Biden School Journal of Public Policy

The Biden School Journal of Public Policy (JPP) a student-run journal of the Joseph R. Biden Jr. School of Public Policy & Administration at the University of Delaware. Founded in 2008, the journal publishes scholarly articles comprised of student academic writing on topics related to public policy and public administration.

The mission of Biden School JPP is to encourage graduate students to contribute to a pluralistic understanding of policy mechanisms and outcomes by providing unique perspectives in the domains of social justice, economic development and the political processes that underlie public policy. While all submissions related to public policy are welcome, the journal seeks content related to, but not limited:

  • Governance mechanisms and policy making processes
  • Recent developments in research, scholarship and practice within public policy
  • Public administration, public management, government and administrative politics
  • Social justice, political representation and criminal justice system reform
  • Public health, health policy and health services research
  • Education policy and system reform
  • Urban planning and policy

Biden School JPP – Volume 13, June 2022


Over time, the field and profession of public health has shied away from political engagement and reform efforts, focusing primarily on behavioral models of public health. In doing so, we have inadvertently reinforced radical individualism and inoculated the larger society against suspicion that the structures of our health, economic, and social systems are largely responsible for most health disparities. This commentary examines why responding to Covid-19 related inequities requires much more than monetary public health investments. Significant advocacy efforts are required to address the political determinants of health, and I argue that the field of public health should reclaim its position as a leader of progressive social and cultural change, in the interest of health.

Offshore wind industry is a growing renewable energy source that has barriers for implementation like many other energy sources. It is key to identify both positive and negative externalities associated to implement well thought out policy. Policymakers must use a future oriented frame of mind to execute lasting successful policies that will impact the future direction of the offshore wind industry. Floating offshore wind technology is a growing tool for the expansion of the industry with its own new and varying effects. As more information and technological advancement comes there will be greater understanding of the externalities that come with the implementation of this new technology. This policy perspective paper will discuss the known externalities associated to direct future policy creation.

There is no current federal or state plan or framework put in place to ensure the proper transmission and interconnection of offshore wind developments to the regional grid systems through utilities in the United States. Electricity transmission of offshore wind to the local grid is of great importance in order to optimize future offshore wind developments. This policy brief will look to identify the regulatory framework for future offshore wind transmission through the assessment of three policy options that are currently utilized by several European countries. Upon analyzing the Transmission System Operator (TSO), Developer, and Third-Party Model this paper will identify a policy recommendation regarding a certain policy framework. In order to analyze this process this brief will also discuss two transmission processes used which include the Radial connection (alternating current system) and Hub connection (direct current system) for transmission. This policy brief will allow for future policymakers to utilize a future oriented frame of mind in order to implement lasting successful policies that will impact the future direction of the offshore wind industry. Without future federal or state plans or framework regarding offshore wind transmission the current administration’s targets will not be met due to the current transmission framework inhibiting development of future offshore wind sites.


School Resource Officers (SROs) have become more commonplace in recent years in response to school shootings and violence. SROs are law enforcement officials that are responsible for school safety and have the authority to make arrests. The current literature reports conflicting evidence as to whether SROs are effective at mitigating or preventing school shootings. However, research suggests that students with an SRO stationed on school premises are more likely to be arrested, contributing to the school-to-prison pipeline, which disproportionately affects students with disabilities and students of color. Currently, gaps in the literature exist on providing effective, equitable, and feasible alternative approaches to SROs. This report aims to offer alternative solutions to SROs focused on promoting school safety and equitable school discipline practices. Following the murder of George Floyd in 2020, public and political officials called for social reforms such as the removal of SROs from schools. One policy alternative to SROs includes the implementation of student safety coaches who are trained on mental health, restorative justice, and de-escalation strategies. This initiative has been implemented in school districts in Minnesota and has yielded positive evaluation results. Another alternative includes the reallocation of funds following the removal of SROs to mental health professionals. Mental health professionals have the authority to assess risks and are an effective mechanism at dealing with school safety and school disciplinary policies. Nonetheless, a hybrid model of both policy alternatives is the best mechanism to deal with school safety and student discipline. Student safety coaches should be implemented along with trained mental health professionals in public schools following the removal of SROs.


Constitutional constraints on a President’s ability to lead the nation to war have been unrealized repeatedly since WWII.  A legislative trend of granting broad and unchecked authority to the President to use military action has changed the nature of American entry into armed conflicts.  The most frequently relied upon legislative method for granting war powers today, Authorizations for Use of Military Force (AUMFs), grant broad-reaching war powers to the executive branch.  The 2001 and 2002 AUMFs have granted four consecutive Presidents the ability to act swiftly and divisively to combat enemies of the state across the globe without Congressional deliberation or authorization (United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, 2017, p. 2).  While civil liberties groups and Constitutional scholars have widely recognized that this authority poses a threat to the balance of power and transparency of a democratic society (Bradley & Goldsmith, 2005, p. 88), constitutional originalists recognize unilateral power of the executive in military action (Ramsey, 2002, p. 21) and defense officials value security and stress the importance of retaining secrecy as to minimize the global recognition of small but dangerous terrorist groups (Cronk, 2017, p. 1). The Biden administration has called for a new AUMF to replace the outdated and unilateral authorizing language of the post-9-11 war powers that have been utilized to wage war across the globe. This call must be swiftly acted upon by Congress, as it would enact a return to Congressional oversight of presidential war powers not seen in contemporary U.S. military history.


Access and affordability to clean water in households are primarily considered third world issues – which is why there seems to be limited research on water affordability focused on the first world. However, rising water prices over time have become a growing concern even in the developed world, especially for the low-income population. Therefore, this paper takes a deep dive into the literature available on water affordability in the United States to explain what water affordability means; the equity and efficiency concerns around it; how it is measured; the critiques to the standard affordability threshold being used; the possible alternative criteria that can be considered instead; and the policy responses to the current water affordability challenges. The analysis presented indicates the need to understand water affordability from an equity standpoint, though it does not suggest a decrease in prices across the board or making water services free. This research can serve as a baseline for future studies related to water affordability within different regions in the United States and other developed countries.


This study explores the impact of political parties on state capture in Latin America. A mixed effects model is used with time as the level one unit nested within countries that serve as the level 2 units with a total sample size of 349 observations pooled across 19 different Latin American countries with data ranging between the years 1996-2017. The model is also estimated with an AR(1) term in order to account for the temporal dimension of the analysis and any problems autocorrelation may pose. First, the impact of political party in power [years], a variable that captures how long one political party is able to stay in power in a given country in years – is analyzed for its effects on state capture. Second, the impact of political party in power [years] on state capture at varying levels of economic development as measured by GDPPC is then examined. The analysis provides support for the negative impacts of political party in power [years] on state capture where the longer one party is able to remain in power – the greater state capture we will see. Overall, the results suggest that a lack of political competition and horizontal accountability that political parties are able to provide in a given country results in enhanced levels of corruption and state capture across the Latin American region.

The paper takes a critical look at the US and India positions on achieving carbon neutrality as per their commitment to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. These are based on the climate change policies of the leaders of the two countries, President Joe Biden, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the COP 26 summit held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021. Policy tools to achieve carbon neutrality such as cap and trade and carbon tax (both market-based approaches), regulations (command and control approach) and other economic incentives such as tax credits and subsidies are examined. Based on various empirical research published in the literature regarding the two countries, an assessment is made regarding the use of these tools to achieve the goals of efficiency, equity, liberty, and sustainability in the two countries. Carbon taxation at the national level is currently missing in both countries and has the potential to be a revenue source of climate finance. The US needs to assert its leadership among the OECD donor countries to provide climate finance to developing countries and direct more of such finance for adaptation to climate change among developing countries. Low Carbon Technology (LCT) transfer through trade is low among both countries and there is a need to accelerate this process. Innovations that are occurring in both countries presently in nuclear power, hydrogen power and other clean energy such as solar, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass can provide a great fillip to early achievement of net zero emissions. International cooperation and partnership between the US and India are growing in pursuing nuclear and solar as clean fuels. However, stepped up co-innovation in clean energy between the two countries holds great dividends to achieve carbon neutrality in both countries.
The impact of historical residential segregation polices has affected many cities in the United States, but none more than Richmond Virginia. Richmond has a long history of disenfranchisement which still is prevalent today. Known as the capital of the Confederacy during the American Civil War, Richmond has cultured a path of differences in educational, occupational, and residential opportunities for African Americans. This paper examines how segregation has been able to exist even with policies that were created to improve conditions for minorities. My research will provide a chronological background for housing polices and examine how the implementation of these policies affected African Americans. The academic article will focus on the current impacts of racial covenants and the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation redlining policies of the 1930s. The article will compare and contrast these former redlined areas county by county and examine current conditions in 2021. Conditions such as healthcare access, social vulnerability, and educational opportunities are highlighted. The HOLC highly desirable sections will be examined to provide the disparities in economics, health and education. It is clear that as a result of such polices African Americans attend schools with fewer resources then those located in other areas throughout the city. The paper makes the case for health disparities between blacks and whites by providing statistics which highlight the differences in life expectancy, median age, poverty, and other social vulnerabilities. Lastly, the article concludes with the current state of the city.


Pravesh Raghoo

Pravesh Raghoo is a third-year Ph.D. student in Energy and Environmental Policy at the University of Delaware.  He completed his Master of Public Policy (Energy Policy track) from Oregon State University as a Fulbright Scholar, and holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering from the University of Mauritius.  His research interest’s are in energy and climate policy, energy planning and modeling, and carbon markets.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Biden School Journal.


Kelly Jacobs

Kelly Jacobs is a second-year Energy and Environmental Policy PhD student in the Biden School. She is a Unidel Distinguished Graduate Fellow studying the relationship between natural gas, the petrochemicals industry, and plastics production. She received her Master of Science degree in Energy and Environmental Policy from the University of Delaware and Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Lebanon Valley College.   


Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is a second-year student in the Master of Public Administration program at the University of Delaware.  She is currently the collegewide Director of Grants for Delaware Technical Community College, and has served in grant writing and development roles with nonprofit and public organizations for the past ten years.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Writing from Pratt Institute.  Her research interests include equity and access in education, criminal legal system reform and higher education in prison and its effects on recidivism.


Allie Foster

Allie Foster is a second-year graduate student, set to graduate in December, 2021. She is currently working as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Biden School’s Center for Community Research and Service as a member of the Nonprofit and Community Development team. Her academic and career interests include civil rights and environmental policy. Allie completed her undergraduate degree in Athletic Training at Neumann University in 2015.



Abdulhadi (Hadi) is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Disaster Science & Management program at the University of Delaware. He holds an MSc degree in Emergency Health Services (Preventive Medicine & Epidemiology track), a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science, and a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Emergency Management. Abdulhadi’s research interests include public health emergency and disaster medicine, collective behavior, health services during disasters, and disaster and risk management.


Meredith M. Braine

Meredith Mayer Braine is a first-year Masters of Energy and Environmental Policy student at the University of Delaware. Previously, Meredith worked for eight years as an environmental planner in Pennsylvania at the municipal level where she focused on incorporating sustainability and climate change into planning projects. Her research interests are renewable energy transition, climate change adaptation and mitigation, electric vehicles, and regenerative agriculture.


Rachel Widom

Rachel Widom is a recent graduate from the University of Delaware where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Public Policy and minored in Business Administration. Currently, she is a graduate student at the University of Delaware pursuing a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Management. Rachel is passionate about a wide range of policy issues including higher education, criminal justice reform, and the opioid epidemic.


Matthew Van

Matthew Van is a first-year Ph.D student in the Disaster Science and Management at the University of Delaware. Originally from Fountain Valley, California, his previous formal educational background involved biology, public affairs, medical sciences, and emergency services administration. He looks forward to seeing what new scholarly collaborations will emerge from the articles submitted to this journal and is always ready to ask everybody he meets lots of questions, academic or not.


Frank Obara

Frank Obara received his BA in History at the University of Delaware. He currently works for the Bank of New York Mellon as a Business Systems Analyst. He is taking graduate classes for a Certificate in Historic Preservation at the University of Delaware. His interests include Colonial American History, Philosophy, Music and Photography.  He is also President of the Board of Directors for First State Ballet Theatre. 



While Biden School Journal of Public Policy is a student-run journal, faculty members within the Biden School of Public Policy and Administration provide support to the Editorial Board, primarily by providing feedback on articles that are selected for publication during the editing process.

Maria P. Aristigueta
Dean, Biden School of Public Policy & Administration
Charles P. Messick Chair of Public Administration
Senior Policy Fellow IPA
Leland Ware
Louis L. Redding Chair and Professor of Law and Public Policy
Biden School of Public Policy & Administration
Jane Case Lilly
Assistant Professor
Biden School of Public Policy & Administration
Jonathan Justice
Biden School of Public Policy & Administration

2020 Symposium

The 2020 Symposium for the Biden School Journal of Public Policy was held over Zoom because of the ongoing social distancing measures brought on by COVID-19. It features presentations and Q&A with authors of articles in the Journal.

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