2014 Policy Assessment

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Introduction

All nations, including our own, develop foreign policies — long- and short-term — that reflect their goals and guide their behavior in regard to other nations or regions they deem important to their national interests. This selection of video clips from 2014 Conference speakers explores current issues regarding food and water and related US policy from a variety of perspectives, with topics including: current US policies, the historical development of these policies, consideration of policy successes and failures, lessons learned from each, and a way forward for US policy makers in the 21st century.

In assessing US foreign policy, consider also the significance of strategy. Although a clear goal may well exist in policy, implementation of action steps to achieve that goal may or may not succeed. In this realm of uncertainty between stated goals and effective implementation of action steps, strategy is tested.

Thus, strategy reflects the ever-changing dynamic of working toward stated policy goals through diplomatic and military action. Strategy can change as events unfold, whereas policy goals usually remain constant. Your students should consider this issue by asking themselves: What factors need to be considered in developing strategy? What are the challenges to implementation of that strategy? What developments on the ground or in dialogue might lead to a change in policy goals?

Please review the video clips below to learn more about the interplay of policy and strategy.

Policy Assessment Video Links

“Economics: Capitalism’s role in the paradigm shift” – Fred Kirschenmann

“Suggestions for future policy options” – Ann Tutwiler

“Public policy and infrastructure in Africa” – Calestous Juma

“Security and progress in Nigeria, affected by infrastructure” – Calestous Juma

“Chinese agricultural boom” – Jim Harkness

“Domestic policy, economics, national interests, food health and availability” – Gus Schumacher

“What can we all do?” – Final Panel

Study Guide Questions for Policy Assessment

1. How is US economic policy modifying our attitudes on food and water issues?

2. What is policy and how is it developed and applied?

3. What ideas or values shape policy goals?

4. To what extent does strategy fulfill policy goals?

5. How does US economic policy treat the food and water issues discussed?