The Arab Spring: New Patterns For Democracy Essay Sample For College

The unrest in the world can be observed in many places where people and the government find themselves in conflict over views and policies. Social media in the form of communication networks, particularly twitter and facebook have allowed the news to spread fast. This has led to people becoming aware of the government’s actions and victims of political oppression. In the last years, the Persian Gulf has been swept by waves of demonstrations with severe outcomes for people, and the internet has been instrumental in delivering events to a great number of people. Arab Spring is the name that is commonly used for protests and rebellions that take place against the government, which often lead to violence and loss of life (Panara 80).

The conflict itself has deep roots within individual needs of people, social conflict and unique culture. One of the significant factors is that unrest in the Arab world has taken a form of a media and network frenzy where people are supported by other nations through the internet. When a part of the world conflicts with the regime and demands acceptance of human rights, it gives an example for other nations, and people do not feel as isolated from the rest of the world, as they receive support on facebook and twitter comments. It is crucial that people unite in the fight for their freedoms and establish democracies and governments that are ruled by individuals who decide what is best for the majority of the population (Dreyer 17).

The history of protests and demands of human rights in the Arab world goes back to the beginning of the twentieth century. Technology has helped to widen the awareness of the conflict and unfair treatment. The communication over the internet shows that there are people who want to set an order and give people their rights, so that they can enjoy their lives. But the wants of individuals cannot go far unless a great number of people shares the views and offers support. As such, since the beginning of the century, human rights were constantly violated and ignored by the government, but people made this known through social networks and media. It is evident that the technology that was used by people helped establish communication and cooperation from citizens. The hard times that have been predominant for the longest time and have intensified in the last couple of years have proven how people are tired of unjust treatment and are willing to take their voices to the global media.

The courage and determination that people have exhibited after unacceptable violence deserves great respect and shows how much people are displeased with the current matter of affairs. For people to resort to such drastic actions and continue protesting after their fellow citizens are killed and injured, means that there will be no resolution without the government taking care of its people and changing policies that are demanded to be changed. The deliverance of news about victims over social networks takes place in real time, so it is clearly visible to fellow supporters and the world. It is a sad truth that everything people are asking is the acknowledgment of their nature given rights and freedoms, but the government cannot produce results which will allow people to be a part of the system (Edgar 10).

From many examples globally and in the Eastern world, it is possible to conclude that people have become aware of the strengths of social networks. The Arab world has much potential and people get themselves known through the internet. It has become a key factor in finding a chance to have peace and ability to enhance lives to the standards that people set for themselves.

Works Cited

Dreyer, David. The Dynamics of International Rivalry: An Issue Conflict Approach. Ann Arbor, United States: ProQuest, 2008. Print.

Edgar, Andrew. Cultural theory: the key concepts. New York, United States: Routledge, 2002. Print.

Panara, Carlo. The Arab Spring: New Patterns for Democracy and International Law. Dancers, United States: MartinusNijhoff Publishers, 2013. Print.

Diaphragmatic Breathing And Its Meditative Effects

Why is diaphragmatic breathing thought to be an effective relaxation technique?

Diaphragmatic or “mindful” breathing is considered to be the basis of any effective relaxation technique (Stahl & Goldstein, 2010, p. 45). That is because it helps to deliver oxygen straight to the lungs and to the blood system (Relaxation techniques, 2015, para. 4). It, in its turn, brings relaxation to the mind and the body and takes all negative emotions away.

An explanation is simple. When the deepest parts of our lungs do not get enough oxygen, people can feel fatigued, both physically and mentally. And that is exactly what shallow breathing is fraught with.

Although diaphragmatic breathing can seem strange and even unnatural, that is not right. As proof of it, while we sleep, we breathe just in the same way, deeply and with the help of our diaphragm. The same happens when we deeply relaxed.

What three steps are important to engage in this technique?

The first step to take is to prepare yourself for meditation, both physically and mentally. You should adopt a comfortable position, for instance, lie or sit, perhaps, even put the arms on the belly to feel how it will move while breathing in and out. It is also imperative to relax and free the consciousness, get rid of excessive thoughts.

When it is done, you can start breathing. It is not as complicated as some assume. You do not need to count to five every time you breathe the air in or out, you do not need to hold your breath as well. The most important part here is to concentrate on this process, to think about how you breathe.

Finally, after some time of meditation, your control over the breathing can be lost since people’s minds easily get busy with thousands of thoughts. Whenever it happens, you just need to return the thoughts on track.

What effects does meditation have on the mind and the body?

As for the impact on the body, first of all, regular meditation helps with various health conditions (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2014, para. 14). For example, it can relieve the symptoms of disorders of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems (high blood pressure, heart diseases, asthma, allergy, etc.). Besides, meditation can improve the quality of sleep, reduce the pain or muscle tension, and so on.

Since the connection between the body and the mind is very strong, as soon as the necessary oxygen enters the lungs and blood system, the majority of the bad feelings vanish (Seaward, 2015). With the very first deep breath, you can feel inner peace and relaxation. That is why meditation is rather effective in dealing with stresses, anxiety, fear, depressions, and so on.

List three ways that imagery and visualization can be useful for relaxation. Explain why

The first reason why imagery and visualization help to relax is that they can easily distract you from stresses or depressions. They simply take your mind away.

However, it is still not enough. If you imagine something negative like the pictures of war, for example, you will hardly feel any better. So, the content of visualization also matters, since the second reason why it can help with relaxation is that it makes you think that you exist in the place that you are imagining.

Finally, the last necessary thing to make imagery and visualization useful is practice. From the very beginning, this process can seem a little silly. So, the desired results will not appear immediately.

References

Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014). Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress.

Relaxation techniques: Breath control helps quell errant stress response. (2015).

Seaward, B. (2015). Managing stress: Principles and strategies for health and well-being. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Stahl, B., & Goldstein, E. (2010). A mindfulness-based stress reduction workbook. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.

Decision-making At The Governmental Level

Introduction

Decision-making is the thought process that individuals are engaged in arriving at certain policies. It entails figuring out the best idea that when applied specific problems are solved. Decisions are made both at individual and governmental level. They are made to cater for needs in either public or private sector (Colebatch & Colebatch, 2009). Due to globalization, there is need for faster and efficient decision-making processes. For individuals, decisions are made to solve personal problems. Governments make decisions mainly to help its people when faced by problems. No individual can live successfully without taking formidable decisions in life. Equally, no government will succeed in handling domestic and foreign problems without good decisions. They are therefore inevitable in life.

Small Scale Decision Making

Even though the factors affecting decision-making are the same, in small scale the process is not rigorous as in large scale. Generally, it provides a base line for study. This study will take the example of a retailer who makes decisions him/herself. If he/she consults, then it is only his/her family members. Above all, the retailer has to contend with the government directives concerning health, safety and security. He has to make a decision in advance, on how he will go about them.

Apart from authorities, there is also the public which is a consumer of goods produced by the retailer. The retailer has to decide in advance about his interaction with the consumer. On the part of management, clear policies of interactions need to be drawn (Bridgman, Althus & Glyn, 2004). Some form of order should be established between the retailer and the business. The retailer may ask him/herself some basic questions such as, “is he/she going to manage it himself or he will employ someone.” This decision need to be made in advance. It becomes a complex process even though it started as a simple issue (Milinski, 1998).

Theories about Policymaking

Because of the complex nature of organizations and governments, various schools of thoughts have emerged to explain the process of decision-making. Without them, we can do little to offer coherence to policymaking issues. In real practice, the theories complement each other in making the process successfully.

Human Relations Approach

The theory starts by identifying the underlying issues behind decision-making. It argues that the process involves human beings and affects them as well. That is why they should be involved in making decisions. Without involving people in coining them, it would be difficult to implement them (Kaboolian, 1998)). People can react to the policy, the policy makers or even the institution making them. It is therefore better if it is understood that policymaking is a group affair.

It further stipulates that good decisions will be reached at when the makers are motivated in various ways. The kind of motivation is non-economical. It means that policy makers will appreciate social rewards more than economic rewards. For that case, promotion and application of sanctions will regulate decision-making process. The best decision makers should be promoted to high positions since it will boost their morale. The lazy ones who are non-committal to service delivery should face disciplinary actions including demotion and dismissal. The theory has both strengths and weaknesses.

Bureaucracy (Ideal Type)

Max Weber formulated bureaucracy theory in the 19th century to explain a new form of social organization that took root in Europe and America. There were large organizations with huge management structures. These organizations were quite efficient compared to traditional forms and ways of thinking. Bureaucracies were rational (Kaboolian, 1998). They subdued human affairs to the rule of reason. Decision-making was based on rules that guided the pursuit of organizational goals. A work manual guides business operations within organizations with the personnel being trained according to their job requirements. This is because there is extensive use of written documents. However, experts in a particular field make decisions.

In the bureaucracy, there are clear lines of hierarchical authority. It has a system of supervision and subordination, that is, clear line of command. People know who should be making what decisions at what times. On the other hand, jobs are specified with very clear obligations, responsibilities and scope of authority. The theory was used for a long time to guide decision making in organizations.

Classical/policy cycle

The two theories are closely related. The major proponents were Gunder Frank, Gulick, Max Weber and Herbert Simon. It is also related to Max Weber’s ideal type but this one was developed further. The theorists argue that what matters in decision-making process are the institutions. The institutions set standards that should be followed by every decision maker. There are rules and guidelines that lead an organization. It means that the office holder do not matter as far as decision-making process is concerned. The institution is self-regulating. The bearer has limited powers. He/she exercises those powers contained in the organizational constitution.

To ensure that the set standards are followed to the later, they developed some factors that had to be considered in decision-making. They did this by coining an acronym “POSDCORB” meaning planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and budgeting.

By planning, it means putting in place all required material that ensures smooth decision-making process. It involves reviewing literature and researching extensively to establish facts related to the topic being decided. For every policy, previous research is assessed and evaluated thoroughly. Lack of proper research will lead to generation of policies that are not operational. This is related to coordination in that all concerned parties should be informed in advance. Lack of proper coordination facilitates emergence of divergent views, which can derail the implementation of the policy (Denhardt 2001).

Staffing as an aspect of policy formulation entails having the right people for the right job. The most qualified staff should be brought in to undertake decision-making tasks since they have experience. It is believed that they have what is called standard operating procedures. They are familiar with all the challenges that can interfere with the formation of the policy. They are therefore in better positions to handle these challenges. Furthermore, the best staff has the power of disseminating information. Once the decision has been made, it is the function of the decision maker to ensure it reaches its destination. Directing is all about distributing information. It is not done in shoddy manner instead; it needs experts who know where to start.

Coordination comes in at the implementation stage. This is where the concerned institution making decisions should ensure that the public is informed on time about the policy. Other policies will require the services of civil societies for mass awareness. The decision makers should see the best ways of introducing the policy to the beneficiaries. Budgeting is the heart of any policy. Right away from planning to dissemination, the whole process demands finances.

Those who view classical approach as a policy cycle have developed some stages that the process goes through right away from identification to evaluation. Bridgman and Davis (2004) offer an Australian model, which has the following stages: issue identification, policy analysis, policy instruments, consultation, coordination, decision, implementation, and evaluation. Evaluation can either be midterm or end term. They simplified the stages further into the following figure.

An Australian policy cycle model (Bridgman & Davis, 2004)
Figure 1: An Australian policy cycle model (Bridgman & Davis, 2004)

Unlike the original classical theory, the policy cycle theorists observed that consultation was eminent in decision-making. This is why there theory is widely accepted. They noted that many proposals are rejected because at one point, a relevant authority was not consulted.

Bridgman and Davis have suggested a continuum to characterize the levels of consultation that occur in policy processes.

Information consultation Partnership Delegation Control
Fig. 2: Source: Bridgman and Davis (2004)

Task: Refugees and Asylum seekers in Australia

The issue of refugees has become a big challenge to the government of Australia. It has been widely covered in the media recently hence attracting the attention of the government. The government as the representative of the people of Australia must intervene to bring some relief and normalcy to the nation. Refugees have been flocking the country from their home countries mainly because of civil unrests and other humanitarian crises. The citizens of Australia have refused to believe that they have to live with foreigners. The government on its part cannot go ahead to flush out the refugees due to its international interests. Above all, a decision must be made to cool down the tempers among Australians.

Context of the Decision

Colebatch (2009) argued that there are two types of contexts but they apply differently. There are horizontal and vertical decision-making contexts. The vertical context covers the decision-making process within the state. The issue of refugees is a matter of the executive thus the minister concerned should make clear policies by consulting the ministry officials. If he does not, then he should take the matter to the cabinet. Once a decision is reached, it is communicated to the juniors who are supposed to act immediately (Klingner, 1997).

The second context is horizontal. Since the refugees cannot be allowed access to the country without verification, the minister should contact his counterpart on the other side. Without verification, terrorists could be allowed into the country. If it is not possible to reach the foreigners’ officials, the minister will take up the matter to the United Nations’ agency in charge of refugees. This is horizontal decision making since all nations are treated equally before the eyes of the international system. It does not mean that states have surrendered their sovereignty to one power; it is because states are signatories to the statutes establishing the organs (there is no a Leviathan as it used to be in the social contract).

The Environment

The environment involves people, institutions, politics, religion and even nature. The environment shapes decisions. The policies made become operational within the context of the environment. If not handled well the environment can terminate a policy. There are internal and external environments. Internal is that which is within the decision makers. They include colleagues, friends, and relatives. The nature of the institution also affects the outcome of the policy.

External is that which is not in direct contact with the policy maker. It might be the public or the international community. The policy maker has little control over them. Sometimes they can be very powerful to an extent of thwarting any efforts made by policy makers. For example, under hostile political climate such as during campaigns, policies receive disproval even before they are finalized. The international community can as well exert pressure to decision makers to drop their agenda policy especially when the outcome will affect the world security.

Kind of Decisions Made

The policy makers will aims at balanced decisions, which will serve to give hope to the refugees and cool down the tempers of the hosts. The government must act according to the wishes of the majority who elected it; in order to retain its status internationally. It would not act in a way that will upset other states. A state may choose to offer more opportunities to its people hence empowering them economically. The foreigners will be surviving at the mercy of the hosts. The state would not do anything to uplift the lives of foreigners since it will be viewed as betrayal to the voters.

By doing this the state will have gained its interests both nationally and internationally. It will be viewed by other states as the most accommodative hence attracting foreign capital, even its citizens will live peacefully in other states. Nationally the voters will feel they are at home, they will perform their tasks honestly such as payment of mortgages, rents and taxes.

Why the State decides that way

Always a state is controlled by a political system. It would want to retain power come next general election. It would not handle its citizens with high handedness. The states popularity comes from the loyalty of its citizens especially in tax payment. Non-responsiveness leads to loss of political power.

Connection of the case to the theories

Theories aid in offering coherence to the worldly issues, we arrive at what might be going on by using the theories to interpret events. They enable us to compare situations while offering our understanding. In the case of the decision making process, the two major theories are used concurrently. If the classical theory a lone is followed, we will end up with autocratic type of leadership, the leaders will practice autocracy. They would not be responsive to the suffering of the majority. For the case above, only the government institutions would be allowed to operate. The refugees could have filled up the country because if someone seeks asylum due to security reasons he/she is not supposed to be denied. The government knows that even though it is signatory of the United Nations treaties, it has to put the interests of the people first (Queensland Cabinet, 2010).

On the other hand, the population cannot be allowed to decide themselves. Plato argued that they are like bronze; they are not fit to rule. The rule by the populace leads to tyranny of the multitude, he argued. The population is too appetitive because their spirits guides them, they are abusive and are never satisfied. That is why the philosopher king is compared to gold since they are people who are guided by reason. They are fit to make decisions that will help people. The soldiers assist the philosopher king because they are people of courage. Finally, it is not lost on us that without the population, the philosopher king is impaired and it is for this reason that they have to be protected at all costs (Saul, n.d.).

Conclusion

It can be concluded that policy formulation is the pillar to any success. Both individuals and organizations utilize it although the state needs it as the first requirement of efficient administration. The government needs complex decision-making machinery because of its size (Menzel, 1999, p. 445). It is emerging that people in the civil service should device new models of policy making due to the complexity nature of human development. Moreover, there needs to be efficient communication channels within the civil service so that the affected parties can receive information at the right time.

Managers at various levels in government should learn to complement the available approaches so that they can achieve desired results (Jessica & Selden 2003). A good civil servant should be imbued to service delivery. With increasing technology, therefore civil servants should familiarize themselves with it so that they can offer services effectively (Jessica & Selden, 2003). Lastly, administration deals with people hence the civil service should learn group dynamics by researching more about them. Lifestyles are no longer homogenous hence the need to dig deeper into the affairs of people in order to learn more about them.

References

Bridgman, P., Althus, C. & Glyn, D. (2004) The Australian Policy Handbook, 4 Ed. Sydney.

Allen & Unwin Colebatch, H. & Colebatch, H. (2009) Policy, New York: McGraw-Hill.

Denhardt, B. (2001) The Big Questions of Public Administration Education Public Ad ministration Review.

Jessica, S. & Selden, S. (2003) Administrative Discretion and Active Representation: An Expansion of the Theory of Representative Bureaucracy, Public Administration Review.

Kaboolian, J. (1998) The New Public Management: Challenging the Boundaries of the Management vs. Administration Debate Public Administration Review, pp.189-19.

Klingner, L. (1997) Beyond Civil Service: The Changing Face of Pubic Personnel Management, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 26(2). pp. 157-174.

Menzel, D. (1999) Rediscovering the Lost World of Public Service Ethics: Do We Need New Ethics for Public Administrators? Public Administration Review, Vol. 59(5). pp. 443-447.

Milinski, (1998) Obstacles to Sustaining a Labor-Management Partnership: A Management Perspective, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 27(1), pp. 1-23.

Queensland Cabinet, (2010) Queensland Department of Premier & Cabinet, Policy Handbook, Web.

Saul, P. (n.d.) Strategic Opportunism: Planning for tough and turbulent times, Web.

error: Content is protected !!