U.S. Federal Government/PolicyPresidential Policymaking

Presidential Policymaking

This issue of how to best prepare students is at the forefront of national and state debates. Global competitors continue to surpass the United States in areas of education and labor force measures. Growing high school drop out rates, among other striking statistics, bring the debate about how to objectively measure student achievement to the forefront. LBJ School faculty continue to inform the debate with rigorous and innovative education policy research.

BY William C. Inboden, Assistant Professor of Public Affairs

Following last week’s fascinating contributions from Drew Erdmann and his colleagues on urbanization, I will be moderating this week’s blog discussion and its focus on the question of “American decline.” The current draft of Global Trends 2030 describes three possible future scenarios for the state of the world in 2030. As varied as the scenarios are from each other, what all share in common is the assumption that the power of the United States will decline relative to the rest of the globe. These diverse declinist scenarios project a reduction in American power across several domains, including economic and military strength, and diplomatic and cultural influence. They also posit an array of potential actors accruing a greater share of the global power distribution at the expense of the United States, whether from a new superpower hegemon such as China, or the diffusion of power across a broader spectrum of middle powers around the world, or even the transformation of power as non-state and transnational actors take on greater influence in the international arena.

In a project designed to expose students to real-world policymaking, LBJ School students produced sample briefings for the next presidential transition. The project was part of a course on strategy and decision-making in global policy, which showcased the blending of scholarly study and policy relevant exercises that are the hallmark of education at the LBJ School.