MMPP 6280:Week 10: Politics Policy Outcomes and the American Community Essay Assignment Paper

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MMPP 6280:Week 10: Politics Policy Outcomes and the American Community Essay Assignment Paper

MMPP 6280: Policy and Politics in American Institutions | Week 10

Since the early days of the republic, political institutions have played a leading role in American society and in the civic life of the nation. Recently, though, it appears that American society has grown somewhat disenchanted with government. This, in turn, has had a negative effect on citizen participation in political institutions and in civic participation in general. Some would argue that what was once considered an element of liberty and freedom has evolved into a type of social egoism, where individuals no longer feel an obligation to participate or concern themselves with public affairs.

This week, you examine this phenomenon and the implications of this trend for public policy.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Analyze the influence of political institutions on American civic life
  • Analyze the influence of radical individualism on the American psyche
  • Evaluate how the decline of civic engagement might impact future generations
  • Synthesize major concepts relative to public policy and politics in American Institutions

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Hudson, W. E. (2017). American democracy in peril: Eight challenges to America’s future (8th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Chapter 3, “The Third Challenge: Radical Individualism” (pp. 103-135)
  • Chapter 7, “The Seventh Challenge: Economic Inequality” (pp. 257-300)

Shafritz, J. M., Lane, K. S., & Borick, C. P. (Eds.). (2005). Classics of public policy. New York, NY: Pearson Education.

  • Chapter 4, “Agenda Setting”
    • Up and Down with Ecology: The Issue-Attention Cycle (1972) (pp. 137–147)

Anderson, K. (2012, July 3). The downside of liberty. The New York Times. Retrieved from

When the U.S. Constitution was first drafted in 1787, it did not include any amendments. As such, the original document was all about the “powers” of government but said nothing about “rights.” Out of concern with tyrannical power, 10 amendments were added to the original document and eventually ratified in 1791. These amendments, called the “Bill of Rights,” granted citizens fundamental rights and freedoms, such as freedom of speech, the press, peaceful assembly, and religious expression, among others. Since then, 17 more amendments have been added to the Constitution, some containing powers and others containing rights. Yet neither the original document, nor any of the 27 amendments, mentions citizen responsibility in controlling powers, safeguarding rights, or involvement in political institutions (government, special interest groups, lobbying organizations, the administrative state, and political parties).

For this Discussion, consider this: It would appear that the Framers assumed that the people would see it in their best interest to ensure, through civic engagement, that this equilibrium between rights and powers would be sustained. The question is: Has it?

By Day 3

Post your explanation of how political institutions have shaped and influenced the role of the American citizen in government and policy. Then, explain how radical individualism influences the American psyche and the role of citizens. Identify two reasons why civic engagement has declined. Explain your rationale and predict what impact this might have on future generations.

Note: If you are an international student, explain how citizens in your nation or country are engaged in governance. Is there a sense of civic responsibility? Explain.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

By Day 5

Respond to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.


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