The Water Dispute Between Alabama, Florida, and Georgia
The Water Dispute Between Alabama, Florida, and Georgia
Immigration – entry rights & conferring citizenship benefits
Problem? How to allow reasonable entry and exit to support diverse labor
markets while deciding how to confer benefits of citizenship. Issues:
Different countries have historically defined the benefits and costs of immigration
differently – and this calculation changes as economies change.
At different times and places – immigration debates become re-distributive and
Second language programs? Job and skill-building?
Placing “quotas” based on race, faith, nationality.
Key issues – cultural assimilation vs. cultural negotiation; regionalization of immigration
policy in Europe; growing fragmentation in U.S.
STABLE PERCEPTIONS: IMMIGRATION AS MORE OF
A PROBLEM THAN OPPORTUNITY
www.transatlantic trends.org – German Marshall Fund (2010): 1000
interviewees in @ country – fall 2010
DIFFERING VIEWS OF LABOR-MARKET COMPETITION
Immigrants take jobs away from natives
Immigrants bring down wages
LEGAL IMMIGRANTS INCREASE CRIME IN SOCIETY
Some major lessons – distributive policies
Cost control is growing pre-occupation in many policy areas across countries In thick systems – because of demographic changes and shrinking revenues, controlling
benefits is a recurring option (e.g., health care, pensions, job training).
In thin systems – because of growing economic burden on the private sector/individual
citizens, increasing governmental efforts to reduce expenditures, increase revenues is
increasing (e.g., health care, pensions, labor markets).
The ability to control costs, and to introduce innovations, is path dependent –
Previous decisions, shaped by agenda-setting and tradition, establish a pattern which
makes incremental reform easier, radical departures from policy more difficult (e.g.,
health care, immigration).
“Thick” systems – because they have a tradition of strong, intrusive state-role in policy
– may find cost-control and competitive policies easier to institute.
Some major lessons – (con.)
Demographic changes are a major driver of distributive policy agenda:
As societies age, resource capacity declines; high priority problems change – e.g., from
primary education to pension relief; from pre-natal care to “end-of life” care.
Demographic shifts re-align electoral coalitions: as societies age, populations become
fiscally conservative – demands grow to shift resources from one program to another.
Thus, what was previously defined as a distributive policy to benefit one group, is now
viewed as a disadvantage to other groups.
Information and analysis are critical to re-shaping agendas:
Neutral and dispassionate policy analysis is rare, more typical is “advocacy science.”
The groups and agencies that advocate benefits or seek to control the growth of the
state: e.g., health groups, pensioners, anti-immigrant organizations provide information
When change occurs, it is likely that new sources of information, new studies, etc. have
Policy processes as re-distributional and regulatory – overview
Re-distributional policies serve disadvantaged groups – defined in various ways:
As constituencies with unique problems and challenges that are not served by markets
or the state.
As groups that have historically received a smaller share of a policy “pie.”
Whether the constituency is well-defined or not, re-distribution must be advocated; it is
not given without political struggle.
Regulatory policies restrict, control, or limit the discretion of many groups and
individuals in order to minimize harm to society. Examples:
Traffic safety & transport
Health and consumer safety.
Corporate behavior and integrity/security of markets.
How re-distributive policies work
Re-distributive policies take many forms: e.g., tax policy, income re-distribution,
direct benefits. Examples?
Telecommunication – FCC allowing new “players” and technologies into markets – e.g.,
Internet and wireless communications; expanded range of choices.
Providing special compensation for enduring a burden: e.g., paying communities for
accepting hazardous or radioactive waste sites.
Many re-distributive policies are developed by courts, through access to remedies via
litigation (e.g., disability rights in U.S.), as well as by legislation or executive decisionmaking.
Comparing disability policies–agenda-setting & re-distributive
European Community (EU)
Focusing events/national mood – in 20th century,
disabled viewed as “helpless victims” (Burke, 2004)
needing compensation and rehabilitation. Civil Rights
Act (1964) & Rehabilitation Act (1973) framed antidiscrimination agenda.
Group dynamics – Disability rights movement grew to
include own policy analysis component and litigation
strategy; also groups “linked up” with conservative
legislative and executive branch advocates of
“independence and self-determination.”
Sub-governmental dynamics – federal structure means
education-related mandates weak; strengthened
national authority provided by civil rights & economic
leverage – (e.g., denying federal funds for ADA
Jurisdictionality – federal role in non-discrimination is
now unquestioned; both federal courts and Congress
will support disability policies.
Focusing events/national mood – weak civil rights
tradition meant that national mood(s) only changed when
broader concerns with social exclusion and joblessness
(UK unions led the way) reach high-levels of concern.
Group dynamics – 1997 Amsterdam treaty directive set
agenda from “top-downward” from EU to countries – and
did so in larger frame of excluded groups by gender, race,
sexual orientation, faith, etc. (Use of “policy directives”
and trans-national European disabilities forum)
Sub-governmental dynamics – EU commission and staff set
groundwork for rule-making and information-sharing,
leaving implementation to separate nation-states.
Jurisdictionality - non-discrimination is now firmly part of
the EU’s agenda but not through litigation: instead, works
via compelling non-discrimination policies in existing
services & programs, from jobs, health care, education,
transportation, urban design.
How regulatory policies work
Regulatory policies employ various strategies to “regulate,” each of which is
important because of what it does and does not do!
Outcomes – monitoring and controlling outputs (e.g., emissions from pollutant sources,
risk exposures from hazardous wastes).
Inputs – monitoring and restricting content of some consumer good (e.g., amount of
lead in motor fuel, permissible level of additive in food or pharmaceuticals).
Technologies – permitting & managing certain devices and services (e.g., emission
control devices, airframes & vehicle design, broadcast and telecommunications).
Behavior – what people can and cannot do (e.g., hunting, fishing, painting or repairing
their homes, licensing of professions, building code “inspections”).
Comparing environmental policies–what we can learn about
European Community (EU)
Focusing events/national mood – U.S. led the world in
regulation due, in part, to severity of environmental
problems, closure of the frontier, support for protecting
natural resources – by end of 20th Century, national
mood changed with changes in economy/economic
Focusing events/national mood – Europe lagged in
everything except food safety– a reflection of a political
culture dominated by small farms, local markets. Dramatic
environmental threats in 1980s and 1990s moved EU to
more aggressive regulatory climate – “precautionary
Group dynamics – strong tradition of “nature protection
groups” that later evolved to become environmental
protection movement. Strong reliance on litigation as
well as direct action.
Group dynamics – while tradition is similar in regards to
group dynamics, there is more activism on environmental
issues by non-environmental groups – e.g., farmers,
Sub-governmental dynamics – federal structure initially
led to more sub-national innovation (e.g., California and
air quality); later led to opportunities for “backlash.”
Sub-governmental dynamics – EU commission & strong
“federal” structure led to quick imposition of regulatory
standards for air, water, food safety, toxic materials, even
industrial policy – e.g., recycling and re-use.
Jurisdictionality – gradual move away from strong
federal role in policy, more emphasis on “regulatory
flexibility” – (cooperation with regulated community on
Jurisdictionality – EU has been more aggressive in a
region-wide set of standards. Why? To avert a race to the
bottom; ensure greater economies of scale in regulation;
sensitivity to trans-boundary nature of pollution.
Can pollution be a “focusing
event”? – Smog in Los
Angeles: 1948 - present
Risk analysis process – general policy making in U.S and EU
The precautionary principle (German environmental law in 1974). Rather than await certainty
with respect to existence of risk, regulators should act in anticipation of potential harm to prevent
it. Employs conservative assumptions of harm, and being able to reverse decisions harmful to
health & environment (NAS, 1995). Relies on input from wide range of stakeholders to ensure
Administrative reform as regulation
In many modern developed polities, there has arisen a broad public concern that
government itself must be controlled and regulated in its:
Size and scope – pressures to reduce.
Expenditures and rate of budgetary growth – make it do “more with less”.
Efficiency of operations –transform its structure & improves its performance.
Austerity politics has become a common theme in Europe and U.S. since 1970s
but takes different forms due to political culture:
In U.S. – thin state tradition has led to greater hostility toward bureaucracy, but not
policy-makers – Americans want a government that operates like a business.
In Europe, greater emphasis on public service access, NOT shrinking size of state.
Administrative reform (con.)
Despite efforts to “downsize” government in the U.S. – through reductions of
personnel, early retirements, closure of offices, and shrinking of operating
budgets , greater cost savings have not occurred. Why not?
Most government expenditures are in entitlement programs and national defense – in
the former, costs are driven by distributive and re-distributive benefits granted to
citizens; in the latter –technology/labor costs of weapons and readiness drive costs.
Government is inherently “redundant” – our federal system means that all 50 states
duplicate one another’s services and functions, and the federal government has grown
to provide supplemental programs to sustain them.
One determinant of government size and scope is lack of agreement on what government
should NOT do – this inhibits genuine down-sizing in either EU or US.
EU has gone further than US in transforming structures and improving bureaucratic
accountability – easier in a parliamentary system where party that controls legislature controls
Reflections on distributive, re-distributive, regulatory policies
Administrative reform debates help us understand that, regardless of how public
policies originate, eventually they all take the form of a hybrid.
Historically, regulatory policies embraced distributional /re-distributional traits:
Since 19th Century, business regulation was encouraged by nascent industries to protect
their share of markets; prevent reckless competition; forestall public outrage over size
and influence; and build public trust & confidence in their safety:
Railway transport and pipeline industry regulation (e.g., ICC, FTC) began as effort to
“rationalize” industry and guarantee steady profits – thus, industries helped the
government set up both the agencies and their staffs.
Telecommunications and airline industries (in early 20th century) followed suit (FCC,
FAA) – their goal was to create stable industries through managing safety issues and
Over time regulation becomes a form of distributional policy.
Regulated industry may receives an exclusive license to operate over a given territory &
with a guaranteed market (an artificial price-fixed monopoly) – broadcast rights, phone
service, utilities, airline travel (in U.S. before 1979).
Tight-knit sub-government relationships develop between regulated industry and
regulatory agencies –regulated industries compose their own regulations; and, at times,
corporate abuse occurs because regulators are compromised in their dual role of
controller and promoter (e.g., banking and securities)!
In turn, some distributive /re-distributive policies may have unintended consequence of
re-constructing society, creating a new polity that then is regulated differently (e.g., K.
Jackson, Crabgrass Frontier 1987):
Suburban America was product of distributive & re-distributive policies designed to benefit groups –
e.g., GI Bill (encouraged single-family homes), Federal Home Administration (low-interest loans
restricted by race covenants), National Interstate and Defense Highway Act – paid for freeways.
New zoning regulations were developed to protect a suburban “aesthetic” and prevent high-density