Unit VIII Final Project Instructions Students will create a national-level, single-issue interest group that is focused on one specific area of either do

Unit VIII Final Project Instructions

Students will create a national-level, single-issue interest group that is focused on one specific area of either domestic or foreign policy.

The project will be presented in PowerPoint, and the presentation should include the information below.

Discuss the issue, and outline goals of the group.Provide a clear statement of the group’s foreign policy or domestic policy issue.Include a detailed description of the group’s goal(s). You must include at least one goal but no more than three.
Discuss the organization of the group.Your group must be structured as a single-issue group (i.e., a group that focuses on one primary issue).Provide a brief description of the group’s major leadership positions and their functions.Include a description of the group’s general membership, including an approximate size and general demographic of membership (e.g., high income/lower income; urban/rural).
Outline the group’s strategies and tactics for success.Describe one to three strategies that your group will use. A strategy is a general plan that will move your group toward success, such as using direct lobbying of policy makers or using the court system.Describe two to three tactics that your group will use. A tactic is a specific action that works to make a strategy successful. See the table below to better understand how strategies and tactics relate.

StrategyTactics (associated with specific strategy)
Direct lobbying of policy makersOne-on-one meetings with policy makers
Testifying before Congressional Committee
Judicial systemUsing the federal court system to advance group objectives (e.g., filing court cases, filing amicus curiae briefs, petitioning the courts for injunctions)
MediaPublishing information about your issue in media outlets
Encouraging the media to conduct and publicize poll results about your group’s issue
Grassroots lobbyingHosting mass protests in public spaces, such as the Mall in Washington, D.C., to call attention to your issue
Conducting an email and text campaign in which your group’s members email and text policy makers about your issue
Include a title slide, which should contain the following elements:your name,title of the project,course name and number,your instructor’s name, andthe submission date.Make certain that your content slides meet the requirements listed below.You should have a minimum of 10 slides, not counting the title slide, the references slide, or any slide only consisting of one or more photographs with no substantive text.Include at least five photos in the presentation, but the photo(s) cannot be the only item(s) on a slide.Include at least two charts or graphics.Graphics and photos must be clear and cited.
Make certain to follow the recommendations for designing your presentation.It is strongly recommended that the presentation be separated into clear sections.Select a simple, uncluttered PowerPoint design theme.Your work should be the focus of the presentation—not the slide theme.Use contrasting background and text for ease of reading (i.e., if using a dark background, use a light color text and vice versa).Minimize the use of slide and transition animation as these can become distracting.

You must reference at least three scholarly sources, one of which can be your textbook. All in-text citations and references must be formatted in APA Style. All sources included in the presentation must be cited, including photos, graphics (e.g., tables, charts), video clips, and audio clips. Submit your PowerPoint in Blackboard. POL 2301, United States Government 1

Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VIII

Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

3. Describe the functions of the three branches of the U.S. federal government.
3.1 Describe how the three branches of government contribute to the formation, implementation,

and evaluation of U.S. domestic policy.

6. Indicate the ways citizens and interest groups can influence politics and public policy.
6.1 Explain how citizens and interest groups impact the development of U.S. domestic and foreign


7. Describe the impact of media on public opinion and politics.
7.1 Discuss the chief ways that the media can influence the development, implementation, and

evaluation of U.S. domestic and foreign policy.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Activity

Unit Lesson
Chapter 16, pp. 589–620
Unit VIII Final Project


Unit Lesson
Chapter 16, pp. 589–620
Chapter 17, pp. 627–654
Unit VIII Final Project


Unit Lesson
Chapter 16, pp. 589–620
Chapter 17, pp. 627–654
Unit VIII Final Project

Required Unit Resources

In order to access the following resources, click the links below.

Throughout this course, you will be provided with sections of text from the online textbook American
Government 2e. You may be tested on your knowledge and understanding of the material presented in the
textbook as well as the information presented in the unit lesson.

Chapter 16: Domestic Policy, pp. 589–620

Chapter 17: Foreign Policy, pp. 627–654

Unit Lesson

Politics, at its core, addresses the following questions: Who gets what? How much do they get? When do they
get it? Public policy is the political instrument through which we answer these questions. Public policy is
defined as “the broad strategy government uses to do its job; the relatively stable set of purposive
governmental behaviors that address matters of concern to some part of society” (Krutz, 2019, p. 590). Public
policies, both domestic and foreign, typically result from considerable debate and compromise among a


Domestic and Foreign Policy



POL 2301, United States Government 2



mixture of influences, ranging from the president, Congress, and the courts, to political parties, interest
groups, the media, and citizens.

In this unit, we discuss both U.S. domestic policy and U.S. foreign policy. This unit has four main sections and
several subsections, which are listed below.

1. Section I: Introduction to U.S. Public Policy
2. Section II: U.S. Domestic Policy: Benefits, Goals, and Policy Areas
3. Section III: U.S. Foreign Policy: Goals, Policy Areas, and Instruments of Implementation
4. Section IV: The Policy-Making Process for Domestic and Foreign Policy

In Section I, public policy is introduced
and defined. Section II examines U.S.
domestic policy in terms of the resources
that public policies allocate, general
policy goals, and the broad categories of
domestic policy. In Section III, U.S.
foreign policy is discussed, along with the
instruments used to advance these
policies, the goals of foreign policy, and
several key categories of these policy
areas. Section IV explains the central
steps in the policy-making process for
domestic and foreign policies, explains
who the key players are, and presents
challenges facing policy implementation.
This section also includes a brief case
study on nuclear energy that is woven
throughout each step of the policy-
making process to illustrate a real-world
example of policy-making.

Section I: Introduction to U.S. Public Policy

Public policy refers to a system of laws, regulatory measures, directives, courses of action, and funding
priorities that focus on a specific issue or group of related issues that have been established by a
governmental entity or entities.

Sources of Public Policy

In the United States, Congress and the president enact laws and create public policies. They also allocate
resources and identify which area of bureaucracy will implement these laws and public policies. Before
starting the discussion of public policy, it is important to clarify the meaning of public policy and to distinguish
it from law.

A law is a directive from the legislative and executive branches, interpreted by the judicial branch, which
mandates a specific course of action on a given topic. Laws are nondiscretionary, meaning that they are
directives that must be followed. If laws are not followed, criminal or civil penalties are imposed (Kreis &
Christensen, 2013).

Public policies, both domestic and foreign, develop as a reaction to a public problem. The problem may be
broad and complex, impacting a large segment of the country’s population, or the problem may be narrow and
fairly straightforward, effecting a relatively small percentage of citizens.

At the federal level, public policies can originate from several sources, including presidential initiatives,
congressional legislation, judicial mandates, international agreements, or a combination of these sources. In
addition, bureaucracies, political parties, interest groups (both national and foreign), state and local
governments, and foreign countries also influence the public policy process from its initiation to its
implementation. As discussed in the policy-making section that follows, the sources of public policies can

The president and his Cabinet are an important starting point for
U.S. public policies.
(Executive Office of the President of the United States, n.d.)

POL 2301, United States Government 3



develop as a result of a long-term issue that has been discussed and debated in the political arena, in the
media, by interest groups and political parties, and by citizens for years. These issues tend to be broad and
complex, such as civil rights and global warming. Other sources of public policy, both domestic and foreign,
are immediate and narrow, often requiring a quick reaction by policy makers. These might include public
health crises and specific natural disasters. The outcomes of most public policies result from much debate,
many compromises, and numerous policy refinements that occur over years or as brief as a few weeks.

Domestic and foreign policies are comprised of a complex set of governmental decisions and actions that aim
at specific outcomes. However, unlike laws and other political decisions, public policy implementation can be
discretionary in nature. In defining public policy, there are four key features. They are purposive, include a
compilation of political decisions, have defined outcomes, and can be discretionary in nature.

Section II: Domestic Policy: Benefits, Goals and Categories

Domestic policy refers to an area of public policy that includes a broad and varied range of governmental
programs and regulations that directly affect those living within the United States. U.S. domestic policies
typically reflect our history, culture, values, and attitudes about our social, political, and economic conditions
and goals.

Types of Benefits Distributed by Domestic Policy

A chief purpose of domestic policy in the United States is the distribution of services, resources, and
commodities that are necessary to fulfill the needs and wants of citizens and to ensure the stability of civil
society. Collectively, these are known as goods. In general, goods can be divided into four categories based
on whether people can be prevented from using or consuming them (excludability) and whether individuals
can use or consume them without affecting their availability to other individuals (exclusivity, sometimes known
as rivalousness).

Private goods refer to those services and commodities that are owned by a particular individual or group of
individuals and are exclusive and competitive in that ownership. They can be transferred to other persons or
groups and are finite (can be used up). An artist and a farmer may want to sell their goods to others who want
them, and since there is limited supply of artwork and farm produce and because both are wanted or needed,

POL 2301, United States Government 4



others may want to buy them before the supplies dwindle (Krutz, 2019). Examples include houses, food,
artwork, and clothing.

Public goods, on the other hand, are not excludable and are often infinite. Individuals cannot be effectively
excluded from using them, and they are nonexclusive in that use by one individual does not reduce the good’s
availability to others. Moreover, public goods are distributed to everyone regardless of how much they
contribute to the benefit. Examples of public goods include clean air, public libraries, public education, and
street lights. Public goods may give rise to the free-rider problem. A free rider is a person who receives the
benefit of a good but does not contribute to its achievement. This can lead to the free-rider problem where
there are insufficient levels of certain goods or services due to an insufficient number of people supporting the
good (Krutz, 2019).

Common goods are not excludable but can be finite. They are also exclusive in that when they are used by
one person, a group, or a segment of society, the use can be exclusive. Examples include forests, water, and
fisheries. Because they are non-excludable and finite, these goods can be overused, leading to what was
called the tragedy of the commons, which was termed by Garrett Hardin (1968).

In order to access the following video, click the
link below.

To learn more about the tragedy of the commons,
watch the video The Tragedy of the Commons |
How to Avoid It?.

A transcript is available once you access the

In order to access the following activity, click the
link below.

Test yourself to see if you can answer a few
questions about common goods. The quiz is
optional and does not factor into your course

Check Your Knowledge: The Tragedy of

Click here to access the PDF version of Check
Your Knowledge: The Tragedy of Commons.

Club goods are excludable but nonexclusive. This type of good often requires a membership payment to
participate in the benefit. Membership is exclusive in that only members can enjoy the benefits. However,
once membership is achieved, there is no exclusivity within the membership. Nonpayers can be prevented
from having access to the goods. Cable television, the use of private parks, and toll roads are examples
(Ostrom & Ostrom, 1977).

Goals of Domestic Policy

While the United States, policy makers, and citizens identify numerous goals of domestic policy, there are
three broad categories of domestic policy objectives, which are listed below.

(Germanovich, n.d.)












POL 2301, United States Government 5



 Building and maintaining a healthy and growing
economy: This goal includes domestic policies related to
trade, fiscal, business development, agriculture, safe
working conditions, and a viable infrastructure.

 Providing for the well-being of citizens and the
environments in which they live: General welfare
policies aim at ensuring adequate health care, human
services, urban development, and education; they also
aim to protect and judiciously use the natural
environment and public lands.

 Public protection and the administration of justice: This
goal centers on protecting the United States, its citizens,
and U.S. interests from internal and external threats.

These broad policy goals help to determine the allocation of
public, common, and club goods, along with some private
goods. These determinations are made by policy makers,
including Congress, the president, bureaucracies, and state-
and local-level policy makers; decisions are also made in order to enforce federal laws and the Constitution
and to ensure the rights of citizens. The courts are influenced by citizens, interest groups, political parties, and
the media. In making decisions about the distribution of services, resources, and commodities, two general
questions are considered, which are listed below.

1. Who pays the costs of creating and maintaining the goods?
2. Who receives the benefits of the goods?

When private goods and some club goods are bought and sold in a marketplace, the costs and benefits go to
the participants in the transaction. Your local grocery store benefits from the money you pay for food, and you

benefit from being able to consume the food you purchased. Unlike private goods, public goods, common
goods, and even some club goods are not controlled by private owners. This means that it is up to public
policy makers to make decisions about who benefits from these goods and who pays for them.

Public policies pursue goals that are distributive, redistributive, and regulatory in nature. Distributive polices
collect from many to benefit the few. Redistributive policies share the wealth and goods of some segments of
society with other groups. Regulatory policies focus costs on one group while benefitting larger society.

The U.S. Energy Department sponsors projects to
make solar power more accessible and affordable.
(Nakamura, n.d.)

POL 2301, United States Government 6



Categories of U.S. Domestic Policy

Domestic policies are often divided into more specific categories based on the policy area and goals. In each
of these policy areas, the U.S. Congress and the president play a prominent role in the policy-making
process. In addition, there are other key governmental players from the various bureaucratic agencies that
are included in the following list of domestic policy areas.

1. Social welfare and education: Social welfare programs provide vulnerable populations in society
assistance including Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare. Education policies focus on ensuring
that all citizens have access to educational opportunities. Key governmental players are the Social
Security Administration (SSA), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the
Department of Education.

2. Science, technology, and public health: Advancing scientific, technological, and medical research is a
key domestic policy area. These programs involve exploring space, developing and deploying
artificial intelligence technologies, and ensuring public health. Key governmental players are the
National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA),
Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Health &
Human Services (HHS), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

3. Energy and the environment: These types of public policies aim at advancing and securing U.S.
energy resources and the country’s natural resources. Policies address management and
development of established and alternative energy sources, natural resource, public lands, pollutants
and toxins that threaten human and environmental health. Key governmental players are the DOE,
Department of Natural Resources, USDA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), and Department of Interior.

4. Homeland Security: These policies concern the safety and security of the United States—its citizens,
economy, and infrastructure such as intelligence gathering, communications surveillance and
censorship, support for first responders, immigration, and domestic terrorism. Key governmental
players are the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Department of Defense (DoD), and Federal
Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

5. Business: The federal government oversees numerous segments of the economy aimed at ensuring
fair business practices, ensuring consumer protections, and regulating markets. Key governmental
players are the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

6. Fiscal: U.S. fiscal policy includes regulating interest rates, developing and administering the federal
tax code, and overseeing the federal budget and the country’s money supply. Key governmental
players are the Federal Reserve Board and Treasury Department.

In order to access the following activity, click the
link below.

Stop at this point, and take a quick assessment
to review what you know. This quiz is optional
and is not calculated into your course grade.

Check Your Knowledge: U.S. Domestic Policy

Click here to view a PDF version of Check Your
Knowledge: U.S. Domestic Policy.

Section III: U.S. Foreign Policy: Instruments, Goals, and Categories

Foreign policy is the area of public policy that focuses on how the United States interacts with foreign
countries in pursuit of specific or broad interests or those of our allies. Foreign policy includes various goals
within broad policy areas. Moreover, the United States pursues these objectives through specific instruments
tailored for foreign policy.





POL 2301, United States Government 7



Over the years, the U.S. approach to foreign policy has alternated between periods of isolationism and
internationalism. Isolationism refers to periods when the United States minimized its participation on the
global stage. Internationalism is an approach to foreign policy in which the United States is actively engaged
in world affairs by working with other nations and international organizations to achieve its goals. U.S. foreign
policy goals can be grouped into four general categories: security, trade, peace, and human

Foreign Policy Goals

In each of these policy areas, the U.S. Congress and the president play a prominent role in the policy-making
process. In addition, there are other key governmental players from the various bureaucratic agencies that
are included in the list of domestic policy areas, which are provided below.

Security of the United States Against External Threats

The United States seeks to protect itself and its interests from external threats and its interests and assets
abroad. In addition, the U.S. security policies aim at supporting U.S. allies and their interests. An aspect of the
security goal is the pursuit of global peace. The United States aims to achieve global peace through various
foreign policy initiatives, many focusing on the establishment and preservation of a balance of power. Balance
of power refers to the condition in which countries are of sufficiently equal power such that they can rely on
their own resources or rely on alliances to sufficiently mobilize a successful defense if attacked by another
country (Walt, 2017). While there is not—and likely never will be—a pure global balance of power, the United
States seeks peace by working to establish and maintain stable political, economic, and social systems
across the world.

Economic Prosperity

This goal works to ensure that the United States is able to acquire the goods and resources it needs and to
trade U.S. goods and resources on the international market. U.S. trade goals have ranged from protectionism
to free trade. Protectionism refers to trade policies that restrict other countries from selling their goods and
resources in the U.S. market. Free trade means that the United States places few restrictions on the flow of
goods and resources from other countries in the U.S. marketplace. But overall, the United States seeks a
balance of trade, which is a condition in which the level of exports from the United States into foreign markets
is roughly equivalent to the level of imports that the United States brings into the country. For many years, the

President Donald Trump visits foreign countries to help build coalitions to advance global peace
and prosperity.
(The White House, n.d.)

POL 2301, United States Government 8



United States has maintained substantial trade imbalances or a trade deficit. In 2018, the U.S. trade deficit
was just over $890 billion (Scott, 2019).

Promoting Humanitarian Objectives

Another U.S. foreign policy objective is the protection of human rights and providing humanitarian assistance
to countries in need. Human rights were championed as early as the 1970s under President Jimmy Carter
and have continued to be of importance (Cohen, 2018).

Categories of U.S. Foreign Policy

U.S. foreign policies can be classified into several policy areas. While they are not always mutually exclusive
and often share instruments of implementation, these categories cover a broad range of foreign policies
pursued by U.S. policy makers.

Defense Policy

Defense policies focus on security for the United States from external threats, including terrorism. Many U.S.
defense policies extend to working to ensure the security of U.S. allies and their interests as well. During the
Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies sought peace through a policy
goal known as mutual assured destruction (MAD). This approach to peace was accomplished by deterring
massive-scale war. Each major country developed and stockpiled sufficiently advanced nuclear and biological
weaponry to assure their mutual destruction. Later, during the Cold War, U.S. foreign policy focused more on
containing the threat of nuclear war and MAD. This policy was known as containment. Unlike during the Cold
War when U.S. adversaries were recognized states, today’s adversaries are often nongovernmental entities,
such as Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This has posed new challenges for policy
makers, including the more prevalent use of limited military actions, enhanced intelligence-gathering
mechanisms, and improved treatment of political/military prisoners. These key governmental players are the
DoD, the Department of State, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and DOE (nuclear weapons).

International Trade Policy

International trade involves economic transactions made between countries. These include various consumer
goods such as television and clothing, capital goods including machinery, and raw materials and food. Private
banks and U.S. central banks can be involved in facilitating transactions for these goods and other services.
Over the years, the United States has pursued politics ranging from protectionism to free trade. As
aforementioned, protectionism refers to policies that impose high tariffs on imported goods to limit foreign
goods in U.S. markets. At the other end of the spectrum is free trade, which allows for an unlimited flow of
goods and services between the United States and other countries, such as the North American Free Trade
Agreement (Krutz, 2019). These key governmental players are the Department of Commerce, Department of
State, USDA, U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC), and U.S. Trade and Development Agency

Human Rights

The United States pursues foreign policies that advocate for human rights around the globe. The United
States often partners with international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) to pursue international
human rights. Some examples include efforts to end human trafficking, genocide, and child labor. The key
governmental players are the Department of State, Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Labor, and
the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

In order to access the following podcast, click the link below.

Listen to the podcast Human Rights and Foreign Policy with Dr. Sarah Snyder. You will need
to scroll down to find the podcast recording in the middle of the article. The transcript for the
podcast Human Rights and Foreign Policy is also available.

Sarah Snyder, American University – Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

Sarah Snyder, American University – Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

Sarah Snyder, American University – Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy



Sarah Snyder, American University – Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy

POL 2301, United States Government 9



Global Environmental Protection Policy

Global warming, carbon-intensive economies, global toxification, rising seas, species extinction, nuclear
proliferation, and environmental racism are all concerns for U.S. global environmental policy. This area of
foreign policy addresses urgent and long-term cross-border challenges facing not only the United States but
most countries in the world today. The key governmental players are the DOE, NRC, EPA, and Department of

Nonproliferation Policy

While not as visible as it was 2 decades ago, nuclear nonproliferation continues to be an important foreign
policy area for the United States. In an effort to ensure the safety of the United States and its allies, policies
that aim at containing or eliminating nuclear weapons, especially in Russia, North Korea, and Iran, as well as
India and Pakistan, retain an important place in U.S. foreign policy (Miller & Narang, 2019). The key
governmental players are the DoD, Department of State, DOE, and NRC.

Instruments of U.S. Foreign Policy

The chief function of U.S. foreign policy is the allocation of resources and instruments necessary to facilitate
interactions with foreign countries and the defense of U.S. interests in a global environment. Resources
needed for foreign policy include, but are not limited to, military and diplomatic personnel, intelligence,
weapons systems, research and development, and funding. The instruments of foreign policy are equally
important and are often less visible. They include treaties and other international agreements, diplomacy,
sanctions, foreign aid, and defense mechanisms and strategies.

Instruments of Foreign Policy

Appointment of personnel A key way that presidents influence foreign policy is through the

appointment process. Presidents have the constitutional authority
to appoint high-ranking officials to carry out policies. These
include diplomatic appointments, such as U.S. ambassadors and
the secretary of state, as well as defense related-appointments,
including the secretary of defense and director of the CIA.

Diplomacy Diplomatic policies center on the establishment and maintenance
of a formal relationship between countries, which focuses on
peaceful interactions. These include communications and
compromise, treaties, congressional-executive agreements, and
international organizations.

Communications and compromise Formal and informal communications between ambassadors and
State Department personnel with foreign counterparts.

Treaties Treaties are binding agreements between two or more countries
that detail responsibilities and obligations of each party. Treaties
can be multilateral security agreements (i.e., treaties involving
three or more states), such as the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO), as well as bilateral defense pacts in which
the United States and one foreign state enter into a security
alliance. U.S. treaties may be negotiated by the president but
ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Congressional-executive agreements While congressional-executive agreements are somewhat like
treaties, they are a distinct instrument of diplomacy. They are
international agreements which are negotiated by the U.S.
president and are approved by a simple majority of the House and

POL 2301, United States Government 10



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