New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 10


  • A Plan to Put Work – and Workers – First by Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
  • Highlight: A Culture of Collaboration at UD by Kalyn McDonough
    • Strengthening Partnerships in Health and Education: Delaware and the Nation
  • The Importance of Study Abroad: Transylvanian International Conference in Public Administration by Yuliya Brel & Benjamin Chun
    • Conference Feature
  • Child Abandonment and Adoption in South Korea: A Post-Korean War and Present-Day Analysis by Stacy N. Burwell
    • Abstract

      When a family member is faced with making the tough decision of relinquishing their child due to circumstances within the household, the options available to them should be alternatives that place the child’s health, safety, and wellbeing as the highest priorities. Options, such as adoption and the ability to anonymously drop off a child one is no longer able to care for at a “safe haven” location, should be available and encouraged to ensure the optimal welfare of the child, as opposed to abandonment in the streets or any other unsafe environment. This paper will discuss the issues of child abandonment and adoption that have persisted for several decades in South Korea. It will detail the historical evolution of child abandonment in South Korea, a country that once served as the world’s largest source of unwanted children, driven by poverty, governmental regulation, a culture of racial purity, homogeneity, family bloodlines, shame, and taboos against domestic adoption (South Korea Child Law Sees More Babies Abandoned, 2017, para. 4). This analysis will also review the state of child abandonment and adoption in the postKorean War era, in comparison to present-day South Korean society. Furthermore, the consequences of the current tightly restricted adoption policies – that have reduced both international and domestic adoptions while increasing ongoing child abandonment cases, will be discussed. This paper concludes with recommendations on potential policy reforms with respect to the protections provided to parents and families wishing to relinquish a child they are unable to raise.

  • Communities Behind Bars: A Review of Mass Incarceration and the Coercive Mobility Hypothesis by Andrew C. Gray
    • Abstract

      The community that one resides in has a substantial impact on their life. Communities that are disadvantaged – with high rates of poverty, joblessness, family disruption, and racial isolation –experience crime and criminal justice responses at higher levels. With the evolution of mass incarceration and its racially-biased practices, poor and largely minority communities continue to experience its effects and repercussions most heavily. That is, incarceration has disproportionately affected disadvantaged communities that house large portions of the U.S.’s racial-ethnic populations. The coercive mobility hypothesis contends that this concentration of incarceration has two negative effects on communities. First, incarceration forcefully removes community members who likely offered some social support; and, second, the communities to which they return must bear the burden of accommodating large portions of the population with few opportunities given their criminal label. This dual effect destabilizes the ability for communities to form strong social cohesion and, thus, informal social control, which is argued to be more important to communities than formal forms of control (i.e. police, incarceration). Contrary to providing safety and order, incarceration may disrupt communities; especially those already struggling from various social disadvantages. Previous research has shown that incarceration detrimentally affects the community and creates a cycle by adding to the conditions that foster criminal activity. This essay reviews the effects of mass incarceration on communities through the theoretical lens of the coercive mobility hypothesis and informal social control literature.

  • The Role of Public Libraries in Disasters by Eileen Young
    • Abstract

      This paper addresses the role of libraries in building a more disaster-resilient society through community support and in fostering access to critical information and resources in the wake of disaster. The role of libraries in disasters, as well as our understanding of it, has evolved over time, particularly with reference to the space they can fill in community response. A large component of that space is helping those community members impacted by disasters to fill out E-government forms, either by rendering assistance or providing the computers, electricity, and Wi-Fi necessary to connect to online resources. Other roles include avenue for escape and source of information. This paper surveys the existing literature on libraries’ disaster response, identifying both strengths and gaps which require further academic research, and provides a brief overview of extant data that libraries can use to help develop disaster plans. Existing academic literature on this subject is analyzed using the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) framework. The paper finds that there is still a gap in scholarship persists with regards to the current and future role of libraries in disaster preparedness and response. Consequently, the need for a coherent framework aimed specifically at American libraries to help them develop disaster plans has been identified as one of the salient findings of the paper.

  • Merging Developing and Developed Worlds: The Blockchain Revolution’s Impact on Collective Global Growth by Jeffrey R. Martindale
    • Abstract

      The purpose of this research is to investigate the productive ways in which blockchain technology can impact the world in both private and public sectors. This paper begins with a short description of how blockchains were initially conceptualized and how they work, which the author expresses in a more universally understandable manner for non-experts in the fields of coding and computer science. Then the larger implications of world changes in both developing and developed countries through myriad blockchain technology application possibilities in corporate industries and public agencies are explored in detail. Specifically, Internet accessibility is not as limited to wealthier people and countries as it was at the turn of the century, so, while only developed states seemingly experienced overwhelming benefits from the initial Internet revolution, sectors of all countries from an array of differing developmental levels currently maintain the ability to collectively benefit, grow, and thrive during the blockchain revolution. Finally, this paper concludes with a warning to corporations and governments alike and a petition that public and private entities learn from the mistakes of those who did not initially see the Internet for the world-altering disruptive force it proved to be. Blockchain technology has the potential to make an enormous portion of traditional corporate practices and services obsolete, as well as potentially challenge the worldwide legitimacy of governments’ central authority through its use of distributed ledgers and online expanse.

  • Using Film Industry Subsidies to Influence Cultural Perceptions of Women in the US and Seoul by Stephanie Mergler
    • Abstract

      Research has shown that media representations of gender can have a profound impact on the formation of gender stereotypes and the cultural perception of women and their role in society. This policy brief therefore outlines a framework for using film industry subsidies to influence cultural perceptions of women in the Republic of Korea, a country where a staggering gender pay gap and deeply ingrained cultural deterrents to women’s inclusiveness have posed a significant challenge to women’s empowerment initiatives in the City of Seoul. The policy intervention recommended by this brief is a subsidy that could be implemented by the Seoul Metropolitan Government and other cities with thriving film industries to incentivize the development of feature films that include the following elements: 1) positive portrayals of women in a lead role, 2) portrayals of men and women who are equally responsible for childcare and domestic work, and 3) place women in roles where they are empowered to write, direct, and/or produce feature films. By instituting this policy, Seoul could help break barriers for women in film and encourage media portrayals that show women and the city of Seoul in a positive and inspiring light.

  • Book Review: Don’t Shoot: One Man, a Street Fellowship, and the End of Violence in Inner-City America by Kalyn McDonough
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