Volume 8

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 8 


  • Broadband Internet in Delaware: Bridging the Digital Divide / Author: Jason Olson
    • Abstract

      This paper addresses the importance of broadband internet in socio-economic terms and introduces the concept of the digital divide, the gap in broadband access and adoption rates between region, class, and race. After examining the causes for this gap and its perpetuation, the paper compares three policy solutions used in different regions in the United States before making a policy recommendation for the state of Delaware.

  • An Urban Gay History: San Francisco as a Foundation / Author: Valerie Lane
    • Abstract

      The lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and queer (LGBTQ) population in the United States has undergone a violent and oppressive history. The LGBTQ population has demonstrated resilience and strength in the face of police brutality, the HIV-AIDS epidemic, and legislative discrimination. Over the course of the twentieth century, the LGBTQ population formed cultural enclaves in many cities. The density and diversity of urban centers provided conditions under which gay urbanites could foster a sense of community, solidarity, and relative security, in comparison to the opportunities offered by suburban and rural areas. The gay community enclaves that formed in many of the twentieth century’s big cities allowed their residents to establish themselves socially, economically, and politically in resistance to the oppressive societal structures that they encountered outside of these enclaves. This overview of some of the gay urban enclaves that formed during the second half of the twentieth century offers San Francisco as a basis for analysis. Did major events such as the election of Harvey Milk in San Francisco’s Castro district help to build an empowering history for the LGBTQ population? Today, the fight for LGBTQ civil rights must still overcome a number of significant challenges, such as in the areas of healthcare, adoption, support services for LGBTQ youth, and protection from various sources of discrimination. By exploring the growth of urban LGBTQ communities over the last 70 years, this paper hopes to offer insight on how LGBTQ communities and their allies can continue to move forward.

  • Urban Unrest: Crime Control in American Cities and the Sociological Implications of Police Strategy / Author: David Karas
    • Abstract

      Dating back to the initial days of urbanization in the United States, the impact of crime and delinquency on cities has differed vastly from the impact on suburban and rural spaces. While a number of factors are believed by criminologists to precipitate such urban violence, primary justifications for policing’s altered approach to cities include curbing poverty, lowering unemployment and working towards neighborhood revitalization. A wide array of crime control strategies have targeted the unique sources of anti-social behaviors that plague city neighborhoods, including targeted patrols and other forms of policing that focus on particular offenses or offender groups. While criminological research has revealed that some of these programs have been successful in reducing levels of urban delinquency, the strategies have undoubtedly resulted in a range of far-reaching sociological implications. Through a review of prior literature, this paper will explore a range of crime control strategies which have been employed in American cities over time, as well as to assess the various impacts they have had on urbanites – including those who have been disproportionately impacted by some strategies. This paper will also offer a discussion related to the role policymakers have in this regard – and the importance of considering the sociological implications in crafting future urban crime policy.

  • The Role of Geographic Location on College Campus Sexual Victimization Rates in the U.S.: A New Methodological Approach / Authors: Steven Keener and Gilbert Michaud
    • Abstract

      Though colleges and universities throughout the United States have been progressively focusing on sexual victimization and emphasizing training sessions for faculty, staff, and students, the underlying determinants of sexual victimization on university campuses remains uncertain. One understudied potential variable is the geographic location of a college campus. This paper presents a data collection and analysis framework that explores the relationship between whether a college campus is located in an urban versus rural location and the campus’s rate of sexual victimization. The paper begins with a literature review on variables affecting rates of college sexual victimization. We then operationalize the independent variable of urban versus rural campus location, and offer a methodological approach to determining how this variable relates to sexual victimization rates. This, in turn, has a range of policy implications, including how institutions of higher education should proceed to implement sexual victimization trainings and other related programs.

  • Trends in Federal Competitive Funding and Implications for Organizational Development / Author: Claudia Caruso
    • Abstract

      Federal funding plays a significant role at the state and local level in three primary ways. First, federal funds represent a large percentage of state and local government revenues. Second, federal funding impacts the development of local and regional economies in positive and negative ways. Third, federal funding can be used politically to reward or to encourage behavior. Still, reporting requirements limit the research on competitive-only federal funding. This paper uses the Consolidated Federal Funds Report to analyze changes in federal funding over time, the types of programs that have experienced increases or decreases in funding over time, and the implications of these trends at the local level. As overall federal funding has increased, competitive funding has increased at a faster rate from 1983 to 2010. As community resources diminish and the direct federal role decreases, local communities increasingly depend on competitive funds for resources. This raises a number of implications for organizations, education, and research described in this section. First, organizations must develop and maintain the capacities necessary to successfully apply for, manage, and report on grants. Second, education for students of public policy and administration must focus on the unique challenges of a field increasingly dependent upon grants. Finally, future research will need to integrate the concept of competitive funding, to better understand its distribution and impact on local communities.

Volume 7

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 7 


  • Special Profile – NVPA at the National Journal Conference for Schools of Public Policy & Affairs / Authors: Jessica Mitchell and Gemma Tierney
  • Special Profile – Enemies to Allies: The First Twenty Years of Public Allies Delaware / Author: S. Elizabeth Lockman
    • Abstract

      Under the slogan, “Everyone leads,” the Public Allies program enables individuals from diverse backgrounds to serve the community. Through apprenticeship, training, and a
      Team Service Project, Public Allies are immersed in community development work and
      understand the potential challenges and rewards of a life in public service. The partnership
      between Public Allies Delaware and the University of Delaware serves as an example to national
      Public Allies programs. In this retrospective, S. Elizabeth Lockman interviewed personnel of
      Public Allies Delaware and outlined the history of its development in Delaware.

  • Highway to Inequity: The Disparate Impact of the Interstate Highway System on Poor and Minority Communities in American Cities/ Author: David Karas
    • Abstract

      The Interstate Highway System constitutes one of the most substantial federal investments
      in the nation’s infrastructure and has provided innumerable benefits in transportation
      infrastructure. The positive impacts of the road building campaign sparked by President
      Dwight Eisenhower in the mid-1950s, however, are not without their negative counterparts.
      Construction of the expressway network had a profound impact on American cities, often
      cutting through developed neighborhoods and forever changing the social and physical
      characteristics of urban landscapes. In discussions of the oft-devastating effects of the Interstate
      Highway System on urban communities, it is impossible to ignore the impact that the system has
      had on poor and minority communities. A growing body of research has addressed the racial
      effects of the landmark federal initiative, with many academics alleging that the system’s
      construction constituted, at least in some cities, a civil rights violation that served to formalize
      Jim Crow-era discriminatory patterns and some of the original racial boundaries imposed in
      some urban spaces. In the present context, the still-evolving expressway teardown movement
      points to the reevaluation of the highway system on the part of policy scholars and public
      officials, many of whom have addressed the disparate outcomes of the network and have sought
      to remedy the harm it imposed on urban America.

  • Harnessing Entrepreneurial Potential in Soweto as a Catalyst for Inclusive Growth / Author: Alexandra Davis
    • Abstract

      Over the course of the past several decades, momentum has grown across developing nations in favor of the advancement of policies rooted in the linkage between entrepreneurial activity and economic growth. In line with this momentum, South Africa – a nation experiencing depressed entrepreneurial activity, sluggish growth rates, and unemployment rates just under thirty percent – has adopted the development of the small, medium, and micro enterprise (SMME) sector as a national priority. This analysis sought to assess the accessibility of public supports in place to facilitate the startup and development of SMMEs in historically underrepresented communities of the country, particularly in urban settlements colloquially referred to as “townships,” where tens of millions of South Africans live. This study was conducted as a case study of the communities of South Africa’s largest and oldest township, Soweto. This research supports that there is a severe lack of access to SMME supports in Soweto, as well as various institutional barriers, many due to legacies of the apartheid structure, and an inability of top-down governmental policy to filter to Sowetan communities.

  • Guidelines for Developing an Open Geospatial Response to Emergencies / Author: Benjamin Wallace
    • Abstract

      Disaster response typically requires high levels of coordination, necessitating effective communication and information management. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are useful tools that are constantly being developed and used in many fields, including emergency and disaster management. They are useful in all four stages of the disaster management cycle (mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery) and they have the potential to become even more important to disaster response. This paper considers how GIS is used in emergency management, then suggests guidelines for developing a GIS-based, networked disaster response platform that includes public participation. This could allow visualization and management of the response to events (resources, personnel, hazards, incidents, evacuation routes, shelters). Additionally, it could facilitate communication between officials, members of the public, and other responders. The conclusion of this paper discusses factors relevant to development of this system, including information infrastructure, social media, and crowdsourcing, and considers basic guidelines for developing an Open Geospatial Response to Emergency (OGRE).

  • Impact of the Drug Regulatory Authority in Pakistan: An Evaluation / Author: Hira Rashid
    • Abstract

      Drug regulation has been identified as a crucial impediment to the progress of Pakistan’s health sector, particularly in the wake of the ‘Fake Drug Crisis’ of 2012. In 2010, control of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRA), shifted from the federal government to provincial governments. However, after two years, the Drug Act of 2012 reestablished direct federal jurisdiction over the DRA. Since its formation, the media and the international community have criticized the DRA. However, to date there have been no official or academic performance evaluations of the DRA. This paper aims to add to the limited body of literature analyzing DRA’s effectiveness in the following areas: regulating the pharmaceutical industry, encouraging its development and, managing the supply of therapeutic products in the country. This research supports that there are significant policy shortfalls in the DRA’s operational functions, organizational and financial structure, that limits the impact of the organization and its constituent units in regulating the pharmaceutical industry in Pakistan. Finally, crucial policy recommendations are highlighted that focus on maximizing the efficacy of the DRA while taking into account the contextual political, social, and economic factors in which it operates.

  • Fundraising Challenges for Land Trust Organizations / Authors: Meredith Barnes, Shannon K. Orr, Tara Schuler, Tao Tang, Sarah Tekle, Christopher Van Newhouse
    • Abstract

      The ongoing challenges associated with the economic downturn in the United States are significant for nonprofit organizations facing declines in government grants and foundation support, as well as challenges in attracting and retaining individual donors. Fundraising may mean the difference between fulfilling a mission and closing operations. The purpose of this study is to identify best practices for fundraising and donor recruitment/retention based on a national web survey of land trust organizations in the United States. This research has implications for other small nonprofit organizations without professional fundraising staff that are looking to expand or improve their fundraising practices since the global economic downturn. This research not only contributes to the academic literature on nonprofit management in difficult economic times and fundraising/donor best practices, but will also be of use to land trust practitioners looking to improve their current practices.

Volume 6

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 6 

  •  Advocating for Justice and Equality: An Interview with Ashley Biden  /  Author: M. Kristen Hefner
    • Abstract

      With her father the sitting Vice President and her brother Delaware’s Attorney General, Ashley Biden grew up in a political family. Instead of entering politics, however, she has chosen to dedicate her career to improving the lives of others. Biden earned a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 and previously worked for the West End Neighborhood House in Wilmington, Delaware and the Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and their Families. Biden is Associate Executive Director of The Delaware Center for Justice (DCJ), a non-profit agency whose work aims to improve justice and safety for Delawareans. The activities of the DCJ include implementing programs and services, educating the public, conducting research and engaging in advocacy. Initiatives of the non-profit organization include a Truancy Reduction Program, an Adult Victim Services Program, a School Diversion Program, a Community Reentry Services Program, a Gun Violence Intervention Program, and Project Reach – which works with incarcerated women and their children. The DCJ collaborates and establishes partnerships with other agencies and organizations to address policy issues facing Delawareans. Partners include the Delaware Department of Justice, the Delaware Department of Correction, faithbased organizations, and community-based agencies. In the following interview1, Ashley Biden discusses factors that have influenced her interest in improving the lives of others and how that interest manifests itself in the current work of the Delaware Center for Justice. The editorial board of New Visions for Public Affairs would like to thank Ashley Biden for taking the time to participate in this discussion, and for providing an example of successfully combining personal passions with creating a more equitable world in which to improve the lives of others.

  •  A Half-Century of Service and Scholarship: The Disaster Research Center at UD  /  Author: Adria Buchanan
    • Abstract

      The political and cultural landscape took on dramatic color during the 1960s, and academia responded. Nationally, universities and academics developed, enhanced and sharpened their tools for investigating new phenomena. Two sociologists in particular, E.L. Quarantelli and Russell Dynes at Ohio State University, found their way into natural disasters, eventually leading to the establishment of the Disaster Research Center (DRC). The Center’s subsequent research would break existing molds for understanding human behavior and provide the basis for worldwide disaster inquiry. The Center began with a number of funded projects from the Office of Civil Defense and Air Force Office of Scientific Research to investigate human behavior during a disaster as a possible threat to national security and preparation. Despite its niche in human behavior, the DRC’s permanence at the University of Ohio was uncertain. Fortunately for the University of Delaware, the stars aligned to bring the DRC stability midway through its 50-year history. In the context of new inventions, political and social revolutions, pop culture sensations, and unfortunate tragedy, the DRC has evolved. Other centers have since emerged, yet this article depicts those characteristics that have contributed to the DRC’s longevity by chronicling its history in a global and domestic context, discussing what makes it unique in the ongoing body of disaster science, and presenting current projects with perspectives from staff and students to celebrate its 50 year anniversary.

  •  Civic Hacking: A Motivation Framework (NECoPA Special Feature)  /  Author: Tanya Stepasiuk
    • Abstract

      Civic hackers are a newly emerging community, working to bridge the gap between technology and government. They gather together to work on projects using publicly available data and technological expertise to devise apps, programs, and data presentations for the benefit of the community. I use primary data collected from ten semistructured interviews with current participants as well as observations of civic hacking events and grounded theory to answer the question, “what are the motivations of people who participate in civic hacking?” I then suggest a framework. The framework includes unique identities and motivations of this particular community. Motivations are divided into three typologies: “hackers,” volunteers, and activists. The typologies correspond to motivations that are intrinsic and extrinsic in nature. While exploratory in nature, this study takes a preliminary look at this new form of social engagement and the reasons that people participate. This newly emerging phenomenon is of interest to public administrators and scholars as it suggests ways to partner with this community to achieve the benefit of a technologically savvy community that would like to contribute to civic causes.

  •  Technopolitical Regimes and Climate Change: A Transcript of an Interview with the Carbon Cycle  /  Author: Philip Barnes
    • Abstract

      Despite the urgent response that climate change demands, debate over climate change policy goes round and round without showing signs that it can rest long enough for action to be taken. Meanwhile, the situation with the atmospheric commons continues to deteriorate. In a desperate attempt to constructively contribute to the climate change debate and break through the morass, this paper engages with Actor Network Theory which affords practitioners the freedom to dialogue with the non-human. The result is a transcription of an interview with The Carbon Cycle. Using the concept of the technopolitical regime, The Carbon Cycle identifies two broadly defined philosophies that humans use to frame climate change policy. The two technopolitical regimes, what The Carbon Cycle calls the Interventionists and the Egalitarians, are informed by conflicting values. According to The Carbon Cycle, humans will need to face the difficult challenge of negotiating a policy response to climate change that lies somewhere between the interventionist and the egalitarian strategies. Depending on the policy approach taken, the implications for society-nature relationships and democratic governance are radically different and are teased out in this conversation.

  •  Neoliberal Urbanism: Socio-Spatial Fragmentation & Exclusion  /  Author: Rachel Beatty
    • Abstract

      This paper takes a critical approach to urbanism in the United States with a focus on how the socio-political ideology of neoliberalism influences our urban spaces. I review literature that addresses the role of neoliberalism in urban development and describe the ways that neoliberal urban development, as a governance and growth project, has negative consequences on our urban communities by fragmenting space and reinforcing and normalizing socio-economic disparity through exclusionary policies and projects. I advocate for greater attention to “actually existing neoliberalism” and its implications by contemporary policy-making professionals as they work to improve our urban spaces and the lives of the people who inhabit them.

  •  Foster Youth Mentoring Program: Assisting with and Connecting the “Aging Out” Challenges in Delaware  /  Author: Leann Moore
    • Abstract

      Delaware has made great strides providing and improving services for the state’s foster youth “aging out” of the system. However, even in light of new legislation and enhanced community-based programs, Delaware youth in foster care face many challenges when aging out of the foster care system. Potential outcomes for youth aging out of the foster care system, such as higher rates of incarceration, homelessness, unemployment, and teen pregnancy, as well as lower rates of high school graduation, can cost taxpayers up to $300,000 per youth in incarceration costs, public assistance support, and lost wages. However, Delaware’s supportive services infrastructure has potential to address these problems. The Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative put forth six specific policy and practice recommendations for successful transitions (deemed the Ready-By-21 campaign), and, to date, the only one of these not directly addressed is permanency. The Delaware Youth Opportunities Initiative (DYOI) is the Delaware agency working to address each recommendation. One of the best ways of achieving all of these goals is to establish a statewide and inclusive mentoring program for foster youth beginning at age 14 through age 21. There are many ways to implement this: through a resource guide, a school-based program, or by reframing the Court Appointed Special Advocate’s (CASA) role and training. When considering cost, timeline, feasibility, and the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative’s recommendations, the CASA role reframing option best fits Delaware’s current atmosphere. This option achieves permanency within a one-to-one adult relationship.

Volume 5

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 5 


  • Special Interview – Fabian Socialists and Red Light Traffic Cameras – An Interview with Robert Warren /  Author: Philip Barnes
    • Abstract

      After a 53-year career in higher education and following 38 years of continuous academic and professional service to the School of Public Policy and Administration at the University of Delaware, Professor Robert Warren will step back from his teaching responsibilities. Dr. Warren’s urban studies courses – Governance, Planning & Management, Contemporary Issues in Urban Affairs & Public Policy, and Planning Theory & Urban Policy – have been staples of the School’s graduate curriculum for decades. His wide-ranging and deep concern for the marginalized and the oppressed is evident in his teaching and mentoring. Never one to shy away from disclosing his feelings on governmental or political matters, Dr. Warren is the embodiment of C. Wright Mills and Aaron Wildavsky’s challenge to follow the Quaker dictum, “speak truth to power.” In a wide-ranging interview with New Visions for Public Affairs, Dr. Robert Warren – who will continue to advise his Ph.D. students and work on publishing journal articles – talked about his views of the past, present and future. People familiar with Dr. Warren will readily acknowledge his capacity to articulate connections between seemingly unrelated aspects of political and social reality. In this interview, he demonstrates this intellectual ability by pointing out a hidden relationship between H.G. Wells and red light traffic cameras. More fundamentally, Dr. Warren succinctly exposes the complex dynamics between theory and practice in critical social inquiry. The editorial board of New Visions for Public Affairs would like to thank Dr. Warren for participating in this interview. We thank him for what he has done for his students, the School of Public Policy and Administration, the University of Delaware, and for his contribution to the development of a more just and equitable society.

  • Intersectional Disadvantages in the Emergence and Transformation of Legal Disputes  /  Author: M. Kristen Hefner
    • Abstract

      Intersectionality theory asserts that individuals’ social experiences differ based on the different social locations individuals occupy within society. In addition, sociolegal research suggests that individuals possess different experiences in the emergence and transformation of legal disputes but, to date, has not empirically incorporated intersectionality theory into its analysis. This paper asks, how can intersectionality theory enhance and further develop sociolegal research on legal disputing? By using Felstiner et al.’s (1980) framework for describing and analyzing the emergence and transformation of legal disputes and drawing on existing sociolegal scholarship, this paper argues for the importance of taking into account the different experiences of individuals within society when examining the emergence and transformation of legal disputes. I further argue that intersectionality theory should be incorporated in sociolegal research to elucidate the disparate ways legal disputes emerge and are transformed for different individuals and the various disadvantages that may exist for certain social groups in asserting legitimate legal claims. Public policy implications and examples are discussed.

  • Characteristics of Innovative Entrepreneurs – An Analysis at the Level of the Individual, the Firm, and the Business Environment  /  Author: Daniel P. Smith
    • Abstract

      Innovative entrepreneurship has been a subject of significant discursive research. Much of this research, however, is quite disparate and tends to scrutinize narrow aspects of entrepreneurial firms. This paper conducts a broad literature review to derive the overall conclusions in the study of entrepreneurial research. These areas include the psychological characteristics of innovative entrepreneurs, the organizational characteristics of innovative entrepreneurial firms, and the characteristics of a business environment conducive to innovative entrepreneurship. Individual entrepreneurs have high levels of need achievement and a great propensity for risk-taking. Innovative ventures tend to have an organic organizational structure, which are often spin-offs from larger companies. Finally, high spending in research and development, access to business services and a skilled labor force, and a collaborative culture foster innovative entrepreneurial economic sectors. This research enables policymakers and practitioners to determine the best ways to facilitate and cultivate entrepreneurial business environments. Future research should examine the influence of environmental factors on entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Pay for Spray Fire Protection Policy – A Case Study of Obion County, Tennessee  /  Author: Natasha R. Nau
    • Abstract

      Obion County, Tennessee’s subscription fire protection policy, “Pay for Spray,” has created a dangerous problem in which unincorporated areas of the county do not have a mandatory universal fire protection service. This policy threatens both life and property. Two fires that occurred in September 2010 and December 2011 left residents without fire protection subscriptions homeless. Thirteen policy alternatives are presented and seven are evaluated along four criteria: political feasibility, financial feasibility, economic efficiency and quality of service. After an in-depth evaluation, it is proposed that Obion County make the purchase of fire protection service mandatory through property taxes.

Volume 4

New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 4

Table of Contents


  • Health Care System Structure and Delivery in the Republic of Korea – Considerations for Health Care Reform Implementation in the United States  /  Author: Rachel Linstead Goldsmith, MPA ’13

    As part of its plan for rapid economic development, South Korea achieved universal health insurance in 1988. In the ensuing years, the national government has continued to adjust health care system structure and care delivery mechanisms in response to social and political changes, culminating in a single-payer system in 2000. Further reforms have included improvements in pharmaceutical distribution, efforts to contain costs, and development of programs to care for older adults. This paper examines the underpinnings of health care system development in South Korea and offers lessons for the United States as it implements the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which addresses similar systemic issues. These include the challenges of controlling growing expenditures, administering coordinated care in a decentralized provider system, and providing care for an aging population.

  • Urbanism and Gay Identity  /  Author: Paul Ruiz, MA ’13

    This paper proposes that the social, economic, and political drivers of urbanism constructed contemporary notions of gay identity. Starting around the mid-tolate twentieth century, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) individuals transformed urban spaces into centers of social, cultural, and political utility. As middle-class Americans suburbanized, socially stigmatized and emboldened gays settled into vacated urban spaces where deviant lifestyles were enshrined by the safety and anonymous milieu of the city (Bailey, 1998; Castells, 1983). Amid the physical construction of communities around residential and commercial gay concentrations, the social construction of a gay identity based on sexual personhood emerged contemporaneously (Lauria & Knopp, 1985). Although some scholars have commented on the topic of sexual identity and space (Castells, 1983; D’Emilio, 1981; Jackson, 1989; Knopp, 1990b), little research has been done to specifically connect identity to the drivers of urbanism. This paper provides a framework for further interdisciplinary research in sexual identity and community development.

  • Assessing Lending Institutions’ Community Development Activities under the Community Reinvestment Act  /  Author: Jason Stoehr, MA ’12

    Most of the literature regarding banks’ performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has focused on mortgage lending, leaving other important effects of CRA on community development (CD) underexamined and overlooked. One of the reasons for this lack of research is that home lending data is more readily available. Another reason is that data on other CRA activities reported in CRA exams are vague and inconsistent. The lack of data makes it difficult to monitor and enforce CRA–regulated bank activity. To understand this gap, this paper presents a brief literature review of the history and intent of CRA, and an analysis of CRA examinations of large banks operating in Delaware released between 2008 and 2010. What CD activities are lending institutions undertaking to comply with CRA? How are activities measured and reported? Is the level of detail provided sufficient to assess the extent to which these investments are contributing to CD efforts? The findings of this inquiry reveal inconsistencies in how regulatory agencies rate lending institutions. These insights provide the basis for recommending reporting changes that can make the CRA an even more effective policy tool for helping communities access credit, and for helping community organizations provide services in underserved areas.