A Comparison of Japanese politics against the United Stated States

Japan and the United States are among the worlds largest economy. Both countries have democratic systems of government, but there are other political aspects that differ in the two countries. The two countries have completely different systems of government with Japan having a parliamentary and the United States with presidential system. The parliamentary system of Japan has a Prime Minister who is elected by the House of Representatives from among themselves by a majority vote. He is usually the leader of the majority party and is the head of government. He chooses a cabinet that assists him in directing the government, from his political allies. The United States has a presidential system where there is a chief executive of the government, that is, the president without the prime minister. The president does not need to select a cabinet commanding the support of the legislative majority. The legislature also operates for a fixed term and cannot be dismissed before the time expires.  In the United States system, the president and the members of the executive branch of government cannot be members of congress, except the vice president.
Another political aspect that is different between the two countries is the electoral system. In the Japanese system, representatives are elected to the Diet, the Japanese National Parliament. The Diet is divided into two sections, the Upper House, which is the House of Councilors and the Lower House which is the House of Representatives. The House of Councilors is most powerful of the two. In law making, a bill rejected by the upper house after it has been passed by the Lower House, it can still become a law if it is passed again by the Lower House with a two-thirds majority. In the United States, the position of the Head of State and Head of Government are both held by the president. The President in the United States system is always actively participating in the political process heshe is never a symbolic figurehead. The President of the United States has special privileges in the passing of legislations. The privilege is the power of veto over passing of bills, nevertheless, it is very rare for the president to have authority to propose bills or vote for or against a bill.
 The electoral system in Japan differs greatly from the one in the United States. The Japanese house of representatives has 500 members, who are elected and are in office for a four-year term. Out of the 500 members, 300 come from single-seat constituencies, like in the United States, every voter in a particular district has one vote, and the candidate who gets majority votes becomes the winner and hence a sole representative for that district. The remaining 200 members are elected by Proportional Representation (PR) in eleven regional blocs. Voters in a region vote for a party and not for an individual. The number of seats in parliament that a party gets is based on the percentage of polls that it gets. Every party gives its seats in Diet to its top candidates, who are then ranked from the highest to the lowest before the elections. For example, in a district that has 20 seats, if a party gets 50 percent of the vote, then the party gets 10 seats, that are given to the top candidates on their party list.

The Upper House which is the House of Councilors has 252, members, who are elected and holds office for a six-year term. Elections are carried out for half of all House of Councilors seats every three years. For example, after elections are held in 1998 to fill the first 126 seats, then another election is held in 2001, to fill the remaining half. In every Upper House election, members are elected from single-seat constituencies, 52 from multi-seat constituencies, and 50 by Proportional Representation. There are three to five representatives in each district as compared to one in the case of the United States. In an election, the three to five who get the top votes are all winners. Every voter still has a single vote. In the American presidential system, the president and the congress members are elected in separate elections. The separate election of the executive is done by the Electoral College. The president is elected to office for a fixed term.  

The campaigning styles in these two countries are very different. Japanese political parties are generally weak organizationally. They also have few rank and file members, therefore individual aspirants cannot rely so much on their parties for political support. This is unlike in the United States where aspirants campaign in support of their political parties. Candidates in Japan therefore, often build personal organizations of supporters among electorates in their districts. Aspirants encourage electorates to join their personal support organizations by doing small favors for them like assisting their children to get into good quality schools or better jobs, sending them cards during holidays and financing trips for them. Aspirants also try to gather support by recruiting leaders of local organizations in the hope that they will motivate their members to join the organization and vote in their favor during the election.

In Japan, there are strict rules imposed by the government as control over campaigns. Aspirants are only allowed to have one campaign vehicle and a few posters and other printed materials. The campaigning period is only 12 days. In the American system, most of the aspirants pay for television and radio advertising so as to communicate with the electorates. The strict rules imposed by the government of Japan bars such advertisements. Aspirants in Japan are allowed only a few commercials or television appearances sponsored by the government. Aspirants in Japan spend less finance on commercials as compared to those in the United States, but spend more on funding the personal support groups. Just like in the United States, elections can be very expensive to the aspirants.

In 1993, the conservative Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lost control over its Diet majority temporarily. The party therefore lost the control of the government as some of its members defected and established a new party. The situation was so significant since up until that point, Liberal Democratic Party had controlled the government of Japan for 40 years without disruption. A long time of political realignment took place after the 1993 event, even if Liberal Democratic Party regained power in 1994.  A lot of small political parties emerged then disappeared or combined with other parties, while some of the existing parties like the Japan Socialist Party changed their names in an attempt to transform with the transforming times. The most significant consequence of Liberal Democratic Partys temporary loss of control over the government was the reform of the electoral system by the coalition government. The reform was enacted in 1994. The reforms primary objective was to establish a system that had two main parties that interchange power regularly, as it is in the United States. Up until then, the Japanese electoral system had one large party (the Liberal Democratic Party) that dominated three or four lesser opposition parties that were never capable of winning control of the government.

Those reforming the electoral system were strained and made political compromises allowing some aspects of the old system to stay. Analysts argue that the reforms will never be able to create a two-party system (Hao, p. 28). In the late 19th century, it was hypothesized that the speaker of the United States House of Representatives would transform into a quasi-prime minister, making the United States to change into a form of parliamentary system. However, this did not take place. It is therefore evident that politics in these two countries remain totally different.


The greatest leap in the development of computers quantum technologies
That technologies define the path and the speed of progress is difficult to deny for years and decades computers have served the basic measure of human evolution and created conditions necessary for humans to improve the quality of their lives. In the middle of November 2009, the worlds first universal programmable quantum computer has been put through its paces. But the test program revealed significant hurdles that must be overcome before the device is ready for real work (Barras, 2009). Although some time will pass before quantum computers turn into reality, it is more than important to understand why quantum and not any other technologies will exemplify the gigantic leap forward in the development of computer technologies.

First of all, quantum technologies create infinite opportunities for making computers both small and effective quantum computers work in a way that effectively combines small size with unlimited functional benefits. A quantum computer operates through a gold-patterned aluminium wafer that contains an electromagnetic trap 200 micrometers across with the two ions of magnesium and the two ions of beryllium, and quantum approach to technologies will, most probably, change our ideas about how computers should look (New Scientist, 2009). Of course, the smaller computer is the more convenient in use it will become, although it is very possible that quantum computers will not immediately become available to everyone.

Size, however, is not the only critical feature of quantum computers. Moreover, size is probably one of the least significant characteristics in quantum technologies. Quantum computers will signify the greatest leap forward in the development of computer technologies simply because they will expand the boundaries of computer performance. Quantum computers will process information at a speed that was not known before. They will work to solve large complex problems without any effort. They will change the idea of how information works in this world and will certainly change the direction of the human evolution. Quantum computers will change the quality of cryptography in computer science and will promote efficient factorization  an option that only quantum computers can use they will produce significant impacts on the development of artificial intelligence and will help programmers develop a whole range of effective solutions from compression algorithms to voice recognition and quantum communication techniques.      

Unfortunately, quantum computers are not without their problems, and ethical issues are the most serious ones. Spinello and Tavani (2004) write that nanotechnology and quantum computing have the potential to radically change information technology. If these technologies are successful,  computers will become very very small, very very fast, and have an enormous amount of memory relative to computers of today (p. 690). These prospects are both optimistic and troubling, because if the current computer technology is associated with numerous ethical issues, quantum computers will make these problems even more serious. Privacy will become a matter of the major ethical concern for example, governments will be able to use quantum technologies to impose their control on individuals and groups (Spinello  Tavani, 2004). Another problem is in whether quantum computers give rise to the development of human robotics and how bionic humans will influence the quality of the human life (Spinello  Tavani, 2004). We will have to define whether it is normal to have a quantum device that enhances various human abilities implanted in our bodies. We will have to define the ethical limits of computer evolution. Quantum devices will create a revolution in virtual reality and will make the line between virtual and physical reality increasingly blurred. Nevertheless, and despite these problems, it is clear and understandable that our transition to quantum technologies is inevitable.

Globalization and technology pros and cons
Globalization is probably one of the most frequently used words in the modern vocabulary. However, the meaning of globalization is often taken for granted, and it is not always clear what technologies can be responsible for what we call globalization today. Moreover, the list of these global technologies is so extensive, that it is simply impossible to define which one became the critical driver of globalization in the world. I believe that the three major technologies are responsible for globalization the Internet, television, and air transport.

First, television has provided millions of people with a unique opportunity to access, analyze, and use the benefits and achievements of other cultures and societies  the benefits and achievements that had been unknown or difficult to understand before television. It is very probable that television became the first step toward globalization in its current form, because television has an especially important role in shaping such social meanings as communication content dictates the way local or global mass media systems will affect peoples social experiences (Waters, 1995). The impact of television on human lives is so extensive that it is very difficult to foresee the results of globalization and technological development, but it is clear that television is responsible for the growing cohesion of cultures and attitudes, and reinforces the process of integrating diverse cultures and groups into one global network.

However, television alone would hardly lead to the development of present day globalization trends. I think that transportation became one of the principal factors responsible for globalization jet airplanes gave individuals a unique opportunity to travel and to familiarize themselves with new cultures. Jet airplanes are partially responsible for the elimination of geographical borders, which characterize modern globalization trends. The invention and expansion of transportation facilitated the process of economic integration, which, until present, has been the determinant feature of globalization.

Finally, the Internet shifted the relationships between countries, societies, and individuals to a new quality level. The underpinnings of the Internet are formed by the global interconnection of hundreds of thousands of otherwise independent computers, communications entities and information systems (Kahn  Vinton, 1999). On the one hand, the emergence and expansion of the Internet reflected the principles and features of globalization itself, which always relied on the interconnectedness of different social, economic, and cultural elements. On the other hand, the Internet also reinforced globalization trends and moved globalization into the masses.

According to Griffiths and Wall (2007), globalization is usually characterized by the two major trends (a) shifts within countries toward market-driven production systems and (b) the increasing international economic integration. However, it is at least incorrect to assume that globalization is limited to trade and economy. In reality, globalization has already crossed the boundaries of economic integration and impacts social, cultural, and political life. I suppose that the two major features of globalization are (a) interconnectedness and (b) internationalization. These trends make all events and individuals interconnected and create a situation, in which time is shrinking (Griffiths  Walls, 2007), borders disappear, and people and spaces turn into one integral global atmosphere.

Unfortunately, globalization is not always positive. I think that access to technologies is one of the major problems in the globalized world. Certainly, I benefit of interconnectedness of cultures and disappearing borders traveling becomes available and I have better opportunities to understand other cultures. However, globalization is impossible without technologies, and if I lack access to the Internet or cannot afford using air transport, I can hardly become a part of it. This is probably one of the major drawbacks of globalization it is driven by technologies, but it does not always create conditions necessary to access and use these technologies successfully.

Combating Terrorism in the United States

Terrorism is an act that is associated with quite a number of evils conducted against mankind. It is a deliberate creation of threat of brutality or causing actual violence towards innocent citizens or a particular government. Terrorists use different techniques in their effort to spread their acts of terrorism. Terrorist in the United States has been of great concern especially after the September 11 2000 attack. In this respect the government together with other stakeholders in the department security came up together and formed anti terrorism conference in FBI academy as a tactic to secure American people against terror attack. The conference which was referred to as Countering Terrorism Intergration of practice and theory was a very important step in facing off the threat that faced the country as well as other countries in the world. Through effective collaboration with the National Security Council the conference, which included intelligence officers, lawyers and military personnel came up with strong policies of fighting terrorism. This paper will to a great extent discuss the extent to which the US government has embarked on fighting terrorism.

Overview of terrorist Activity in the U.S.
The intention of terrorists is to have the control of the oil resources in the Middle East. It is based by this ill motive move that terrorists led by Osama bin Laden, the leader of the Al-Qaeda movement have declared war against US. According to the Al-Qaeda US has occupied the holy lands in the Middle East thus their aim is to forcefully remove them from those lands. Their acts of killing innocent Americans in other countries for instance the 1998 bombing of the US embassy in Kenya and in Tanzania also indicates their intention of creating fear of traveling on the American people (Capuano and Michael 2009).

Terrorism came to light in 1988.The pioneers were seniors Muslim leaders and with the financial support of Osama bin Laden the group started to register other Muslims in the world. It is imperative to note that at first the group categorized itself as a religion movement with the intention of spreading the word of God.However the group performed its operations in secret since it didnt want to be enhance awareness of its existence to the general public. Initially the government did not immediately realize how dangerous the terrorist group was. In 1990s the US government was hosted by the Saudi Arabia government to protect it from the invasion by Iraq. This was against the wish of Osama bin Laden who maintained that US has invaded a holy ground. During this time the terrorists group started to attack the US interests in the whole world thus enhancing the US government strong policies of fighting terrorism.

The most horrible terrorists attack was the September 11, 2001 attack. The attack was undertaken using jet liners which were hijacked by 19 terrorists. Their suicidal operation resulted to their death as well as the death of 2,973 passengers who were mostly Americans. In addition the attack resulted to destruction of the World Trade Center resulting to loss of property leading to negative effect on the American economy. Another example of an attack was the USS Cole attack in the year 2000.During this time the ship which was referred to as DDG 67 was attacked by the terrorists as it refueled in Aden harbor. This attack resulted to the death of 17 sailors while more than 30 sailors suffered serious injuries. The third example of a recent terror attack was the brutal kidnapping of Daniel Pearl in 2002.He was an American journalists based in India. His kidnappers who were the members of Al Qaeda movement forwarded urgent demands to the US government which included releasing all Pakistan people detained by the US authority .Failure to respond to the demands resulted to brutal murder of Daniel Pearl.

Governments anticounter terrorism measures
With the increased threats of terrorist attack in US, the government has embarked on extensive process of ensuring that airlines have been given adequate security in their operations. One major initiative undertaken by the TSA (Transport Security Administration) ensures those luggages owned by passengers traveling from UK to US are properly screened. In the same way the government came up with rules which require carrying out of x-rays on the shoes of the passengers (Nemeth and Robert 2009).This has enforced security mechanisms in that it avoids carrying of explosives inside the airlines. Likewise the airport authority banned possession of gels and any other form of liquid beyond the checkpoints inside the US airports. The accessibility of the airport is another area that the government has only limited to passengers with valid air tickets. In order to succeed in the security measures the USA government has invested a lot in installing security gadgets inside the airports and in the airplanes. For instance metal detectors and other sophisticated security systems have been installed in the areas surrounding airports in order to detect explosives and bombs.

In order to make the war against terrorism a success, the US government under the leadership of President George Bush passed the Patriot Act in 2001.The act which was signed into law by the president, is intended to strengthen the unity among the American residents as a way to eliminate acts of terrorism. In addition the law gives military personnel and other security agencies in US power to scrutinize emails and other form of communication that is seemed to be connected with terrorism. It is imperative to note that unlike other laws which face high resistance from either republican or democratic parties, Patriot act was fully supported by the two parties. This is a clear indication of the extent to which the US government is ready to eliminate the cruelty of terrorism in US and in the whole world in general (Caldwell and Robert 2006).

In order to be effective the Countering Terrorism Intergration of practice and theory policy should have strategies of involving other military personnel from other countries for instance African countries. It is important to note that most of the terrorists hide in African countries since they know these countries have weak security measures. By so doing the US government will share its skills with other countries thus making it stronger in fighting the Al Qaeda and other terrorists groups.Nevertheless, the FBI academy conference has succeeded in fighting of acts of Terrorism especially with the support of the current US government under the leadership of President Barrack Obama.

Border security is an important aspect in the war against terrorism. When we talk about border security, we mean all the security apparatus within the US boundaries. It is very important to note that security, terrorist threat is an issue that transcends international borders, and therefore it is critical to examine the issue of border security. On the other hand, border security is critical in prevention of supportive machinery and movement of resources that sustains terrorism. Terrorism is a well-coordinated activity and it is fuelled by a steady supply of resources. These resources include financial support from their leaders such as Osama bin Laden, information and communication systems as well as other resources that are directly involved in propagating extremist educational and religious agendas. The counter terrorism measures at the border point include government efforts to strengthen state control over the national security including the border points. Securing national borders is an exercise that requires great focus on physical security, enhancing the effectiveness of immigration and asylum laws as well as technological advancement to modernize security equipment to monitor border activity and movement of people and resources.

The effectiveness of immigration and asylum laws in thwarting the entry of unauthorized persons is one of the basic steps that governments should implement. These laws should be amended to keep in pace with the dynamism of terrorism. Apart from immigration laws, there is need for the state to monitor the movement of resources across the borders. This is important because most of the resources used for terrorism are passed through the seaports and airports. The state should therefore track the movement of these resources. Modernization of security systems is very essential in dealing with the changing face of terrorism. Similarly, physical screening needs to be employed to each individual person crossing all borders points. Immigration policies should also be made stiffer to discourage the movement of terrorists and their accomplices. Although the application of stiffer immigration policies has its own economic delimits, it plays a significant role in preventing the spread of terrorism. If countries adopt stiff immigration policies then terrorism groups will be isolated to a great extend and it would become easier to deal with them at that position.

Governments role to thwart terrorism
The objectives of law enforcement by the government in relevance to the anti-terrorism war should be made very clear. The objectives of law enforcement are to prevent, deter, disrupt and even neutralize terrorism. Prevention of terrorism is a pertinent issue that law enforcement units should focus on. One of the basic objectives of law enforcement in deterring terrorism should be to remove loopholes and security lapses in the national security system. This can be done by streamlining security apparatus and encouraging the rule of law even in foreign countries. The forces of terrorism thrive on lawlessness and the government should always step in to ensure that law enforcement is effective. Disruption of terrorist activities is another objective of law enforcement which should be emphasized. Disruption of terrorism networks and their supply of resources are critical in thwarting the menace.

One of the major security measures undertaken by the US government is the Homeland security. Citizens also have a responsibility to help the government to implement homeland security systems. Homeland security is the combination of all the agencies that ensure order and security within the country. Domestic intelligence gathering, disaster and emergency management should be strengthened. Of concern is the protection of the US infrastructure and transport systems, which will be achieved by investment in security systems as part of the roles of the homeland security. However to achieve these goals successfully, there is need for government agencies to pull together and initiate concerted effort. The agencies that are directly involved in the antiterrorism crusade like the federal bureau of investigations (FBI), the central investigation agency (CIA) and local law enforcement agencies should be allowed to share terrorism-related intelligence information. In addition, Collaboration with non-law enforcement partners and the private sector should be encouraged for the effective elimination of this threat. Future terrorism will be highly sophisticated due to the change in technology. The face of terrorism is changing every day and it is therefore not easy to predict terrorism 20 years to come. Nevertheless, the change in technology is expected to influence the channels that terrorists are going to use when executing their motives. First, the terrorist groups will always try to come up with new technologies to out do the security systems.

Future terrorism will be based on the battle for technology as terror groups try to gather there own intelligence systems thereby increasing case of cyber attacks. As mentioned earlier, through the Patriot Act the US government has taken serious measures to monitor email and form of cyber communication in order to reduce the cases of cyber attacks (Wong and Kam 2007). It is also envisaged that future terrorism will be more aligned to political, social and economic sabotage through an increase in groups supporting terrorism, criminal gangs and the utilization of technology among the terror groups to enhance their communication systems. The proliferation of non-governmental organizations will also change the forces of terrorism. On one hand, these non-governmental organizations are critical in enhancing the fight against terrorism especially as part of collaboration between government agencies and the private sector. But on the other hand, some of these non-governmental organizations will be used by terrorist groups as conduits to find resources for financing their activities. With the current lapses in security systems, it is possible to have a repeat of the December 911 terrorist attacks but the homeland security forces should wake up. According to my view, the provision of a platform for government agencies to share intelligence reports on terrorism is very critical. Such a platform should also incorporate the input of civil societies, non-governmental organizations and the private sector. In addition, the government should formulate stiffer immigration and asylum policies as well as modernize security equipment used by law enforcement units.

Based on the above discussion it is clear that in order to win the fight against terrorism, the US government requires the support of other countries in the world. This is based on the fact that during their attack, terrorists do not only kill American residents but also other citizens from different countries. For example the 1998 bombing of US embassy in Kenya resulted to death of many innocent Kenyans.

Unemployment Insurance Branch

The vision, mission, goals and values of an organization are the daily route markers to the destination the organization wants to reach.   They are as good as they are applied daily in the operations of an organization.  They are easily projected by the organization and its employees if practiced by the management who in turn inspire the juniors to ape them in the practice.

This paper will look at these aspects as regards Unemployment Insurance Business Branch.  It will try to critic and make suggestion for developing and enhancing each within the organization.

The vision being nothing more than the dream the forbears had can be improved, redeveloped and or enhanced in line with the prevailing conditions.  This vision though still very viable in the present day needs to be enhanced in order to respond to present day conditions.  The critical points by which to evaluate and improve a vision will include whether it is clear. It must be easily understandable and comprehensible.  When this is achieved then people will easily act on it.  This aspect the current vision fully meets.

It must be challenging.  In that it should electrify and give birth to ministry it should pull people out of their seats and into the streets.  This is very hard to evaluate since different people reach different levels of enthusiasm given the same stimulus.  The vision of Unemployment Insurance (UI) falls short in this aspect.  Given the great service UI gives to the society, the current vision statement does not yank one into action.

A vision statement is essentially the picture one believes God will create as regards the organization.  This should be clear and easy for any one reading the statement to see.  The UI statement does achieve this in a simple yet effective way.

It must as of necessity picture the end at the beginning.  This means bridging the past to the future. It makes any reader appreciate the future of the organization.  It also perceives something that is not yet but is possible.  This means it is based on reality not on idealism.  It finally grabs and will not let go.  This is urgency in its achievement on any part party to it.

On this critical part the UI vision falls a tad short.  It captures but misses the emphasis to motivate the organization to urgency.  It is clear that by achieving and satisfying the mentioned guidelines, the vision will truly reflect importance of UI as is seen from the people it assists or has assisted in the society.
An organizations mission is a statement giving the precise direction and purpose of an organization.  It should motivate employees and give them a sense of priority.  It thus is a concise proclamation of the organizations main concerns and aspirations (Olsen, 2006).  Critically looking at the mission statement of Unemployed Insurance, it does clearly fulfill the requirements of a good mission statement.

It is brief and memorable without being flamboyant.  It is distinctive and very precise to UI in that even if the name UI was missing by reading one would know whos mission statement it was.  The purpose of UI is clearly captured and it does indicate the primary function of UI and the stake holders are clearly acknowledged.

It tackles the critical issue on assumption of value, cause (method), possibility and option.  The mission statement also covers the critical issue of meaning, definition, identification and acquisition of knowledge from items mentioned in the statement.  By incorporating solutions to these issues given the present prevailing circumstances, the UI mission statement will be able to capture the present spirit.
One critical aspect for which Unemployed Insurance has failed is by not having a value statement.  These are the acceptable standards which govern the behavior of individuals within an organization (Dale, 2004).  It gives rise to collective values ensuring there is synergy between the individual value systems resulting in behavior an organization would want to encourage within.

When tackling this issue, care will have to be taken since values are very dear to individuals - they define who a particular individual is.  In some instances, people will do defensive when issues they value are addressed in a manner they feel is disrespectful.  It is important therefore to scrutinize them since they have either a positive or negative impact on resolutions, precedences, strategies, tactics and performance.  It is thus imperative to assess values as globalization has made organizations so powerful that their decisions affect all.

The goals of an organization determine who effective it is in exploiting the scarce resources available to it.  They clearly state the long-range aim for a specific period and are unambiguous and not idealistic.  When through strategic planning, they are translated into activities that achievement of the goal through operational planning.

Unemployed Insurance has done a commendable job in generating organizational goals and further splitting them to sixteen specific objectives.  This allows for an increased probability of the goals achievement, increased organizational efficiency and generally organizational growth.  It makes it easier to clearly pin point in time when there is a deviation from the desired in a timely manner.  This also allows for the engagement of remedial measures that are objective targeted to the particular deviation instead of having broad based measures.

By each goal having its accompanying objectives, it will be easy to cascade growth, and overlapping functions hat depend on each other for the completion of the achievement of the big picture will be easily accomplished.  All players will be clear on specific requirements and in cases of cooperative requirements, exactly who to cooperate with.

Unemployed Insurance has done a commendable in creating vision, mission, goals and values.  It has however fallen short in particular aspects especially in the area of values.  It must as a matter of development for the organization to develop a value statement by which to guide the employees with.
It must tap and channel the energies from the staff value system and use it for the betterment of UI.  By making a value statement, UI will be clearly defining what it wants done, who it wants achieved and to which extent it will allow the staff to deviate from the norm.  This will create a basis from which incoming new staff will be able to mould their values in line with the organizational one.
Unemployed insurance has managed to achieve structural and resource allocation efficiency which is very commendable.  As a matter of fact, it has managed to very ably adapt to the changing time. As commendable as it may, there is need for UI to reevaluate their payout figure in lieu of changing demographics, raising cost of living and unemployment as a result of economic slow down.

The contributions are bound to be affected by the number of organizations still doing business.  Also, the continued relocation of non skilled jobs out of California will not only increase the numbers of unemployed but also reduce the chance of non skilled workers getting another job even where they are willing.  It is thus imperative that UI incorporate, upgrading of skills of the unemployed as a way of making them more likely to get employment.

Hegemony in Foreign Policy

As the leader of a country, the foreign policy direction would align with hegemony. As a strategy on foreign policy, hegemony is an institutionalized practice of special rights and responsibilities conferred on a state with the resources to lead. There are two conceptualizations of hegemony. One is as the exercise of leadership over other states and the other is the exertion of power over other states. These emerged because of the achievement of hegemony through either consensus or force. Leadership through consensus is less susceptible to controversy, resistance and failure than power through force given the contemporary context of international relations. Exerting power over other states, especially through force cannot be sustained by the country especially given the relative military strengths of other states. Leadership through consensus is more viable by bestowing legitimacy on the country as the leader. The countrys foreign policy follows the exercise of leadership on other states by influencing consensus over a new system led by the country.

Although hegemony is rarely seen in the positive light, the economic and political goals justify the pursuit of hegemonic foreign policy. Economically, the goal of the country is to sustain growth by expanding its market. The country has a well-developed industrial sector. However, the saturation of the market relative to the level of production together with available markets with high demand for these products created the opportunity to achieve the economic goal of the country. Moreover, the country does not have sufficient sources of oil to support its industries. The boundary between neighboring countries holds untapped oil reserves but the countries are in conflict over control with the countries not having sufficient resources to fund exploration and extraction. The encompassing political goal of the country is to ensure peace and security not only in the country but also the region. The country has sufficiently trained armed forces. However, political instability in neighboring countries poses a threat to regional stability. The country also has a strong civil society and a pool of intellectuals running civil society infrastructures. The country can provide some resources and capabilities needed by neighboring countries and neighboring states can contribute to the achievement of the goals of the country.

The foreign policies to be implemented for the state are two-fold. One is the engagement in multilateral trade agreements and establishment of regional economic cooperation. The other is the creation of a mutual defense assistance agreement that involves resources and capabilities sharing for inter-military training and the obligation to lend aid in case of security threats faced by each of the states that are party to the agreement. These policies are in pursuance of the countrys economic and political goals. These also comprise mutually reinforcing policies since economic growth requires a stable political environment and political development is backed by sustainable economic growth.

Being a hegemon fosters the pursuit of these policies. Playing a hegemon involves initiating talks with neighboring countries to seek their participation in economic cooperation and to negotiate terms mutually favorable to the parties but pursue the interests of the country. The trade agreement would involve terms that would allow the country to gain sufficient influence on material resources. This is expressed by the theory of hegemonic stability, which involves material resource preponderance, particularly targeting the control of raw materials, capital, markets, and production of valued commodities. Key to the economic cooperation is the country gaining significant stakes in the development of the oil field bordering neighboring countries and liberalization of markets. The initiation of talks and the finalization of the mutual defense assistance agreement also forms part of the hegemons role. This time, the focus of the agreement is on providing assistance in developing the political infrastructures in exchange for allowing tacit influence on the type of infrastructures to develop or strengthen. The infrastructures are also those perceived by the neighboring countries as good relative to the countrys democratic systems. This applies the concept of infrastructural hegemony.

Although playing the role of a hegemon, the direction is towards multilateral action. The success of the hegemonic foreign policies is the achievement of consensus over the establishment of a new system under the leadership of the hegemon. This involves cooperation as the favorable reaction from the leaders of the neighboring states. The multilateral action aligns with the concept of cooperation hegemony, which involves the practice of power-sharing and power aggregation among the cooperating countries to provide a semblance of collectivism but with the hegemon exercising mutually recognized influence over decision-making and agreements. Influence rests on the benefits extended to neighboring states by the hegemon. Consensus and cooperation are achieved through economic and political incentives that the hegemonic country uniquely provides with the guarantee of the hegemon.

There are challenges and opportunities for the country with its leader as a hegemon. The challenges to the country are the burden of carrying the costs required including the provision of financial aid and other assistance to neighboring states as part of the agreement as well as the risk to citizens being targeted by opposition or radical groups in neighboring countries. However, by ensuring consensus and cooperation to achieve regional economic and security cooperation under the leadership of the hegemonic state, these challenges should be addressed. There are also opportunities to the country from having a hegemon leader, such as increase in economic or national wealth, improved social mobility from better inter-state relations, creation of work and business opportunities, and other similar outcomes.

Criminal Justice

Within a community, there are issues that affect the majority of the members.  When an effort is made to have the community come to a consensus in order to influence a particular strategy, this can be viewed as a public strategy.  Generally a public policy will be any cause of action that is arrived at after consultation with all stakeholders and an agreement arrived at, after a common ground is arrived at among the players.

This paper will look at factors that influence public policy with a view to identifying how they inter-marry.  It will look at the influences wielded by different players on public policy procedures and how it can be countered or natured.

Given that a public policy is a particular course of action arrived at as a result of discussion and horse trading especially in the political realm that ensures all parties have a stake in the policy.  Ultimately each side in a discussion must be able to have a stake in order to justify the process.

In public policy debates, there are no wrong or right answers nor are there permanent positions.  In public policy formulation, everything is fair game if progress is to be achieved.  There will never be a final solution or problem.  It is as dynamic as the participants and stakeholders being affected by the policy.

The legislature itself is the biggest shaper of public policy.  Due to the fact that it is a body of elected representatives of the people, through their discussions and the decisions made, they are continuously creating or amending public policy.  They are the foremost authority in the generation of public policy.  By their nature of their work, they are supposed to represent their local constituents at the national level and make sure the views of their constituents are at all times considered in all decision making.
The justice system on its part ensures the all public policies are actually good for the public.  These policies cannot be against the constitution of a country.  It is their duty to make sure that the rule of law is followed by ensuring that all decisions made are within the boundaries of what is agreeable by the majority.  They also aid in enforcing public policies.  When a person is found contravening a public policy, they are taken to court and it thus becomes the duty of the justice system to right wrongs on behalf of the public.  The enforcement of public policy is done in collaboration with the executive arm of government.

They also do affect public policy through the judgment delivered on issues brought before them for arbitration and judgment.  Working within the strict confines of existing laws, the executive can influence debate and by extension, change a public policy by either coming down hard or soft while delivering judgment.  Since they can borrow from precedents set in other countriesstates that have similar laws, developments in law can be brought in through rulings delivered which will in turn lead to debate as a result.

For an issue to qualify as a public issue it must be a human action that impacts another party as to warrant the intervention of the government.  It could concern health, justice, environment or even taxation.  Any issue as long as it is weighty is worth discussing and there are no issues that can not be addressed.  When this happens, then the process of finding a common ground that will be agreeable to all parties is put into action.  An issue is first picked by a member of a legislative body as a complaint by the public.  The other way for an issue to be considered for the policy making process is for the member to have a particular interest as concerns an issue and decide to seek that correction of an injustice heshe feels is being perpetuated.

Before an issue is introduced in the legislative body, the member sponsoring the issue will normally weigh the interest it can generate within fellow members.  This is done in order to find out what the reception will be like, whether the issue has any chance of being addressed in a manner agreeable to the member and if not what the obstacles that await the issue are.  The member will want to weigh the opinions in order to determine if it is the right time to bring it up.  No member wants to spend their energy on an issue that clearly is a non starter.

Once the member is sure of the level of support or none thereof, they then engage on popularizing the policy in order to win over as many supporters as possible.  This could be done in different ways.  In some instances it could be arm twisting when one is in a position of power or influence.

The member will also endeavor to hold public education and discussion with a view to ensuring the policy will not only be embraced by the public but that it actually will have goodwill ambassadors and lobbyists who will champion it through out the process from introduction in the legislature to its enactment.

When the legislature finally votes to adopt a policy and recommends it to the president to be signed into law, its work of formulation is finished.  It now falls on the executive and the judiciary to implement the policy.  These two arms of government have to work in tandem since each has its own unique characteristics and mandate which cannot individually achieve policy implementation.

Given the level and the scope of the public policy under consideration, most policies have their origins in the legislature.  This is the body that has constitutional mandate to make policies for the public.  Once the policy has been made it is then passed on to the executive and the judiciary for implementation and enforcement.  The legislature will have made the threadbare bureaucracies necessary to the implementation of the policy.

It is within these structures that the executive will have to work on in order to ensure implementation.  Where the bureaucracies do not exist then they would have to be created and empowered.  In implantation of public policy matter, decisions are made in a rule following manner.

Depending on how a policy will impact an individual, they will either have a strong interest or a passing interest.  When a policy stands to affect an individual in a negative way, the interest and ferocity to oppose it will be great and the same is true for the reverse.  Interest groups as the name suggests have only the well being of the people they represent at the top of their agenda.  Any policy that they perceive to have a positive or negative bearing on their common interest is either supported or opposed vehemently.

In order to have policies friendly to them and depending on the financial muscle they have, they will use a variety of strategies to influence favorable outcomes.  Interest groups are known to sponsor workshops for the legislature in the name of educating them on the intricacies of a policy under consideration.  They then have experts present who push for their point of view and the opposing voices paraded are intentionally chosen not to be loud enough.

In order to have support of particular legislators they deem pivotal to passing of a friendly policy, they are known to contribute to causes close to the legislators heart and expect quid pro quo when the policy comes up for voting.  In some cases there has been actual exchange of cash in lieu of support of a policy.

The media is the best avenue to disseminate views about a policy be they pro or against.  Depending on the value a media house will attach to a policy, they can generate debate by featuring the conflict from which the policy is being drafted and the possible outcomes that are being desired.  They also offer a forum for the sponsors of the policy to communicate with a large audience at once and sell their proposal.  When used effectively, the media can make differing members of a legislature take solid positions as a result of debate generated from their electors.

The media can out of its own assessment create debate which could result in the making of a public policy by highlighting on conflicts in the society.  The media often is supposed to act as the voice of the voiceless by practicing impartiality and strictly pursuing the policy of informing the public.  Unfortunately, in some instances depending on the inclinations of the management or owners of a particular media outlet, bias can be present.  This is done with the express view of swaying public view towards a particular view point.

Political parties especially in democratic countries have a very strong influence on public policy matters.  They can be used as means to rally support for a particular policy.  Since members of a political party already have a common ground, a member proposing a policy, once it has been supported by the party hierarchy is assured of party members for support.  The member only has to work on the opposing party member in order to have the policy gain nonpartisanship.  This is a sure way of increasing acceptance when a policy is seen as non partisan.

Political parties derive their mandate from their manifestos.  A party for whom environmental matters are central will trim its identity so that it will not be seen to be supporting a policy that seeks to degrade the environment.  They will however put all their energy on issues that further the environmental agenda.  Depending on the underlying party beliefs, ideology driven political parties can always be relied upon to raise and support public policy issues in line with their fundamental beliefs.

Depending on an individuals perceived impact of the policy on their life, so will the level of interest on a particular policy be determined.  If a policy affects persons with a particular interest, it is expected they will come together to support or fight the policy.

The media on its part depending on how it is applied by interested parties can play a pivotal role in shaping public perception regarding a particular policy.  Since all members are sponsored to the legislature by a political party, especially for those serving the very first term, it will hold a strong influence on them.  It will count on them to sponsor and support policies the party deems to beneficial to its long term strategy.

Economic and Social Impact of Neoliberalism

Neoliberalism has been a mammoth concept in the history of economics and has had a vast impact on the courses of the nations of the world as well as impacting on the lives of millions of people. It has furthermore remained a controversial concept the advantages and disadvantages of which are still fervently under debate. However, from rising to great prominence in some parts of the world, to getting diluted with other thoughts, Neoliberalism has been involved in shaping the history of the world to some extent. Understanding the economic and the social impact its implementation has had requires studying what the concept entails and the changes it brings.

The foundation of the thoughts that gave birth to the concept of Neoliberalism can be traced to the work of Adam Smith and David Hume. It basically involves the giving greater power over the economy to the private sector and thus transferring control of the resources of a country from the public sector to private enterprise. This is encouraged to achieve two primary aims, a greater degree of efficiency in the handling of these resources spurred by the profit motive, and thus betterment in the economic indicators of a nation which is taken to trickle down to the major sections of the population. The application of this concept requires certain policy changes that have been the core of the Neo-liberal model. First off, it requires disciplined application of the fiscal policy, the taxation and government spending by the state. Secondly, there is a focus on less intervention of the government in the market via subsidies and legislation and quotas, thereby allowing the forces of the market to operate freely to determine efficient allocation of scarce resources. This is complemented by tax reform, whereby the burden is made less for the higher earners by applying more moderate tax brackets so as to foster more investment and growth by owners of resources in a country. There is also a focus on floatation of the exchange rate of the countrys currency to make it more competitive as well as liberalization of trading activities by lifting of import restrictions and artificial barriers.

Policies are further stressed that encourage the inflow of foreign direct investment into the country by multinational corporations. This makes the market more competitive as well which is further aided by policies of deregulation of the market, to allow the invisible hand of the market to operate freely. To make the use of resources more efficient, state owned industries are encouraged to be privatized, lifting the traditional role that the state has played in health care and education. All this needs to be coupled with the provision of legal security for the right to private property and the easy access to finance required by entrepreneurs. Interest rates need to be market determined but remain positive. All these policies have the impact of transferring control of the resources from the public to the private sector and lessening the role of the government in the economy.

Neoliberalism brought about many economic as well as social changes with it. Many of these can be argued to be significantly good. The Chicago school was instrumental in the development of the policies linked with this model, soured by popular names such as Milton Freidman. One of the most significant impacts that it had was in the United Kingdom during the Thatcher days. Margaret Thatcher adopted the policies in an attempt to quell the tide of economic decline of the once fledgling island by utilizing the market forces and the efficiency that accompanied it. This was done by privatizing state owned enterprises at the time which was accompanied by a rise in the interest rates aimed at slowing down the increase in money supply and the accompanying inflation. Some of these actions were specifically aimed at reducing the power of the trade unions that had become powerful in the country in order to create greater flexibility and mobility of labor and to reduce resistance. This was done not only through legislation but also through the use of privatization. This was accompanied by a reduction in government spending on education and health care so that the market was given a greater role in the economy with government intervention to a minimum. These policies brought many advantages. Inflation which had been a problem before was brought to acceptable levels of around 8. Economic growth increased manifold and UK became one of the fastest growing economies of Europe. The cut down in regulation also helped London become the financial hub of the world and transformed the country altogether. Apart from these economic changes, the high growth and the stronger currency brought in many educated individuals from developing countries, making the society a strongly multicultural one and forming a blend in the metropolitan city of London. It also developed a broad consensus among the political parties in the country that the free market ideology espoused by Thatcher was correct and subsequent elections were carried out by parties building on the Neoliberal mandate of Thatcher.

The biggest success story of the free market ideology can be described as Iceland. It is a small icy island with a population of roughly 300,000 but it was able to transform itself in a few short years to one of the soundest economies of the world. This was achieved via Neoliberal policies. It decreased regulation in its markets to a great extent and reduced the barriers to international trade that existed. In addition it lessened the role of the government. This had the impact of making access to credit from international institutions very easy in Iceland. In addition, the banking sector in the country began to take full advantage of these policies, shortly becoming very strong and even buying considerable shareholding in the United Kingdom and Denmark. GDP per capita became one of the highest in the world and the lifestyle in the country improved a lot. The people in Iceland enjoyed many luxuries, with the lower jobs in the country increasingly being handled by Polish and Lithuanian immigrants who wanted to work to send the strong Krona currency back to their families in the homeland.

The most fervent protector of the Neoliberal policies has been the United States. It has invested increasingly in the freeing up of the market and lessening the amount of government intervention. Indeed, the Cold War was also fought partly over the Capitalist system which let the market dictate the allocation of resources rather than centrally planning them via government intervention. Now it is the worlds sole superpower, having outlasted the Soviet Union and boasts the strongest economy in the world. Particular focus on Neoliberalism can be said to have come during the Reagan years however. In this era, inflation fell and average incomes increased in the country as well as a rapid rise in commercial activity. GDP grew at a rate of 3.4 every year.

Thus broadly speaking, Neoliberalism had a strong economic impact on the developed world. It helped many get a control over inflation as well as spur rapid economic growth in the country through a substantial rise in commercial and trading activity. This had the effect of increasing incomes of the entrepreneurs while also raising the average incomes of the working class, thus increasing spending power of the populace. This increase in spending power and better economic condition helped raise the lifestyle in the countries, as they increasingly became some of the best places to live in the world according to ratings (Feo 2008). New Zealands reduction of agricultural subsidies and freeing up of its markets created a better economy and a rise in lifestyle which saw the country rise to number one in terms of life satisfaction by the Legatum institute. The Economist also raised its ranking substantially which was also the story with Icelands rapid development. The rise in prosperity also created a more educated population that was aware of social problems and responded to them through opting to vote for parties that took care of such problems. Thus the spread of welfare homes and human rights promotion activities increased. This proved so successful that previously centrally planned economies started to explore the route of Neoliberalism. One was Chile, which experimented with the policies promoted by the Chicago school, being under the control of a dictator (Schaefer 2003). China also followed the route under Deng Xiaopeng. Chile saw social change in the form of the dictatorship of Pinochet eventually ending, forming a democratic government in the country. Chinas policy saw it rise to prominence on the world stage as the fastest growing economy in the world and not overheating because of the rapid changes. This was accompanied by a massive rise in the living standards of the previously agrarian economy. Another important feature of Neoliberalism is its strong fostering of globalization as the economies of the world open up to free trade and free flow of resources. This leads to an increasingly globalized society as well where multiple ethnicities and sects work and live together. This has the impact of forming a blend and fostering increasing acceptance in society as well as promoting dialogue and finishing off age old prejudices that can be seen as the route cause of ethnic and racial hatred in the past.

These advantages of Neoliberalism aside, there have been massive disadvantages of following the policies of this model as well. The United Kingdom during the Thatcher years was able to enjoy one of the highest rates of economic growth in Europe which even exceeded those of France and Germany at the time. However, the social indicators of the country were worse off. France and Germany remained ahead in terms of lifestyle and other indicators such as education as well as healthcare which saw greater government intervention. This was because when the economic situation became uncertain, the automatic stabilizers in the economies of both countries came active to aid the population, via increases in government spending. The UK became a more globalized country in terms of absorbing a greater degree of ethnicities and races but it also led to problems for the indigenous people of the country, which saw an increase in support for right wing conservative parties in 2009 as more jobs and posts were captured by migrants to the country. In addition, the social problems of the country were highlighted when parties kept Thatchers broad policy moves intact but molded them to allow a greater degree of welfare provision for the people.

Icelands woes make a further case about the disadvantages of Neoliberalism. The island nation became exorbitantly rich almost overnight with a high degree of living standards and soaring salaries for its fledgling population. The financial sector became one of the strongest in the world. However, as one writer pointed out, much of this was as a result of the rapid inflow of hot money. The development of Iceland was effectively financed by substantial borrowing. A normal person could walk into an automobile showroom and purchase an SUV with immediate 100 credit being granted by a bank in Japan in less than ten minutes. Stock holding in the British stock market also aided the rapid rise in wealth. However, with the sudden financial crisis in 2008, the stock market tanked and the vast investments of the banks in Iceland fell in value. This was accompanied by one of the three biggest banks in the country being taken over by the government on account of rising debts and many others receiving government support. Loans were quickly taken out from the International Monetary Fund as well as British and Danish governments to keep the countrys economy afloat. The Krona fell to half its value, leading to an outflow of the Polish and Lithuanian labor that flowed in for blue collar jobs. The country effectively became bankrupt.

The United States is the worlds sole super power and the primary force backing the spread of Neoliberal policies around the world. However, it continues to face its own string of problems because of the application of the model. The health care and the education sector are marked by rampant inefficiency in the country which has led to a drop in living standards as well. Broad tax margins at the top means that the top earning people in the country have gotten exorbitantly rich while the bottom ten percent have had a smaller increase in wages, leading to a widening gap between the rich and the poor. This fosters class conflict in society where the bottom rung are looked down upon and often deprived by those in control of resources. The application of the Neoliberal policies did not come cheap either. The United States saw its debt rising so much that it became the largest debtor nation in the world eventually, having to finance further financial stimuli through borrowing from China and the oil rich Middle Eastern countries.

Another feature of Neoliberalism is that it promotes lower wages for the working class as the entrepreneurs look to cut costs for profit maximization. Social exclusion goes on the rise as a certain class benefits extremely from these policies while the rest are assumed to develop via a trickle down effect whose complete impact is still under debate. Inequality rises accompanied by a dip in the educational standards as well as the health coverage offered to the population. An interest contrast is drawn between the United States and Cuba in this regard, two opposite countries in terms of size and resources but with the smaller nation of Cuba enjoying better figures for health coverage and education for most of the population. Latin America is one region that suffered massively from the application of Neoliberal policies. Countries such as Argentina embraced the path to free market, taking on the route offered by the Chicago School but it was never able to attain economic breakthrough. The policies were in fact accompanied by a rapid rise in the debt level of the country to a highly unsustainable level. The servicing of this debt eventually spiraled out of control as the currency of the country had to be devalued leading to a period of hyperinflation, rising unemployment which created a massive informal sector in the country and the creation of a new poor class in the lower to middle class.

Singapore presents a unique case of the adverse social impact of Neoliberalism accompanied by great economic success. The Neoliberal policies brought about following the 1960s proved immensely beneficial for the small country for which free trade was important in developing a strong economy. The effect served to bolster the security of the country through its position in international trade and make the port of Singapore the busiest in the world in terms of cargo handling. However, this came at the price of human rights violations and repression of the population. The rate of incarceration increased under the firm hand of the ruling party and most of those in jail were either union members of students. The suppression of the other side was carried out rapidly to dust it under the carpet and highlight the economic success. This was unique because Neoliberalism was believed to increase human rights practices but in Singapore, it served a different purpose. The homeless and the destitute in the population were promptly picked up and moved to welfare homes, out of the sight of the shiny buildings and roads that were being constructed and also the conscience of the developing Singaporeans.

The globalization fostered by free trade under Neoliberalism brings its own ills. As the society becomes a blend of global culture, it finishes off the indigenous and the local. This was a particular problem in Latin America where identity became a major issue and the indigenous ways were increasingly looked down upon. Local cuisine, age old practices and other elements of society unique to a country get hit as well as the local industry bearing a large part of the damage of the inflow of multinational corporations that can take advantage of economies of scale and wipe out local businesses. Diversity as we know it seizes to exist eventually. There is also the case of deregulation of the labor market leading to unemployment as the private enterprises seek to make greater profits by cutting costs. This has a tendency to increase the degree of health relates problems and the frequency of industrial accidents in the country. Additional disadvantages accrue from the increasing externalities from private investment. The corporations and factories are established by taking into account the costs to the investors which does not account for environmental damages. The aggregation of such external costs has to borne by the population and the government. Exploitation because of class differences becomes rampant as the corporations and owners of private enterprise are able to gather disproportionate amount of power to even influence government actions which can then be used to exploit the lower class, fostering the class conflict that Marx predicted to a certain extent. As multinational corporations gain a greater role in the economy, the nations tend to lose a degree of sovereignty as their actions can be dictated to benefit the foreign investors. This loss in self determination also lessens the political power the people have and the amount of representation they can get at the centre which ultimately does not act to benefit the greater section of the population.

Thus it can be concluded that Neoliberalism has had a mixed impact on the world stage from an economic and a social perspective. At one end, it had fostered massive economic growth in many countries which has seen rising levels of GDP growth as well as additional control over inflation, rising living standards in some countries and an average increase in inflation as well as impacting society to make it more homogenous and doing aside with old prejudices. However, it is also true that these advantages have come primarily to the developed countries with Singapore and China being the significant names among the developing countries that benefited from application of a certain degree of Neoliberal policies. Otherwise, the policies resulted in massive inequality, raising difference in wages between the higher and lower classes which fostered exploitation and class conflict as well as a drop in welfare such as health care and education. The trends that are currently being followed by the countries around the world are of adopting Neoliberalism but molded to account for greater welfare policies and government control over healthcare and education as well as a certain degree of regulation. This tends to make use of the economically stimulating impact of Neoliberal polices but according greater protection to the local population and controlling the adverse impact of the policies.

Reaction Paper on Toward More Effective Peace Building and On Democratization and Peace Building

Toward More Effective Peace Building
The topic of the first article is about looking at peace building in a different light using a different approach and focusing on what the author describes as Institution Before Liberalization (IBL) and the criticisms of both the alternatives to Wilsonianism and the IBL. The author first provides alternatives to Wilsonianism and what are the problems associated with them which render them ineffective. The first alternative is for the state to select a leader only after military and financial aid are stable. The problem with this is that self-sustaining peace is bleak because factions of the previously in conflict sides might grow because of the restriction that they are experiencing. The solution for this is to create mechanisms that can solve societal demands of all the parties involved while being fair to all of them. The second alternative is to separate the conflicting tribes altogether, like what happened in some conflicting states recently. The problem with this is that international intervention would almost surely use deadly force on groups who are unwilling to move, and this method is only effective when warring states are already divided. The setbacks of this two methods make them ineffective and therefore the birth of the Institution Before Liberation (IBL) concept. It is simple, really it has the same goal of attaining peace in war-countries, but it has been especially modified to minimize the negative effects of a  quick and dirty  method.

The authors arguments are fairly consistent and does not seem to contradict his own views. The article is also easy to understand even for someone who is not particularly aware of the conflicts mentioned, and he uses a lot of facts to strengthen his point. Based on the explanation provided by the author, it appears that he is right with the method he chose because of the problems associated with the alternatives. The authors approach is best compared to the alternatives he mentioned because it offers the best possible solution without the setbacks of the two alternatives. The author has also successfully defended criticisms in IBL by answering the criticisms. Through his arguments, the author was able to make important points, that why should a war-torn country be rushed into independence when the consequence of it would lead to violence again This is an important question to ask because it makes IBL method more appealing. I liked this text better than the next article because it is easier to understand and I am also able to follow what the author is saying a lot easier than the next article.

On Democratization and Peace Building
The topic is the relationship between democratization and peace building. The author points out that democratization and peace building have changed dramatically over the years and that the  Democratic Reconstruction Model  is no longer an effective way in dealing with war-torn states.

Despite requiring a slightly broader knowledge on vocabulary and world affairs, I am able to tell that the authors arguments are consistent and do not have any contradiction. I am certain that the text makes sense it is just that I have read a previous text that is a lot easier to comprehend. The word literature appears a lot which makes the piece look like a very academic text, hence the difficulty. I think the author has used the right kind of approach since he admits that the democratic reconstruction model in peace building has some flaws despite improving over the years. Important questions asked by the author include the following are the difficulties in the model a sign of failure Are insufficient funding and poor choices made to blame for peace building missions to fail .

A Research Paper Discussing What Exactly Is a Gun Show Loophole

Gun Show Loophole is a term that refers to laws that permits private persons not indulge in the business of dealing with firearms to put on the market guns at gun shows without a background checks on purchasers or keeping records of sale. The United States federal law requires individuals engaged in interstate firearm commerce to have a Federal Firearm License and conduct background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System controlled by the FBI prior to transferring guns. However, under the terms of the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, individuals who are not engaged in the business of firearms or who make occasional sales in their state of residence are under no requirement to perform background checks on purchasers or keep records of sale.

Gun Show Loophole
This is a momentary exhibition where ammunition, guns, firearm accessories, Jerky, literature, Knives and other miscellaneous collectibles are put on display, sold, traded, bought and discussed. Gun shows frequently include exhibitions connected to hunting and the preservation and preparation of wild game for consumption. They could be used by gun manufacturers to display new firearm models or by gun enthusiasts to demonstrate unusual or antique guns. Gun shows provide a recurring meeting place or common place for gun culture members.

The shows are normally held in public building including malls, hotels, stadiums, armories etc and are open to the community with a nominal fee charged for entry. They are always a two day event held on weekends by the promoters who rent the space and allow dealers to lease tables to exhibit their wares and advertise the services that they provide. Under the GCA (Gun Control Act) of 1968, dealers of firearms with a FFL (Federal Firearms License) were banned from doing business at gun shows. That changed with the performance of the FOPA (Firearm Owners Protection Act) of 1986, which permitted Federal Firearms License to take firearms at gun shows so long as they follow the provisions of the Gun Control Act and other pertinent federal rules and regulations.

Pros and Cons of gun show loophole
Those in quest of closing the Gun Show Loophole disagree that it provides convicted criminals and other prohibited purchasers like for example substance abusers, domestic abusers, those who have been adjudicated as mental defectives and so on with opportunities to avoid background checks as they can buy firearms without any difficulty from private sellers with no oversight or accountability.  A national poll performed by Mayors against Illegal Guns shows that 87 of Americans and 83 of gun owners would like the loophole to be closed. However, gun show loophole has been arguable with gun rights advocates.

They argue that there is no loophole, only a long standing tradition of free business between private firms that heretofore has not been prohibited in the context of secondary, intrastate sales of firearm. In addition, they argue that the word Gun Show Loophole is misunderstood as sellers of private firearm are not permitted to conduct background checks regardless of location, whether they are at a flea market, a gun show, their home, or anywhere else. They also dispute federal jurisdiction in intrastate business between private firms which they disagree exceeds the federal power implemented by the Commerce Clause.  Currently, 17 states control the sales of private firearm at gun shows by them selves. Seven states insist on background checks on all sales of gun at the gun shows, that is California, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, Connecticut, Illinois and Colorado. Four states Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, and Pennsylvania insist on background checks on the entire hand gun but not long gun purchasers at the gun shows. As noted by Duggan, Hjalmarsson, and Jacob (2008) five states insist on individuals to get a permit to purchase hand guns that involves a background check, these are North Carolina, Massachusetts, Iowa, Michigan and Nebraska. Some counties in Florida insist on background checks on the entire private sales of hand guns at gun shows. The remaining 33 states do not limit private, intrastate sales of firearms at gun shows in any manner.

The top firearm banning priority of the aggressive citizen disarmament lobby will be called assault weapons with their second favorite target 50 caliber rifles.  Gun dealers who are licensed are required by federal law to go over all the hoops background checks, sales records and so on at gun shows that they do in their enterprises. According to the forcible citizen disarmament lobby, the problem is the private sellers who can put up for sale guns from their individual collections devoid of all the red tape. According to the CSGV (coalition to stop gun violence), these unlicensed sellers make up 25 to 50 of the retailers at gun shows. This suitably ignores the fact that many of the retailers at gun shows do not sell guns but war memorabilia, t-shirts, books, etc.

Worse yet, ending private sales at gun shows is not going to satisfy these people. After all, a private sale at the gun show is not different in principle from a private sale elsewhere. In fact, The Brady Campaign, no longer bothers to conceal the fact that the goal is to prohibit on the entire private gun sales as they continuously shoot out. They undoubtedly argue that they are not trying to outlaw private sales but they just want to insist on federal background checks. Of course, the problem with that logic is that there is nothing private about a sale that can only continue with government monitoring and approval in order to ensure make that terrorist plots are not being hatched.

Between 2003 and 2006, more than 500 guns legally bought at the gun shows from licensed dealers in the city of Richmond, Virginia, were later found in connection with illegal activity. The figure above do not take into account the firearms that could have been sold at Richmond area gun shows by sellers who are unlicensed  as these kind of transactions are more complex to follow up. It is notable that the in connection with illegal activity group includes stolen guns later retrieved from burglaries but the report does not identify how many guns in the 500 gun figure cited were not used in the commission of an offense but that were rather the fruits of illegal activity.

Gun shows is identified as a source used by criminals and other local gang members to obtain guns.  A lot of the recovered guns in high crime regions of the city had been bought at a local gun shows. A lot of gun shows attracted large numbers of gang members who often purchase in large quantities of assault weapons and smuggled them. Every year hundreds and thousands of guns are sold with no a background checks by vendors who argue that they are simply selling from their individual gun collection so they do not see the need of keeping records of their transactions or have federal gun vendors license.

A lot of of these sales take place at gun shows and from classified sellers. This provides an outstanding opportunity for criminals to obtain firearms. The Columbine shooters acquired their weapons from gun show by buying them anonymously. The opposition to gun control explains that if more gun control policy were implemented people wishing to protect them selves would be unable to do so. This is untrue, if those people wish to only protect them selves would like to own a firearm after a simple background check and five day waiting period they could be able to own one. Instead of relying only on guns for defense perhaps more non lethal weapons could be used.

I stand by the evaluation but I envisage that even before they make an intensive effort to ban any guns, they will go after gun sales majorly, private sales at gun shows and the loophole such sales allegedly represent. This goes way beyond the fact that closing the gun show loophole is stated as a priority of the urban policy and that closing of the loophole is a long period priority of the new attorney general who has affirmed that in his view, the Supreme Courts Heller choice poses no impediment to such a measure. Gun show loophole has become so invasive that in the last presidential election has long taken an extensively publicized standpoint in favor of prohibition private sales at the gun shows.

Global Warming in Focus

To be the person responsible for the welfare of the whole nation is not a laughing matter. To be president or to be anyone who is holding the highest position in the land requires facing different issues every single day in trying to figure out how to make the country the best place to live in for its citizens. Out of all the national security policies in the country, global warming seems to be the most relevant issue today that requires the highest attention from the president.

Global Warming as a National Security Threat
What does global warming bring and why is it considered the biggest threat to national security today Global warming why, in a span of ten years, our nation will have to face the effects of pandemics and drought. Global warming will cause mass migration. It will bring violent storms to the country.

Because of these effects of global warming, national security is threatened in such a way that all crises caused by climate-related changes can knock off the balance of regions. Terrorists will find it easy to create movements. It is a threat to national security because the effects have the power to collapse the entire government of the United States.

Intelligence studies have arrived at a conclusion that in the decades to come, other countries in the world will experience flooding, water shortages and food shortages. Southeast Asia, the Philippines and Vietnam to be exact, was recently devastated by typhoon Ketsana.

Different countries, specifically the United States, pledged financial assistance to these nations. In the years to come, catastrophic shortages and flooding will become worse, and the United States will again be demanded for response, which can be in the form of military assistance, funding, or any kind of humanitarian relief.

According to John Broder of the New York Times, intelligence planners, including the military, know that climate-related changes are indeed something to be worried about. The president has in fact made global warming the center of the administrations policies (Broder, 2009).

The military is threatened by global warming  the military, being the defenders of national security. Recent mechanisms that were put up by the military were all susceptible to storm and sea surges. In 1992, Homestead Air Force Base, which is located in Florida, was devastated by a hurricane (Broder, 2009).

Six years ago, another hurricane destroyed Naval Air Station Pensacola. Two more major stations in the United States, which are located at San Diego and Virginia, are now the center of the militarys attention. All planners are creating ways to protect these stations from the adverse effects of global warming (Broder, 2009).

The military is also confronted by the threat arctic melting brings. Ice caps are melting. If it melts faster than the military and the scientists prediction, then it will pose a great danger to the shipping channel. The opening of this channel is what the military is trying to protect because beneath it are various underwater resources.

As long as global warming is affecting the different parts of the country and of the world, there will be demand for humanitarian responses. This will affect military structures and transportation since the demands for assistance will force the government to tax these military resources. If this happens, the strategies and readiness of the military will be significantly affected, including all its operations. The effects of global warming are here, and various nations are exhausting all they can to help those who need assistance the most. Global warming should indeed be the governments focus as it involves not only the welfare of the flora and fauna, but also human lives.

Election Analysis

It is a fact each state is characterized by uniqueness in politics, economic and socio-cultural way of life. The gravity of the situation is that it is through these that the destiny of the citizen is shaped to a vast extent. Given that politics is very pervasive, totally permeating all the spheres of life, it is very dynamic since it is also characterized by the need to seize and consolidate power. It is against this backdrop that the data presented above about Israel 2009 and Turkey 2002 parliamentary elections vary to a great extent, at least statistically. Nevertheless, it is an indisputable fact that behind the statistical differences between 2009 and Turkey 2002 parliamentary elections, there are underpinnings of the political systems being used by the two countries. The data is therefore interpreted using this reality.

The Striking Features in the Comparison
It is important to note that according to the statistics presented, there is a great disparity between the numbers of votes and the between the political parties in Turkey, as opposed to Israel. It is a fact that for instance, the Justice and Development Party can be said without any controversy to have bagged the most votes (10,762,131). By this virtue, the Justice and Development Party garnered the majority of seats in parliament, and thus, becoming the most dominant party in parliament. Following the Justice and Development Party, is the Republican Peoples Party which is seen to have bagged 6,090,883 votes. As a corollary to this, the Republican Peoples Party is seen to have won for itself, 178 seats in parliament.

In respect to the above, Turkey is seen to play a bicameral or two party parliamentary system, but in a de facto sense not in regard to the Turkey constitution. In this regard, there may be two dominant parties in terms of the seats each command in parliament- Justice and Development Party and Republican Peoples Party, respectively. There may however be small parties extant in Turkish political spectrum. Examples to these are True path party the Nationalist Movement Party, the Youth Party Democratic Party the Democratic Peoples Party and the Motherland Party. Usually, these small parties may enter alliances with one of the dominant parties, or root for a position taken by one of the dominant parties. This is typical of Australian politics.

On the other hand, the scenario is different when Israel is factored. The issue of the dominant party is neither here nor there. On the contrary, the space range with which the political parties out-garnered one another in the number of votes and seats is very closely spaced not exceeding 2 seats. This is because Israeli parliament, the Knesset is not a bicameral one as Turkeys, but a unicameral one. It is against this backdrop that even the smaller parties such as Yisrael Beiteinu, Labor Party, Shas, United Torah, National Union, New Movement, The Jewish Home and the Balad have seats in the Knesset. On the other hand, the Israeli nature of politics is more permissive than that of Turkeys. Israeli unicameral parliamentary system, and as such, allows for the incursion of many political parties.

Explaining the Features and the Disparity
From the above standpoint, it is easy to explain the disparity between the Israel 2009 and Turkey 2002 parliamentary elections. In the first place, there are socio-political underpinnings which dictate the realization of the above results. For instance, it is a fact that Turkey is a larger country, both geographically and demographically. Whereas Turkey enjoys a total population of about 75 million, Israel has that of 7.5 million- almost a half of Turkeys population. Again, as Israel boasts of a total area of 22,072 square kilometers, Turkey has a total area of 783,562 square kilometers.

It would therefore be logical that the parties in Turkey would realize greater number of votes, compared to Israeli political parties. This is also given the fact that Turkey had fewer political parties about seven, going by the statistical provision, compared to the state of Israel which is depicted as having more parties 14 according to the data presented. It is obvious that political parties in Israel are twice as much as those in Turkey.  It would therefore be only logical if the political parties in Israel on average, garnered vote about ten times less than those in Turkey.

As suffrologists would have it, would be statistically anachronistic for one of the political parties in Israel to attain votes which would near those of the Turkish political parties by a half or more. For instance, given that the total demography of Turkey is about ten times higher than that of Israel, it is only fit that the Justice and Development Party as Turkeys top notch political party, have votes about ten times higher than that of Kadima, as Israels leading political party. The same trend should remain consistent for the moderate political parties and the little political parties. It is a fact that suffrologists take any deviation from the demographic trends as explained above as clear indicators of rigging and other forms of electoral irregularities.


The size of the district or the district magnitude refers to the number of candidates to be elected from that district. Depending on this number of seats, they can either be referred to as single-member or multimember districts. A single member district has a single seat while the multimember districts have several seats with the minimum number being two a two-member district. Electoral process formulas plurality and majority formulas can be applied to both this type of districts while the proportional representation (PR) and the single non-transferable vote (SNTV) are applied to only multimember districts ranging from two-member districts to the whole nation where all the members of parliament are elected from. The district size has a strong effect on proportionality and the number of parties in two respects. Studies carried put by Horwill (1925) and, Taagepera and Shugarts (1989) have strongly supported this.

First of all, it affects both plurality and PR systems but in a contradicting way. While increasing the size of the district will increase disproportionality by favoring the larger parties with the application of plurality and majority systems, it is vice versa with the PR systems as it leads to greater proportionally by favoring the smaller parties. A good example to illustrate this with regard to plurality is a contest between party A and B in an area where A enjoys a greater popularity than B. A is likely to take all the seats if the area is a three-member district which is unlikely to be the case if the area is divided into three single-member districts B may be able to capture one. In most plurality cases, multimember districts are smaller than single-member districts with rare cases being seen in countries like Mauritius. It has twenty three-member districts and one two-member districts producing a total of sixty-two legislators. It should be noted that multimember districts have been on the decline due the fact that it increases disproportionality. However, it should be noted that in Mauritius that the three-member districts have improved another kind of proportionality by encouraging parties and party alliances to nominate ethnically and religiously balanced states which has resulted in a better representation of the minority groups.

Another point to note is that the size of the district varies greatly in the PR systems unlike in plurality and majority systems making it impact greater on the proportionality being achieved. A party representing a 10 percent minority is likely to be successful in a ten-member district which may not be the case in a five-member district. A nationwide district therefore is optimal for a proportional translation of votes into seats with Israel and Netherlands being the two examples with such PR systems.

Two levels of districts are usually used by many of the list PR countries so as to enjoy the advantages of a closer voter-representative contact in small districts and the higher proportionality of large nationwide districts. Larger districts improve proportionality in the smaller districts as in the case of mixed member proportional (MMP) systems but they are less pronounced in the smaller multimember list PR districts than in the MMP single-member districts. Denmark, Norway and Sweden are examples of countries applying the two-tiered list PR systems with a nationwide district.