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Which of the models discussed can be considered one aligned with the standards and values of Social Work? How?? ? Contribute a minimum of 450 words for your initial post. It should i


Answer the following: 

Which of the models discussed can be considered one aligned with the standards and values of Social Work? How? 


  • Contribute a minimum of 450 words for your initial post. It should include at least 2 academic sources, formatted and cited in APA.
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Module 2: Theoretical Models of Public and Social Policies


   Theoretical Models of Public and Social Policies

Class Presentation:  SWGR803_M2 (PDF) Download SWGR803_M2 (PDF)

It is extremely important to study public and social policy; its process, implementation into practice, understanding the ability to push the operational mechanism manifested in activities, impacting individuals or groups of people, both in the public or private sectors, examine resource usage, efforts to stimulate work organizational performance by doing concrete actions through plans, projects, and activities to achieve the objectives of public and social policy.  

Due to changes in the United States, numerous programs emanate from Federal Government and state capitals, where multiples governments and nongovernment’s organizations interact and produce a complex activity in managing and implementing public and social policies. The responsibilities and activities are complex and constantly changing, evolving, devolving, and overlapping on all levels, national and subnational levels (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001). This deserves the attention of us all. To examine the management of these public and social policies, Agranoff & McGuire (2001) talk about four theoretical models: two venerable models (Top-Down Model and Donor-Recipient Model) and two emergent models (Jurisdiction-based and network).  

Top-Down Model 

In a top-down model,” the implementer assumes that these features are present or that any problems suggested by these assumptions can be overcome” (Birkland, 2020, p. 347). It focuses on “creating the proper structures and controls to encourage or compel compliance with the goals set at the top “(Birkland, 2020, p. 347). The top-down model is predicated on the growth of national programming and tipping the balance toward executive control. In other words, the federal government relies on state and local governments for compliance/oversight of public and social policy. They count on state and local governments to oversee and “monitor intergovernmental programs, ensuring that federal money is spent properly, and see that rules, regulations, and standards are followed (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001, p. 672).  

This model represents the bureaucratic resolution to the establishment of goals and objectives of the national government and is implemented by the state and local governments, which are “legally independent.” It is very important that all objectives or goals are very clear and agreed upon. If not, it will be hard to benchmark program success and failure. When intergovernmental lack clear goals, objectives, and strategies, causing overlapping programs, duplicate efforts, confusion, and uncertain responsibilities at the state and local level, the national government kicks in enforcing joint boards, inter-agency linkage, and imposing regulations seeking local compliance. 

The state governments heavily supervise local governments, and the federal (national) government heavily supervises state governments. Even though this is not the only way to manage federalism, it is expected to continue (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001).  

Birkland (2020) mentions that one of the problems or downside of top-down models is the assumption that a single national government can successfully structure policy implementation and provide for direct service delivery. But most policies made by the federal government require considerable state and, in many cases, local governmental cooperation. The 50 state governments have constitutionally protected rights and responsibilities, so they are often reluctant to surrender their power and prerogatives to distant agencies headquartered in Washington (p. 348). 

Birkland (2020) states that if state and local government levels don’t have a say in any given policy, the federal government will face resistance at the other levels. How do local and state governments resist or refuse to the imposition of the implementation of a public and social policy from the national level? They can delay or refuse any implementation of these policies, affecting especially the most vulnerable.  

It is necessary to mention that the top-down approach assumes that policy is contained in one single statute. Still, on the contrary, policies in the United States are fragmented and sometimes contradictory to one another.

Donor-Recipient Model 

Agranoff & McGuire (2001) argue that the major limitation of the top-down model is “its false presupposition that some actor possesses the necessary information, the expertise, and the political skill to singularly steer courses of action and to deliver policy outputs that are consistent with the multicity of societal interests” (p. 673). An alternative model is based on multiple actors dependent on one another, actors in the intergovernmental system. This is due to governing problems at the national level and the worldwide tendency for decentralization. 

This model is also known as the bottom-top model, which recognizes that policy is not hierarchically executed and validates the involvement of the actors on the other side (actors at the bottom). Policies can be successful in this model when they “leave room for local decision making and provide local actors with sufficient policy discretion, resources, and autonomy to carry out national goals while fulfilling local needs” (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001, p. 674). The bottom-up approach recognizes that goals are ambiguous and may conflict not only with other goals in the same policy area but also with the norms and motivations of the street-level bureaucrats (Birkland, 2020). Torenvlied (1996), cited by Birkland (2020), notes, “The compliance problem arises when there is a conflict of interest between implementation agencies and politicians (p. 349). 

It is important to point out that while top-down models are concerned with compliance, bottom-up values understand how conflict can be alleviated by bargaining and sometimes compromise to maximize the likelihood of achieving the policy goals. Also, the bottom-up model does not rely on a policy defined by one statute or law but believes in a set of laws, rules, practices, and norms. This model views a network of actors that work together to implement policies, regulations, laws, etc., rather than a set of rigid rules imposed from the “top.” This model believes that groups are active participants in implementing public and social policies. 

Jurisdiction-based Model

According to Agranoff & McGuire (2001), the jurisdiction-based model is the most apparent in a highly complex administrative context. It is the extent to which local officials seek actors, normative adjustment, and resources that can serve the jurisdiction adequately, efficiently, and effectively. For example, the management of a local government has a development plan for the city, but to develop it, several actors must get involved (government and nongovernment). They will discuss the different adjustments that must be made, and agreements and negotiations must take place to implement the development plan. This may require government involvement at different levels.  

This model enables local government to pursue funds and resources from political actors, especially those closer to home. As a result, local governments rely less on federal funding and programs and more on resources that are available to all organizations. Far from complying with federal regulations and demands or adapting needs to fit federal requirements, local governments can design and carry out plans based on their jurisdiction’s needs and goals. As a result, “jurisdiction-based managers may recognize numerous federal programs, actors, and agencies […] but they may contact only those agencies that can provide targeted, place-oriented resources for the manager’s jurisdiction” (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001, p. 675). 

Implementing the policy using the bottom-up model does not run linear or mechanistic. Still, it opens the probability of transactions through negotiation or bargaining to produce a compromise against the policy target group dimensional (Nur, M.Si, 2013). Nur (2013) states that in Indonesia, the bottom-up model has not appeared to empower empowerment, nor has transformation taken place. Although there has been some progress in many aspects, it has not revealed significant changes in the quantity or the quality of public services organized by the local government. I may say that this will require further research. On the other hand, Agranoff & McGuire (2001) sustain that this model is likely de become a common practice as jurisdiction-based management seek to displace top-based models, and they wish to deal with their matters and are willing to bypass existing relationship to establish new relations with resources seeking to fulfill the local goals. 

Network Model  

The network model is based on interdependency, network relations with different actors, and intersectoral relationships where leadership is collaborative. Interdependencies imply that all actors benefit in some way, have joint interests, and depend on each other to achieve their goals. In other words, a particular problem can not be solved unless all the actors work together strategically in a collaborative manner. These problems cannot be resolved in an individual form or by single organizations but by various organizations.  

Networks are seen as clusters of organizations with a whole purpose. It requires that the organizations be in constant communication, forcing that the decision is made jointly, agreeing upon the course of action (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001). “Network-based consist in public and private actors, each with their own goals and policy strategies” (Agranoff & McGuire, 2001, p. 676). This includes no central actor, no ruler, no pre-established goals of a single actor, and no administrative guidelines or control. This model comes with its challenges. The policy process can be unpredictable, and actors’ preferences can change during the course of interaction. The “age of network” has arrived despite its challenges.  

Proposal, Procedures, and Implementation of Public and Social Policies Established by the Political Order/Process of Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony and National and International Interest Groups 

The Proposal, Procedures, and Implementation of Public and Social Policies Established by the Political Order

There are new challenges to the publicness of public service-including the eroding public-private distinction, narrowing composition of the service recipient, weakening means of public accountability, shrinking role of the public sector, and rising challenge to public confidence-posed by its current businesslike reforms and their adverse outcome. Despite cross-national and inter-regional variation in the intensity of the e challenges, the common global trend is toward this diminishing publicness, which has critical implications for public service, especially for its identity motivation and legitimacy.  

For instance, the challenge to publicness posed by the erosion of public-private distinction-especially in terms of replacing public norms (citizenship, representation, impartiality equality, and justice) with market values (consumerism, competition, productivity, and profitability), is likely to worsen the existing “identity crisis” of public service as a public domain. Haque (2001) proposes reforms to the publicness of public service: education and training in public administration should encourage debates on the significance of public-private distinction and the feasibility of public-private exchange, reexamination of the rationale that market-centered reforms in governance expand the base of ownership, ensure better allocation, and facilitate “popular capitalism” and redress the adverse impacts of these reforms on the underprivileged or low-income citizens who have suffered economic losses and become victims of social exclusion, and evaluation of major national and international factors and forces that led to unprecedented market-driven reforms in the public sector, among others. 

Process of Hegemony and Counter-Hegemony Involving the Various Social Actors (the population and economic elites) and National and International Interest Groups (whether private or public).

The crisis of hegemony arises when the ruling class cannot provide answers or solutions to collective problems and thus sees the consensus on its conception of the world undermined. With the productive forces diminished, the hegemonic project stagnates, and the subordinate classes deepen the contradictions of the hegemonic project seeking to generate the conditions for a change, to make a new historical bloc emerge that finds them leaders and no longer directed. Every hegemonic order is susceptible to being questioned by counter-hegemonic practices that try to dismantle it, to install another form of hegemony (Izaguirre, 2016). It is clear that, once we conceive of social reality in terms of hegemonic practices, the process of social criticism characteristic of radical politics can no longer consist of withdrawing from existing institutions but, instead of engaging with them, dismantling the existing discourses and practices utilizing which the current hegemony is established and reproduced, and to build a different hegemony. Waging a war of positions, without placing power in a single place but scattered in trenches, from an assortment of places connecting social movements, unions, and political parties, that is, based on a collective will to transform institutions, will be the task of an alternative historical bloc; and reform public and social policy. 

The concept of counter-hegemony accounts for the elements of autonomous political consciousness in the various classes and popular sectors. It raises the dispute scenarios in the passage from particular to general interests as a key political process towards an alternative social bloc. Suppose you want to establish an alternative hegemony to the dominant one. In that case, it is necessary to promote a war of positions whose objective is to subvert established values ​​and guide people towards a new social model. Hence, the creation of a new intellectual associated with the working class goes through the development from the base, from the concrete subjects, of new proposals and cultural demands (Rodriguez and Martinez, 2007, cited by Izaguirre 2016). Counter-hegemonic movements are struggles, collisions, and ruptures, the construction of meaning around the conflicts inherent in this imposition of a way of seeing the world that belongs to the dominant historical bloc. (Izaguirre, 2016). 

It is imperative that we evaluate all these aspects when analyzing any social policy and analyzing its implementation. 


Agranoff, R. & Michael McGuire (2001). “American federalism and the search for models of management.” Public Administration Review 61(6), 671–681. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3110002 

Birkland, T. A. (2020). An introduction to the policy process: Theories, concepts, and models of policy making. (5th ed.). New York: Routledge. 

Haque, M. Samsul (2001). “The diminishing publicness of public service under the current mode of governance.” Public Administration Review 61(1), pp.65-82. 

Izaguirre, S. (2016, 20 de abril). Gramsci: Hegemonia y contrahegemonía. Santiago Izaguirre Lic. en cominucación social. https://santiagoizaguirreok.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/gramsci-hegemonia-y-contrahegemonia/ 

Kaufman, H. (2001). “Major players: Bureaucracies in american government.” Public Administration Review 61(1), 18–42. 

Nur, M.Si.S. (2013). Decentralization and development in public policy implementation perspective; Case study in indonesia. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 17(6) 27-33 


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