International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

Luke, J. S., and Gerald Caiden, 1989. "Coping With Global Interdependence". In James Perry, ed., Handbook of Public Administration. San Francisco and Oxford: Jossey-Bass.

Peach, J. D., 1991. "The International Dimensions of Domestic Programs". G.A.O. Journal Summer/Fall 1991, p. 43-52.

Rosenau, J., 1980. The Study of Global Interdependencies: Essays in the Transnationalization of World Affairs. New York: Nicholas.

Scott, A., 1982. The Dynamics of Interdependence. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Tobin, R. J., 1990. "Environment, Population, and Development in the Third World". In Vig and Kraft eds., Environmental Policy, in the 1990's. Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.

World Bank., 1992. World Development Report 1992: Development and the Environment. New York: Oxford University Press.

GOALS AND QUOTAS . In the context of equal opportunity policies, these terms are used to refer to numerical targets established for the employment and other placement of minorities and women. When combined with timetables or schedules for their accomplishment, goals or quotas make up a common and often controversial approach to affirmative action, since their use means that selection procedures have been developed to be racially, ethnically, and gender conscious (see affirmative action; equal employment opportunity).

It is often the case that much effort is made to draw a distinction between goals and quotas, and conceptually the two are different. On one hand, goals are usually thought of as objectives an organization seeks to achieve within the context of merit. For example, an organization may plan to hire a specified number of minority applicants provided that sufficiently qualified individuals can be found. Quotas, on the other hand, suggest that employment is restricted to minorities or women or that a specified number of minority group members or women are to be employed, without regard to merit principles.

This conceptual distinction, however, does not necessarily mean that there are dual approaches to numerically based affirmative action in practice. Numerical targets for minority and female employment have been included in affirmative action programs for more that two decades in the United States, but no court or other government organization has required employers to hire or promote individuals regardless of qualifications. Certainly, courts and legislatures have mandated that numerical strategies and preferences for minorities and women be part of the affirmative action process, and many organizations have voluntarily adopted such policies. There may also be sanctions for failure to comply with a court order or failing to meet statutory requirements. The burden on employers, however, is always limited by the availability of qualified applicants. In that sense, quotas have not been applied. Numerical approaches to affirmative action are actually goals.

Nevertheless, the debate over goals and quotas has continued. In general, those who oppose race-, ethnic-, or gender-conscious affirmative action prefer the term "quotas" to describe numerical strategies for the selection of women and minorities. The argument made by those with this point of view is that affirmative action distributes jobs and other valued positions solely on the basis of race, ethnicity, or gender. Proponents of compensatory affirmative action argue that numerical employment targets are more accurately viewed as objectives that an organization attempts to achieve within the context of merit principles. Numerical targets for the selection of minorities or women are set after an organization develops a projection of the number of vacancies or other opportunities expected to be available and estimates the number of minorities or women with the requisite qualifications in the relevant labor pools. The policies serve a remedial purpose of correcting the effects of past or current patterns of discrimination against minorities and women.

J. EDWARD KELLOUGH


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Glazer, Nathan, 1978. Affirmative Discrimination: Ethnic Inequality and Public Policy. New York: Basic Books.

Livingston, John C., 1979. Fair Game? Inequality and Affirmative Action. San Francisco: W. H. Freeman and Company.

Taylor, Bron Raymond, 1991. Affirmative Action at Work: Law, Politics, and Ethics. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

GOBBLEDYGOOK AND OFFICIALESE . Obscure, verbose, bureaucratic language characterized by circumlocution and jargon. Gobbledygook usually refers to the meaningless officialese turned out by government agencies ( Hendrickson 1987).

This style of writing is universal. The Apostle Paul, the American founding father Benjamin Franklin, the British poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt fought against it. Few government agencies in any country or historical era can claim to escape it.


The Concept Is Complex

Because gobbledygook is so popular, a precise definition does not communicate its many qualities and diverse forms. Scholars identify many characteristics. Stuart Chase ( 1971, pp. 63-65) states that it "means using two, three, or ten words in the place of one, or using a five-syllable word where a single syllable would suffice" and is "the squandering of words, packing a message with excess baggage and so introducing semantic 'noise'." Eric Partridge ( 1952) mentions long sentences of awkward construction and uncommon words. Other descriptions are "legalistic, wordy

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International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2
Table of contents

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