Although globalisation has condensed states power, still nation states are capable to create more equitable societies through developing appropriate social policies. What criteria are important in developing justifiable social policy for a nation state
Equitable Societies Development
Over the years, the world has experienced radical changes that have shaped the political arena into new dimensions. Traditionally, social development was only reserved for the elites in the society, a factor that lead to development of huge gaps between the rich and the poor in many societies around the world. European nations had colonized the rest of the world in the early centuries and when the colonized states gained independence, they developed social structures and policies that were used to devolve development among the citizens (JIMENEZ, pg 3). Globalization has slowly led to condensation of state powers, which in some sense, has delayed social development to attain equitable societies. This is because the central governments have to seek approval from various stakeholders to initiate and implement social policies aimed at spearheading development. This paper seeks to explore criteria used in developing justifiable social policy for a nation.
State responsibilities in promoting social development
The authority that rules a particular country is referred to as the government. Normally, the citizens of the country elect the government officials democratically. There are three arms of government, the executive, legislature and the judiciary. All these three units must work together in cohesion to fulfill the government mandate of being responsible in promoting development political, economic and social aspects of the society. The people need to be empowered economically such that the people have decent standards of living. In regards to political aspects, the people’s democratic rights must be observed at all times. The social aspect is the most important component in the society because; it defines the relationship between the citizens (TIMONEN, pg 50). There are various issues within the social aspect that greatly affects the social welfare of the society, poverty; ethnicity, crime, illiteracy and racial discrimination are the main elements that are still continuing to delay the social development. The government and other like-minded stakeholder are joining up to try and seek solutions to the issues and hence ensuring their set the country on path of equality to all. Recently, in the US there have been increased cases of gun violence that has created fear among the citizens; people are being killed in malls and schools areas that were previously considered the safest. The question being asked is what has led to increase of gun violence? Various opinions are being raised linking the violence to racial discrimination, ethnicity and poverty. This has promoted the need to implement policies that will help curbing the suspected causes of the gun violence.
Definition of terms
Studies have shown over and over again that equal societies perform better in all aspects than the society that is characterized by social inequality. Social equality is defined as a state of affairs whereby all the individuals within a specific state, society or community setting receive the same treatment in certain aspects viewed as universal (SURENDER & WALKER, pg 105). Civil rights, freedom of speech, equal access to health and education facilities, right properties and equal opportunities are the main elements that define the equality in society. Equitable societies have enforced legal requirements that demand the citizens to treat other individuals fairly without discrimination of any kind. Therefore, there is need to promote equitable societies so as to fasten development.
Social policies are rules and regulations that are put in place to promote social wellbeing of the citizens. Social welfare gaps within the society are the main reasons why the regulations and legislations are implemented to create guideline and ethical codes on how the society members should live. The process of developing and implementing the policies is not simple because it requires bringing the majority of the policy makers on board to pass and approve the policies SURENDER & WALKER, pg 46). The executive arm of the government may lead in formulation of the policies but it has to adhere to the due procedures to get them approved. The same case applies to all other stakeholders who may wish to introduce such motions to be approved. The judiciary and the legislature arms of government are responsible for approving the motions. The judiciary may do so by making judgments and rulings on various social aspect issues.
Criteria used in developing justifiable social policy for Nation or State
Criteria are a principles or standards under which something is judged or decided. Policies are not just developed overnight; they must attain specific requirements for them to be justifiable and acceptable to the majority members of the society. In the past decades, a lot of policies have been passed by the legislature and they are currently governing the society. The judiciary is also mandated to interpret constitutional amendments with clauses concerning social welfare conflicts. The following are the criteria used to develop justifiable social policies that promotes community welfare
A campaign is defined as series of various operations that are intended in achieving particular goal or objectives. It is conducted by like- minded individuals who share a common thinking platform of how various issues should be handled within the society. It is one of the most used criteria in championing for human rights and equal treatments. Martin Luther king junior was a famous human rights activist in 1960s and he was known for campaign for end racial discrimination against people of color (WACKER & ROBERTO, pg 56). Through his campaign efforts, he gained numerous followers who shared similar opinions and eventually caught the Presidents attention who in turn started acting on enforcing the implementation of regulations that would end the racial discrimination. At the time the discrimination against the black community was a major concern among the society; various activities had stalled due to demonstrations that were being held to push the agenda. In the modern society, government agencies, civil rights groups and other stakeholders use campaigns to create awareness of various issues and hence attracting the much needed quorum to pass the motion to the next level where necessary approvals can be made. The kind of issues campaigned about must be of national importance and affecting the majority of the populations. Equality in the society is an important aspect and it is the main cause of conflicts in the society.
Judicial petitions and civil suits
Petitions are written documents signed by large masses of people demanding some form of action from the government or any other authority. Judicial petitions are formal complains addressed to the judiciary to address various concern within the society. This kind of petitions involves constitution interpretation on components that are generating conflict of interests among the society. In most cases, the government or the civil rights groups have difficulties to address various concerns affecting the welfare of the society because the constitution has no clarity on the issues. Judiciary is the arm of the government mandated to interpret the constitution and hence it has the powers of enacting policies that may lead to betterment of the society. For a very wring time in the US history, the issue of gay rights has been a source conflicts of interests with many people divided on opinions about it. Many people believe that gays are normal human beings and hence they should enjoy equal rights as the other people. On the same issue, there are group of people who believe gay marriages should be illegal because it represents unethical behaviors in the society. Mainly the religious organizations have been leading in campaigns in rebuking the gay rights societies while the gay civil rights groups were on the forefront in pushing for gay rights. A judicial petition was filed in the courts to determine the legality of the matter. Those who supported gay rights and those against were allowed to represent their views to make the process fair and justifiable. The government led by the President Obama supported the gay rights. The United States Supreme court ruled on the issues making the gay marriage legal. This policy was to be enacted by all the states that had previously refused to allow the gay marriages. Evidently, it very clear that judicial petition is an effective process of passing policies that are aimed at improving social equality. The process is time consuming because of many appeals involved but bottom line it is a platform that passes the criteria in developing justifiable social policies (MUNCK, pg 23).
Legislature acts and bills
The US Senate and Congress are the two houses of representatives that are allowed by the constitution to make new laws or amend the already existing laws to serve particular purposes. Any member of the house can introduce a motion social welfare policy motion to the floor of the house for the members to debate about it. The motion must be seconded by at least other two members for it to be justifiable and acceptable to be debated in the houses. The speaker of the house will in turn sets the date of the motion which allows the other members to familiarize themselves with the issue and consider it if it meets the national interests criteria. Normally the mover of the motion must have identified an issue within the society that is contributing negatively towards the growth and development of social status. He/she drafts a motion explaining the logical reasons behind it. Once the motion is approved for debate, it must be approved by the majority members of both houses for it to be forwarded to the president for approval. The President has the power to reject or return the bill back to the houses for either correction or additional amendments that he/she may find need to be included. The two houses, Senate and Congress have powers to nullify the motion if it doesn’t meet the national interests. The president may also introduce a motion in either of the houses via the leader of government business in the houses (HERRMANN, pg 88).
The most important aspect in using these criteria is the fact that, the mover of the motion must be able to gather enough numbers to support his/her motion in the floor of the house. Even if the motion has the best interests and lacks the numbers to make it pass through the voting in the houses, it will not become a policy. Obama care was a policy passed as act of the legislature that aimed in providing affordable health care to all Americans. Before, health was a social issue with considerable number of citizens not affording the health care services. After the bill was passed in both houses and approved by the executive, Obama care become a social policy that made all the Americans enjoy affordable health care. Currently, there have been calls to introduce a motion regulating the licensing of guns in efforts to reduce the cases of gun violence. If this motion is introduced, it will follow the same due process until is approved as a social policy regulation.
What makes a country to be a better place to stay is the social welfare policies implemented. During the colonial times, people were enslaved and others mistreated because they were not allowed to enjoy basic freedom of rights. Globalization has been an element that contributed greatly in changing of the societies and how they are being ruled. It is very hard to find states that still have retained the era of slavery; it has been a global concept that people should be free from slavery. Not all aspects of the society have been achieved, there are still those elements that the need to be worked on for the community to be equitable to all. The responsibility of enforcing policies that promote social equality and cohesion primarily lays on the government mandate. Therefore, the government officials should work around the clock to ensure that the society wellbeing is catered for and the various issues that may lead to social conflicts are identified and appropriate social policies are developed. As discussed above, the policies must attain various criteria for them to be implemented as laws that everybody recognizes. Developing nations are the worst hit by social conflicts and they are characterized by high poverty levels, lack of appropriate health care and many more issues that have delayed social development.
JIMENEZ, J. (2010). Social policy and social change: toward the creation of social and economic justice. Los Angeles, Sage.
MUNCK, R. (2005). Globalization and social exclusion: a transformationalist perspective. Bloomfield, CT, Kumarian Press. http://site.ebrary.com/id/10141032.
HERRMANN, P. (2009). Social quality – looking for a global social policy [attempting an approximation to the analysis of distances of social systems]. Bremen, Europ. Hochsch.-Verl.
TIMONEN, V. (2003). Restructuring the welfare state: globalisation and social policy reform in Finland and Sweden. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Pub.
SURENDER, R., & WALKER, R. (2013). Social policy in a developing world. Cheltenham, Northampton Edward Elgar.
WACKER, R. R., & ROBERTO, K. A. (2010). Aging Social Policies: an International Perspective. Thousand Oaks, SAGE Publications. http://public.eblib.com/choice/publicfullrecord.aspx?p=1159819.