content

Policies are typically promulgated through official written documents. Policy documents often come with the endorsement or signature of the executive powers within an organization to legitimize the policy and demonstrate that it is considered in force. Such documents often have standard formats that are particular to the organization issuing the policy. While such formats differ in form, policy documents usually contain certain standard components including  :

  • A purpose statement, outlining why the organization is issuing the policy, and what its desired effect or outcome of the policy should be.
  • An applicability and scope statement, describing who the policy affects and which actions are impacted by the policy. The applicability and scope may expressly exclude certain people, organizations, or actions from the policy requirements. Applicability and scope is used to focus the policy on only the desired targets, and avoid unintended consequences where possible.
  • An effective date which indicates when the policy comes into force. Retroactive policies are rare, but can be found.
  • A responsibilities section, indicating which parties and organizations are responsible for carrying out individual policy statements. Many policies may require the establishment of some ongoing function or action. For example, a purchasing policy might specify that a purchasing office be created to process purchase requests, and that this office would be responsible for ongoing actions. Responsibilities often include identification of any relevant oversight and/or governance structures.
  • Policy statements indicating the specific regulations, requirements, or modifications to organizational behavior that the policy is creating. Policy statements are extremely diverse depending on the organization and intent, and may take almost any form.

Some policies may contain additional sections, including:

  • Background, indicating any reasons, history, ethical background statements, and/or intent that led to the creation of the policy, which may be listed as motivating factors. This information is often quite valuable when policies must be evaluated or used in ambiguous situations, just as the intent of a law can be useful to a court when deciding a case that involves that law.
  • Definitions, providing clear and unambiguous definitions for terms and concepts found in the policy document.

Typologies

The American political scientist Theodore J. Lowi proposed four types of policy, namely distributive, redistributive, regulatory and constituent in his article 'Four systems of Policy, Politics and Choice' and in 'American Business, Public Policy, Case Studies and Political Theory'. Policy addresses the intent of the organization, whether government, business, professional, or voluntary. Policy is intended to affect the 'real' world, by guiding the decisions that are made. Whether they are formally written or not, most organizations have identified policies.[4]

Policies may be classified in many different ways. The following is a sample of several different types of policies broken down by their effect on members of the organization.

Distributive policies

Distributive policies extend goods and services to members of an organization, as well as distributing the costs of the goods/services amongst the members of the organization. Examples include government policies that impact spending for welfare, public education, highways, and public safety, or a professional organization's benefits plan.

Regulatory policies

Regulatory policies, or mandates, limit the discretion of individuals and agencies, or otherwise compel certain types of behavior. These policies are generally thought to be best applied when good behavior can be easily defined and bad behavior can be easily regulated and punished through fines or sanctions. An example of a fairly successful public regulatory policy is that of a highway speed limit.

Constituent policies

Constituent policies create executive power entities, or deal with laws. Constituent policies also deal with Fiscal Policy in some circumstances.

Redistributive policies

Policies are dynamic; they are not just static lists of goals or laws. Policy blueprints have to be implemented, often with unexpected results. Social policies are what happens 'on the ground' when they are implemented, as well as what happens at the decision making or legislative stage.

When the term policy is used, it may also refer to:

  • Official government policy (legislation or guidelines that govern how laws should be put into operation)
  • Broad ideas and goals in political manifestos and pamphlets
  • A company or organization's policy on a particular topic. For example, the equal opportunity policy of a company shows that the company aims to treat all its staff equally.

The actions the organization actually takes may often vary significantly from stated policy. This difference is sometimes caused by political compromise over policy, while in other situations it is caused by lack of policy implementation and enforcement. Implementing policy may have unexpected results, stemming from a policy whose reach extends further than the problem it was originally crafted to address. Additionally, unpredictable results may arise from selective or idiosyncratic enforcement of policy.

Types of policy analysis include:

  • Causal (resp. non-causal)
  • Deterministic (resp. stochastic, randomized and sometimes non-deterministic)
  • Index
  • Memoryless (e.g., non-stationary)
  • Opportunistic (resp. non-opportunistic)
  • Stationary (resp. non-stationary)

These qualifiers can be combined, so one could, for example, have a stationary-memoryless-index policy.

Specific policy types

Other uses of the term

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Office, Publications. "What is policy". sydney.edu.au. Retrieved 15 April 2018.
  2. ^ Robert T. Nakamura, THE TEXTBOOK POLICY PROCESS AND IMPLEMENTATION RESEARCH: Review of Policy Research Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 142–154, September 1987 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-1338.1987.tb00034.x/abstract
  3. ^ Young, John and Enrique Mendizabal. Helping researchers become policy entrepreneurs, Overseas Development Institute, London, September 2009.
  4. ^ https://perguntasaopo.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/lowi_1972_four-systems-of-policy-politics-and-choice.pdf
  • Blakemore, Ken (1998). Social Policy: an Introduction.
  • Althaus, Catherine; Bridgman, Peter; Davis, Glyn (2007). The Australian Policy Handbook (4th ed.). Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
  • Müller, Pierre; Surel, Yves (1998). L'analyse des politiques publiques (in French). Paris: Montchrestien.
  • Paquette, Laure (2002). Analyzing National and International Policy. Rowman Littlefield.
  • Howard, Cosmo. "The Policy Cycle: a Model of Post-Machiavellian Policy Making?" The Australian Journal of Public Administration, September 2005.
  • Jenkins, William (1978). Policy Analysis: A Political and Organizational Perspective. London: Martin Robertson.
  • Lowi, Theodore J.; Bauer, Raymond A.; De Sola Pool, Ithiel; Dexter, Lewis A. (1964). "American Business, Public Policy, Case-Studies, and Political Theory". World Politics. Cambridge University Press. 16 (4): 687–713. doi:10.2307/2009452. JSTOR 2009452.
  • Lowi, Theodore J. (1972). "Four Systems of Policy, Politics, and Choice". Public Administration Review. American Society for Public Administration. 32 (4): 298–310. doi:10.2307/974990. JSTOR 974990.
  • Feltus, Christophe (2008). "Preliminary Literature Review of Policy Engineering Methods - Toward Responsibility Concept". Proceeding of 3rd international conference on information and communication technologies : from theory to applications (ICTTA 08), Damascus, Syria; Preliminary Literature Review of Policy Engineering Methods - Toward Responsibility Concept. External link in |publisher= (help)
  • Lowi, Theodore J. (1985). "The State in Politics". In Noll, Roger G. (ed.). Regulatory Policy and the social Sciences. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 67–110.
  • Spitzer, Robert J. (June 1987). "Promoting Policy Theory: Revising the Arenas of Power". Policy Studies Journal. 15 (4): 675–689. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.1987.tb00753.x.
  • Kellow, Aynsley (Summer 1988). "Promoting Elegance in Policy Theory: Simplifying Lowi's Arenas of Power". Policy Studies Journal. 16 (4): 713–724. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.1988.tb00680.x.
  • Heckathorn, Douglas D.; Maser, Steven M. (1990). "The Contractual Architecture of Public Policy: A Critical Reconstruction of Lowi's Typology". The Journal of Politics. Cambridge University Press. 52 (4): 1101–1123. doi:10.2307/2131684. JSTOR 2131684.
  • Smith, K. B. (2002). "Typologies, Taxonomies, and the Benefits of Policy Classification". Policy Studies Journal. 30 (3): 379–395. doi:10.1111/j.1541-0072.2002.tb02153.x.
  • Greenberg, George D.; et al. (December 1977). "Developing Public Policy Theory: Perspectives from Empirical Research". American Political Science Review. American Political Science Association. 71 (4): 1532–1543. doi:10.2307/1961494. JSTOR 1961494.
  • Dye, Thomas R. (1976). Policy Analysis. University of Alabama Press.
  • Stone, Diane."Global Public Policy, Transnational Policy Communities and their Networks", Journal of Policy Sciences, 2008

Further reading

External links

Barack Obama

Barack Hussein Obama II ( (listen); born August 4, 1961) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008.

Obama was born in 1961 in Honolulu, Hawaii, two years after the territory was admitted to the Union as the 50th state. After graduating from Columbia University in 1983, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago. In 1988, he enrolled in Harvard Law School, where he was the first black president of the Harvard Law Review. After graduating, he became a civil rights attorney and an academic, teaching constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He represented the 13th district for three terms in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, when he ran for the U.S. Senate. He received national attention in 2004 with his March primary win, his well-received July Democratic National Convention keynote address, and his landslide November election to the Senate. In 2008, he was nominated for president a year after his campaign began and after a close primary campaign against Hillary Clinton. He was elected over Republican John McCain and was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. Nine months later, he was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

During his first two years in office, Obama signed many landmark bills into law. The main reforms were the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (often referred to as "Obamacare", shortened as the "Affordable Care Act"), the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, and the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 served as economic stimulus amidst the Great Recession. After a lengthy debate over the national debt limit, he signed the Budget Control and the American Taxpayer Relief Acts. In foreign policy, he increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, reduced nuclear weapons with the United States–Russia New START treaty, and ended military involvement in the Iraq War. He ordered military involvement in Libya in opposition to Muammar Gaddafi; Gaddafi was killed by NATO-assisted forces. He also ordered the military operations that resulted in the deaths of Osama bin Laden and suspected Yemeni Al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki.

After winning re-election by defeating Republican opponent Mitt Romney, Obama was sworn in for a second term in 2013. During this term, he promoted inclusiveness for LGBT Americans. His administration filed briefs that urged the Supreme Court to strike down same-sex marriage bans as unconstitutional (United States v. Windsor and Obergefell v. Hodges); same-sex marriage was fully legalized in 2015 after the Court ruled that a same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional in Obergefell. He advocated for gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, indicating support for a ban on assault weapons, and issued wide-ranging executive actions concerning climate change and immigration. In foreign policy, he ordered military intervention in Iraq in response to gains made by ISIL after the 2011 withdrawal from Iraq, continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan in 2016, promoted discussions that led to the 2015 Paris Agreement on global climate change, initiated sanctions against Russia following the invasion in Ukraine and again after Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, brokered a nuclear deal with Iran, and normalized U.S. relations with Cuba. During his term in office, America's reputation in global polling significantly improved. Evaluations of his presidency among historians and the general public place him among the upper tier of American presidents. Obama left office in January 2017 and currently resides in Washington, D.C. A December 2018 Gallup poll found Obama to be the most admired man in America for an unprecedented 11th consecutive year, although Dwight D. Eisenhower was selected most admired in twelve non-consecutive years.

Bharatiya Janata Party

The Bharatiya Janata Party (pronounced [bʱaːrətiːjə dʒənətaː paːrʈiː] (listen); translation: Indian People's Party; abbr. BJP) is one of the two major political parties in India, along with the Indian National Congress. As of 2018, it is the country's largest political party in terms of representation in the national parliament and state assemblies, and it is the world's largest party in terms of primary membership. BJP is a right-wing party, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu-nationalist positions. It has close ideological and organisational links to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

The BJP's origin lies in the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, formed in 1951 by Syama Prasad Mukherjee. After the State of Emergency in 1977, the Jana Sangh merged with several other parties to form the Janata Party; it defeated the incumbent Congress party in the 1977 general election. After three years in power, the Janata party dissolved in 1980 with the members of the erstwhile Jana Sangh reconvening to form the BJP. Although initially unsuccessful, winning only two seats in the 1984 general election, it grew in strength on the back of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. Following victories in several state elections and better performances in national elections, the BJP became the largest party in the parliament in 1996; however, it lacked a majority in the lower house of Parliament, and its government lasted only 13 days.

After the 1998 general election, the BJP-led coalition known as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) under Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed a government that lasted for a year. Following fresh elections, the NDA government, again headed by Vajpayee, lasted for a full term in office; this was the first non-Congress government to do so. In the 2004 general election, the NDA suffered an unexpected defeat, and for the next ten years the BJP was the principal opposition party. Long time Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi led it to a landslide victory in the 2014 general election. Since that election, Modi has led the NDA government as Prime Minister and as of December 2018, the alliance governs 16 states.

The official ideology of the BJP is "integral humanism", first formulated by Deendayal Upadhyaya in 1965. The party expresses a commitment to Hindutva, and its policy has historically reflected Hindu nationalist positions. The BJP advocates social conservatism and a foreign policy centred on nationalist principles. Its key issues have included the abrogation of the special status to Jammu and Kashmir, the building of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and the implementation of a uniform civil code. However, the 1998–2004 NDA government did not pursue any of these controversial issues. It instead focused on a largely liberal economic policy prioritising globalisation and economic growth over social welfare.

Conservative Party (UK)

The Conservative Party, officially the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. It is currently the governing party, having been so since the 2010 general election, where a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats was formed. In 2015, the Conservatives led by David Cameron won a surprise majority and formed the first majority Conservative government since 1992. However, the snap election on 8 June 2017 resulted in a hung parliament, and the party lost its parliamentary majority. It is reliant on the support of a Northern Irish political party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), in order to command a majority in the House of Commons through a confidence-and-supply deal. The party leader, Theresa May, has served as both Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister since July 2016. It is the largest party in local government with 9,008 councillors. The Conservative Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United Kingdom, the other being its modern rival, the Labour Party.

The Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—giving rise to the Conservatives' colloquial name of Tories—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. In the 1890s, it formed a coalition government with the Liberal Unionist Party, a break-away faction of the Liberal Party, and in 1912 the two merged to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Liberal vote greatly diminished and the Labour Party became the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century, including Winston Churchill (1940–1945, 1951–1955) and Margaret Thatcher (1979–1990). Thatcher's tenure led to wide-ranging economic liberalisation. The Conservative Party's domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to them being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world.The Conservatives are the second largest British party in the European Parliament, with eighteen MEPs, and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) parliamentary group. The party is a member of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) Europarty and the International Democrat Union (IDU).

The party is the second-largest in the Scottish Parliament and the second-largest in the Welsh Assembly. The Conservatives were formerly allied to the Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) in Northern Ireland but there is now a separate Northern Ireland Conservative party similar to the Welsh and Scottish Conservative parties. The party is also organised in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar.

Economics

Economics () is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy (meaning aggregated production, consumption, savings, and investment) and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources (labour, capital, and land), inflation, economic growth, and the public policies that address these issues (monetary, fiscal, and other policies). See glossary of economics.

Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", and normative economics, advocating "what ought to be"; between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioural economics; and between mainstream economics and heterodox economics.Economic analysis can be applied throughout society, in business, finance, health care, and government. Economic analysis is sometimes also applied to such diverse subjects as crime, education, the family, law, politics, religion, social institutions, war, science, and the environment.

European Union

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

The EU and European citizenship were established when the Maastricht Treaty came into force in 1993. The EU traces its origins to the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) and the European Economic Community (EEC), established, respectively, by the 1951 Treaty of Paris and 1957 Treaty of Rome. The original members of what came to be known as the European Communities were the Inner Six: Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The Communities and its successors have grown in size by the accession of new member states and in power by the addition of policy areas to its remit. The latest major amendment to the constitutional basis of the EU, the Treaty of Lisbon, came into force in 2009. While no member state has left the EU or its antecedent organisations, the United Kingdom signified the intention to leave after a membership referendum in June 2016 and is negotiating its withdrawal on 29 March 2019.

Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24.6% of global nominal GDP. Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme. In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence. The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20. Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower.

Executive (government)

The executive is the organ exercising authority in and holding responsibility for the governance of a state. The executive executes and enforces law.

In political systems based on the principle of separation of powers, authority is distributed among several branches (executive, legislative, judicial)—an attempt to prevent the concentration of power in the hands of a small group of people. In such a system, the executive does not pass laws (the role of the legislature) or interpret them (the role of the judiciary). Instead, the executive enforces the law as written by the legislature and interpreted by the judiciary. The executive can be the source of certain types of law, such as a decree or executive order. Executive bureaucracies are commonly the source of regulations.

In the Westminster political system, the principle of separation of powers is not as entrenched. Members of the executive, called ministers, are also members of the legislature, and hence play an important part in both the writing and enforcing of law.

In this context, the executive consists of a leader(s) of an office or multiple offices. Specifically, the top leadership roles of the executive branch may include:

head of state – often the supreme leader, the president or monarch, the chief public representative and living symbol of national unity.

head of government – often the de facto leader, prime minister, overseeing the administration of all affairs of state.

defence minister – overseeing the armed forces, determining military policy and managing external safety.

interior minister – overseeing the police forces, enforcing the law and managing internal safety.

foreign minister – overseeing the diplomatic service, determining foreign policy and managing foreign relations.

finance minister – overseeing the treasury, determining fiscal policy and managing national budget.

justice minister – overseeing criminal prosecutions, corrections, enforcement of court orders.In a presidential system, the leader of the executive is both the head of state and head of government. In a parliamentary system, a cabinet minister responsible to the legislature is the head of government, while the head of state is usually a largely ceremonial monarch or president.

Fiscal policy

In economics and political science, fiscal policy is the use of government revenue collection (mainly taxes) and expenditure (spending) to influence the economy. According to Keynesian economics, when the government changes the levels of taxation and government spending, it influences aggregate demand and the level of economic activity. Fiscal policy is often used to stabilize the economy over the course of the business cycle.Changes in the level and composition of taxation and government spending can affect the following macroeconomic variables, amongst others:

Aggregate demand and the level of economic activity;

Saving and investment;

Income distribution.Fiscal policy can be distinguished from monetary policy, in that fiscal policy deals with taxation and government spending and is often administered by an executive under laws of a legislature, whereas monetary policy deals with the money supply and interest rates and is often administered by a central bank.

Henry Kissinger

Henry Alfred Kissinger (; German: [ˈkɪsɪŋɐ]; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is an American elder statesman, political scientist, diplomat, and geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under the presidential administrations of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. A Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany with his family in 1938, he became National Security Advisor in 1969 and U.S. Secretary of State in 1973. For his actions negotiating a ceasefire in Vietnam, Kissinger received the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize under controversial circumstances, with two members of the committee resigning in protest. Kissinger later sought, unsuccessfully, to return the prize after the ceasefire failed.A practitioner of Realpolitik, Kissinger played a prominent role in United States foreign policy between 1969 and 1977. During this period, he pioneered the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, orchestrated the opening of relations with the People's Republic of China, engaged in what became known as shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East to end the Yom Kippur War, and negotiated the Paris Peace Accords, ending American involvement in the Vietnam War. Kissinger has also been associated with such controversial policies as U.S. involvement in a military coup in Chile, a "green light" to Argentina's military junta for their Dirty War, and U.S. support for Pakistan during the Bangladesh War despite the genocide being perpetrated by his allies. After leaving government, he formed Kissinger Associates, an international geopolitical consulting firm. Kissinger has been a prolific author of books on diplomatic history and international relations with over one dozen books authored.

He remains a controversial figure in American history. Some journalists, political activists and human rights lawyers have condemned Kissinger as a war criminal. According to a 2014 survey by Foreign Policy magazine 32.21% of "America's top International Relations scholars" considered Henry Kissinger the most effective U.S. Secretary of State since 1965.

Insurance

Insurance is a means of protection from financial loss. It is a form of risk management, primarily used to hedge against the risk of a contingent or uncertain loss.

An entity which provides insurance is known as an insurer, insurance company, insurance carrier or underwriter. A person or entity who buys insurance is known as an insured or as a policyholder. The insurance transaction involves the insured assuming a guaranteed and known relatively small loss in the form of payment to the insurer in exchange for the insurer's promise to compensate the insured in the event of a covered loss. The loss may or may not be financial, but it must be reducible to financial terms, and usually involves something in which the insured has an insurable interest established by ownership, possession, or pre-existing relationship.

The insured receives a contract, called the insurance policy, which details the conditions and circumstances under which the insurer will compensate the insured. The amount of money charged by the insurer from the insured for the coverage set forth in the insurance policy is called the premium. If the insured experiences a loss which is potentially covered by the insurance policy, the insured submits a claim to the insurer for processing by a claims adjuster. The insurer may hedge its own risk by taking out reinsurance, whereby another insurance company agrees to carry some of the risk, especially if the primary insurer deems the risk too large for it to carry.

Life insurance

Life insurance (or life assurance, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations) is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer or assurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money (the benefit) in exchange for a premium, upon the death of an insured person (often the policy holder). Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness can also trigger payment. The policy holder typically pays a premium, either regularly or as one lump sum. Other expenses, such as funeral expenses, can also be included in the benefits.

Life policies are legal contracts and the terms of the contract describe the limitations of the insured events. Specific exclusions are often written into the contract to limit the liability of the insurer; common examples are claims relating to suicide, fraud, war, riot, and civil commotion.

Modern life insurance bears some similarity to the asset management industry and life insurers have diversified their products into retirement products such as annuities.Life-based contracts tend to fall into two major categories:

Protection policies – designed to provide a benefit, typically a lump sum payment, in the event of a specified occurrence. A common form—more common in years past—of a protection policy design is term insurance.

Investment policies – the main objective of these policies is to facilitate the growth of capital by regular or single premiums. Common forms (in the U.S.) are whole life, universal life, and variable life policies.

Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics (from the Greek prefix makro- meaning "large" + economics) is a branch of economics dealing with the performance, structure, behavior, and decision-making of an economy as a whole. This includes regional, national, and global economies.Macroeconomists study aggregated indicators such as GDP, unemployment rates, national income, price indices, and the interrelations among the different sectors of the economy to better understand how the whole economy functions. They also develop models that explain the relationship between such factors as national income, output, consumption, unemployment, inflation, savings, investment, international trade, and international finance.

While macroeconomics is a broad field of study, there are two areas of research that are emblematic of the discipline: the attempt to understand the causes and consequences of short-run fluctuations in national income (the business cycle), and the attempt to understand the determinants of long-run economic growth (increases in national income). Macroeconomic models and their forecasts are used by governments to assist in the development and evaluation of economic policy.

Macroeconomics and microeconomics, a pair of terms coined by Ragnar Frisch, are the two most general fields in economics. In contrast to macroeconomics, microeconomics is the branch of economics that studies the behavior of individuals and firms in making decisions and the interactions among these individuals and firms in narrowly-defined markets.

Monetary policy

Monetary policy is the process by which the monetary authority of a country, typically the central bank or currency board, controls either the cost of very short-term borrowing or the monetary base, often targeting an inflation rate or interest rate to ensure price stability and general trust in the currency.Further goals of a monetary policy are usually to contribute to the stability of gross domestic product, to achieve and maintain low unemployment, and to maintain predictable exchange rates with other currencies.

Monetary economics provides insight into how to craft an optimal monetary policy. In developed countries, monetary policy has generally been formed separately from fiscal policy, which refers to taxation, government spending, and associated borrowing.Monetary policy is referred to as being either expansionary or contractionary. Expansionary policy is when a monetary authority uses its tools to stimulate the economy. An expansionary policy maintains short-term interest rates at a lower than usual rate or increases the total supply of money in the economy more rapidly than usual. It is traditionally used to try to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates in the hope that less expensive credit will entice businesses into expanding. This increases aggregate demand (the overall demand for all goods and services in an economy), which boosts short-term growth as measured by gross domestic product (GDP) growth. Expansionary monetary policy usually diminishes the value of the currency relative to other currencies (the exchange rate).The opposite of expansionary monetary policy is contractionary monetary policy, which maintains short-term interest rates higher than usual or which slows the rate of growth in the money supply or even shrinks it. This slows short-term economic growth and lessens inflation. Contractionary monetary policy can lead to increased unemployment and depressed borrowing and spending by consumers and businesses, which can eventually result in an economic recession if implemented too vigorously.

Narendra Modi

Narendra Damodardas Modi (pronounced [ˈnəɾendrə dɑmodəɾˈdɑs ˈmodiː] (listen); born 17 September 1950) is an Indian politician serving as the 14th and current Prime Minister of India since 2014. He was the Chief Minister of Gujarat from 2001 to 2014, and is the Member of Parliament for Varanasi. Modi is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Born to a Gujarati family in Vadnagar, Modi helped his father sell tea as a child and later ran his own stall. He was introduced to the RSS at the age of eight, beginning a long association with the organisation. He left home after graduating from school, partly because of an arranged marriage which he rejected. Modi travelled around India for two years and visited a number of religious centres. He returned to Gujarat and moved to Ahmedabad in 1969 or 1970. In 1971 he became a full-time worker for the RSS. During the state of emergency imposed across the country in 1975, Modi was forced to go into hiding. The RSS assigned him to the BJP in 1985, and he held several positions within the party hierarchy until 2001, rising to the rank of General Secretary.

Modi was appointed Chief Minister of Gujarat in 2001, due to Keshubhai Patel's failing health and poor public image following the earthquake in Bhuj. Modi was elected to the legislative assembly soon after. His administration has been considered complicit in the 2002 Gujarat riots, or otherwise criticised for its handling of it; however, a Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) found no evidence to initiate prosecution proceedings. His policies as chief minister, credited with encouraging economic growth, have received praise. His administration has been criticised for failing to significantly improve health, poverty, and education indices in the state.Modi led the BJP in the 2014 general election, which gave the party a majority in the Lok Sabha, the first time a single party had achieved this since 1984. Modi himself was elected to parliament from Varanasi. Since taking office, Modi's administration has tried to raise foreign direct investment in the Indian economy, increased spending on infrastructure, and reduced spending on healthcare and social welfare programmes. Modi has attempted to improve efficiency in the bureaucracy, and centralised power by abolishing the planning commission and replacing it with the NITI Aayog. He has begun a high-profile sanitation campaign, and weakened or abolished environmental and labour laws. Credited with engineering a political realignment towards right-wing politics, Modi remains a figure of controversy domestically and internationally over his Hindu nationalist beliefs and his role during the 2002 Gujarat riots, cited as evidence of an exclusionary social agenda.

One-child policy

China's one-child policy was part of a birth planning program designed to control the size of its population. Distinct from the family planning policies of most other countries (which focus on providing contraceptive options to help women have the number of children they want), it set a limit on the number of children parents could have, the world's most extreme example of population planning. It was introduced in 1979 (after a decade-long two-child policy), modified in the mid 1980s to allow rural parents a second child if the first was a daughter, and then lasted three more decades before being eliminated at the end of 2015. The policy also allowed exceptions for some other groups, including ethnic minorities. The term one-child policy is thus a misnomer, because for nearly 30 years of the 36 years that it existed (1979–2015) about half of all parents in China were allowed to have a second child. Provincial governments could (and did) require the use of contraception, sterilizations and abortions to ensure compliance and imposed enormous fines for violations. Local and national governments created commissions to raise awareness and carry out registration and inspection work.

According to the Chinese government, 400 million births were prevented, starting from 1970 a decade before the start of the one child policy. Some scholars have disputed this claim, with Martin King Whyte and Wang et al contending that the policy had little effect on population growth or the size of the total population. China has been compared to countries with similar socioeconomic development like Thailand and Iran, along with the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which achieved similar declines of fertility without a one-child policy. However, a recent demographic study challenged these scholars by showing that China's low fertility was achieved two or three decades earlier than would be expected given its level of development, and that more than 500 million births were prevented between 1970 and 2015 (a calculation based on an alternate model of fertility decline proposed by the scholars themselves), some 400 million of which may have been due to one-child restrictions. In addition, by 2060 China's birth planning policies may have averted as many as 1 billion people in China when one adds in all the eliminated descendants of the births originally averted by the policies. Although 76% of Chinese people said that they supported the policy in a 2008 survey, it was controversial outside of China.Effective from January 2016, the birth planning policy became a universal two-child policy that allowed each couple to have two children.

Public policy

Public policy is the principled guide to action taken by the administrative executive branches of the state with regard to a class of issues, in a manner consistent with law and institutional customs.

Quebec Agreement

The Quebec Agreement was an agreement between the United Kingdom and the United States outlining the terms for the coordinated development of the science and engineering related to nuclear energy, and, specifically nuclear weapons. It was signed by Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt on 19 August 1943, during World War II, at the First Quebec Conference in Quebec City, Canada.

The Quebec Agreement stipulated that the US and UK would pool their resources to develop nuclear weapons, and that neither country would use them against the other, or against other countries without mutual consent, or pass information about them to other countries. It also gave the President of the United States a veto over post-war British commercial or industrial uses of nuclear energy. The agreement merged the British Tube Alloys project with the American Manhattan Project, and created the Combined Policy Committee to control the joint project. Although Canada was not a signatory, the Agreement provided for a Canadian representative on the Combined Policy Committee in view of Canada's contribution to the effort.

British scientists performed important work as part of the British contribution to the Manhattan Project, and in July 1945 British permission required by the agreement was given for the use of nuclear weapons against Japan. The September 1944 Hyde Park Aide-Mémoire extended Anglo-American co-operation into the post-war period, but after the war ended, American enthusiasm for the alliance with Britain waned. The McMahon Act ended technical co-operation through its control of "restricted data". On 7 January 1948, the Quebec Agreement was superseded by a modus vivendi, an agreement which allowed for limited sharing of technical information between the United States, Britain and Canada.

Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP (Grand Old Party), is one of the two major political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Democratic Party.

Founded in 1854, the GOP originally subscribed to classical liberalism and took ideological stands that were anti-slavery and pro-economic reform. Abraham Lincoln was the first Republican president in the history of the United States. The party was usually dominant over the Democrats during the Third Party System and Fourth Party System. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt formed the Progressive ("Bull Moose") Party after being rejected by the GOP and ran as a third-party presidential candidate. Roosevelt called for many social reforms, some of which were later championed by New Deal Democrats in the 1930s. He lost the 1912 election, and when most of his supporters returned to the GOP, they were at odds with the party's new conservative economic stance; many left for the Democratic Party, and an ideological shift to the right occurred in the Republican Party. Later in the 20th century, the liberal Republican element was overwhelmed by a conservative surge begun by Barry Goldwater in 1964 and continued during the Reagan Era.After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the party's core base shifted, with the Southern states becoming more reliably Republican in presidential politics and the Northeastern states becoming more reliably Democratic. After the 1960s, whites increasingly identified with the Republican Party. After the Roe v. Wade 1973 Supreme Court ruling, the Republican Party made opposition to abortion a key plank of its national party platform and grew its support among Evangelicals. By 2000, the Republican party was firmly aligned with Christian conservatism. The party's core support since the 1990s comes chiefly from the South, the Great Plains, the Mountain States and rural areas in the North.Currently, the Republican Party ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with the Democrats' liberal platform and progressive wing. The GOP supports lower taxes, free market capitalism, free enterprise, a strong national defense, gun rights, deregulation and restrictions on labor unions. In addition to advocating for conservative economic policies, the Republican Party is socially conservative and seeks to uphold traditional values based largely on Judeo-Christian ethics. The GOP was strongly committed to protectionism and tariffs from its founding until the 1930s when it was based in the industrial Northeast and Midwest, but has grown more supportive of free trade since 1952. The Republican Party is unique among conservative political parties across the Western world in terms of rejecting the scientific consensus on climate change.

As of 2019, there have been a total of 19 Republican Presidents (the most from any one party in American history), and Republicans have won 24 of the last 40 presidential elections. Following the results of the 2018 midterm elections, the Republican Party controls the bulk of the power in the United States as of 2019, holding the presidency (Donald Trump), a majority in the Senate, and a majority of governorships and state legislatures (full control of 30/50 legislatures, split control of one). Furthermore, the GOP presently holds a "trifecta" (control of the executive branch and both chambers of the legislative branch) in a plurality of states (22 of 50). Five of the nine current justices of the Supreme Court were appointed by Republican presidents.

Think tank

A think tank, think factory or policy institute is a research institute/center and organization that performs research and advocacy concerning topics such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, technology, and culture. Most policy institutes are non-profit organisations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax exempt status. Other think tanks are funded by governments, advocacy groups, or corporations, and derive revenue from consulting or research work related to their projects.The following article lists global policy institutes according to continental categories, and then sub-categories by country within those areas. These listings are not comprehensive, given that more than 7,500 think tanks exist worldwide.

Urban planning

Urban planning is a technical and political process concerned with the development and design of land use and the built environment, including air, water, and the infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas, such as transportation, communications, and distribution networks. Urban planning deals with physical layout of human settlements. The primary concern is the public welfare, which includes considerations of efficiency, sanitation, protection and use of the environment, as well as effects on social and economic activities. Urban planning is considered an interdisciplinary field that includes social, engineering and design sciences. It is closely related to the field of urban design and some urban planners provide designs for streets, parks, buildings and other urban areas. Urban planning is also referred to as urban and regional planning, regional planning, town planning, city planning, rural planning, urban development or some combination in various areas worldwide.

Urban planning guides orderly development in urban, suburban and rural areas. Although predominantly concerned with the planning of settlements and communities, urban planning is also responsible for the planning and development of water use and resources, rural and agricultural land, parks and conserving areas of natural environmental significance. Practitioners of urban planning are concerned with research and analysis, strategic thinking, architecture, urban design, public consultation, policy recommendations, implementation and management. Enforcement methodologies include governmental zoning, planning permissions, and building codes, as well as private easements and restrictive covenants.Urban planners work with the cognate fields of architecture, landscape architecture, civil engineering, and public administration to achieve strategic, policy and sustainability goals. Early urban planners were often members of these cognate fields. Today urban planning is a separate, independent professional discipline. The discipline is the broader category that includes different sub-fields such as land-use planning, zoning, economic development, environmental planning, and transportation planning.

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