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Public policy exam

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FROM SOCIAL PROBLEMS TO PUBLIC POLICIES
Section A
1. What are the main individuals and institutions that make up the ‘core
executive’ in Britain? (250 words)
In Britain the ‘core executive’ is where important policies are created and
implemented. It covers the ‘complex web of institutions, networks and practices
surrounding the prime minister, cabinet, Cabinet committees and their official
counterparts’ (Rhodes, 1995). One of the main individuals that make up the ‘core
executive’ is the Prime Minister and his office. The power the Prime Minister has
depends on factors such as the support of back benchers and senior colleagues.
Some of the people who work In the Prime Minister’s office are civil servants, the
Chief of Staff and special advisers. A special advisor is the Prime Ministers political
confidant who carries out tasks such as speech writing. Another institution that is
included in the ‘core executive’ is the cabinet. The role of the cabinet is to direct
government policy and discuss national issues in order to make decisions about
them. The cabinet includes the Secretaries of State, Minister of State and Senior
Civil Servants. The Secretaries of State consist of the Foreign Secretary, Home
Secretary, health Secretary and education Secretary. Some of the individuals that
make up the cabinet include Rishi Sunak who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer
and Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
(Gov.uk, 2020). The Treasury is an important element of the ‘core executive’, it is
more powerful than the other departments of the government. Additionally, it
manages economic policy and looks proposed spending by government departments
in order to reject or approve their proposals (britpolitics.co.uk).
2. Giving one or more examples, explain what is meant when it is said that
problems are ‘socially constructed’. (250 words)

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When it is said that problems are ‘socially constructed’ it means that they have to be
defined as damaging to be considered an issue that needs fixing. The definition of a
problem can change over time, leading it be ‘socially constructed’. This is because
people’s perceptions of a social problem differ depending on the attitudes of that
time in history. For example, in the past child labour was considered to be the norm,
it was not seen as a social issue. However, today there are many groups advocating
the end of child labour in a lot of countries in modern society. Problems are also
‘socially constructed’ because what people think is a problem can be subjective or
objective. For instance, smoking used to be a commonplace practice but after health
risks were associated with smoking it became a social problem. Problems also differ
in different countries. An example of this are issues around gun crime and gun
control laws in the USA. This is less of an issue in countries that already have strict
gun laws and restrictions, suggesting that problems are ‘socially constructed’
because of societal differences around the world. An issue becomes a problem to
society after it gains attention and focus from the public and the media. This implies
that social problems can be ‘socially constructed’ as they are only seen as a social
issue after being recognised as one.
3. What are usually understood to be the different stages in the policy making
process? (250 words)

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FROM SOCIAL PROBLEMS TO PUBLIC POLICIES Section A 1. What are the main individuals and institutions that make up the ‘core executive’ in Britain? (250 words) In Britain the ‘core executive’ is where important policies are created and implemented. It covers the ‘complex web of institutions, networks and practices surrounding the prime minister, cabinet, Cabinet committees and their official counterparts’ (Rhodes, 1995). One of the main individuals that make up the ‘core executive’ is the Prime Minister and his office. The power the Prime Minister has depends on factors such as the support of back benchers and senior colleagues. Some of the people who work In the Prime Minister’s office are civil servants, the Chief of Staff and special advisers. A special advisor is the Prime Ministers political confidant who carries out tasks such as speech writing. Another institution that is included in the ‘core executive’ is the cabinet. The role of the cabinet is to direct government policy and discuss national issues in order to make decisions about them. The cabinet includes the Secretaries of State, Minister of State and Senior Civil Servants. The Secretaries of State consist of the Foreign Secretary, Home Secretary, health Secretary and education Secretary. Some of the individuals that make up the cabinet include Rishi Sunak who is the Chancellor of the Exchequer and Dominic Raab, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Gov.uk, 2020). The ...
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