Disability, Civil Rights, and Public Policy: The Politics of Implementation

Disability, Civil Rights, and Public Policy: The Politics of Implementation

Disability, Civil Rights, and Public Policy: The Politics of Implementation

Disability, Civil Rights, and Public Policy: The Politics of Implementation

Synopsis

Following on the heels of other civil rights movements, disability rights laws emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Often these laws were more symbolic than precise in terms of objectives and strategies to guide the implementation of antidiscrimination policies. Policy refinement, the process of translating legislative mandates into strategies and procedures to govern administrative action, is both dynamic and controversial. The premise of the book is that implementation policies in these areas evolved through protracted political struggles among a variety of persons and groups affected by disability rights laws. Efforts to influence policies extended far beyond the process of legislative enactment and resulted in struggles that were played out in the courts and in the executive branch. Included within this examination of federal disability rights laws are the role of symbolic politics, the strengths and weaknesses of contemporary models used for the study of policy implementation, and the politics of administrative policymaking.

Excerpt

In the Preface to the hardcover edition, published in 1989, I provided an overview of the book's content and approach as well as comprehensive acknowledgments to persons and organizations that provided assistance to my research. For this edition I have prepared a new Introduction in order to provide an update on developments related to civil rights for handicapped individuals since publication of the original book, with special attention to the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).

One fundamental premise of this book is that insufficient attention has been given to the creation, refinement, and implementation of disability rights policies in the United States. Following on the heels of other civil rights movements, disability rights emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As they developed, these antidiscrimination laws were often more symbolic than precise in terms of objectives and strategies to guide policy implementation. This book analyzes and assesses the process by which disability rights policies have been refined and then utilized to commence policy execution.

Policy refinement, the process of translating legislative mandates into strategies and procedures to govern administrative action, has proven generally to be dynamic and controversial. Recognizing the impact of implementation policies, those who benefit from them and those whose behavior is regulated seek to direct or redirect the flow of benefits and sanctions that arise from public policies. When statutory language is vague, administrative authorities possess extensive discretion in fashioning strategies and procedures for implementation. They do not, however, formulate these strategies in a political vacuum. Instead, administrative policy makers, acting within the constraint of statutory language and intent, fashion strategies for implementation, while, at the same time, regulated interests and program beneficiaries exert pressures to influence those strategies.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.