Governing at the Grassroots


The fair and peaceful elections are the pledge of democracy. They are evidence of the high level of civilization, and they play a crucial role in the transfer of power in a peaceful manner. The voting right allows the citizens to elect their leaders and to determine the future of their state. That is why the local elections are as much important as the national elections.

The leaders of the communities and states coordinate the local policies of development, and the future of the whole country depends on their successful realization. However, the local elections campaigns are somewhat different from the national elections.

These differences are caused by the extent of the independence, which the local authorities have. Each jurisdiction has its own peculiarities of holding an election, and the elections campaign is based on them. The organization and the election campaign are largely based on the type of elections. “Voter turnout is dramatically lower in isolated than in concurrent elections” (Christensen & Hogen-Esch 215).

The costs of the election campaign also differ substantially. They range from a small amount to ten or even more thousand dollars. The cost of the election campaign is largely dependent on how strong the rivalry among the candidates is. In addition, the organization of the campaign may require the engagement of third parties such as the consultants, managers, and others.

Their remuneration may take a significant part of the campaign’s budget. That is why fundraising is crucial for its realization. The candidates usually ask for sponsorship and ask for contributions from friends, businesses, government agencies, and other entities and individuals.

“Because so much of what local government does involve land and development, the growth machine – landowners, builders, construction trade unions, attorneys, architects, and related businesses – is prominent on lists of campaign contributors” (Christensen & Hogen-Esch 224).

The statistics show that the turnout is usually low in the United States in comparison with other democratic countries. The national elections attract many more citizens than the local elections. This is partly because people feel tired of the bureaucracy, as participation in the elections requires registration. Besides, citizens have to elect a significant number of public agents.

The local elections seem to be less important to them. The statistics show that the activity of the whites is much higher than of the blacks (Christensen & Hogen-Esch 214). In addition, it has been noted that the activity of voters depends on the social class. The upper classes tend to be more active, whereas the lower classes are more passive.

The number of registered Afro Americans is usually very low. In addition, the statistics on the turnout rates depending on the minority groups show that the most active participants are the white Anglo-Saxon Protestants (WASPs), Jews, Cuban Americans, and Japanese Americans (Christensen & Hogen-Esch 214).

In summary, the election campaign depends on the type of elections, whether they are local or national, and on whether they are isolated or concurrent. The cost of the campaign varies. The fundraising often involves sponsorship. There are a lot of factors determining the cost, including the extent of the rivalry, the city of the elections, and so on.

Terrorism as a Problem

Terrorism is considered to be a primary problem of the XXI century. The governments maximize the efforts to beat it, but the issue is that terrorism goes beyond the boundaries of the single countries. Usually, terroristic organizations spread their activity across countries. In addition, it is hard to find the roots of their activity and, what is more important, the sources of its financing.

Moreover, the media often finds evidence of the connections of the governments with the leaders of the terrorist organizations. Overall, terrorism is aimed at the destabilization of society, but the opinions of the researchers on its definition differ.

The scholars claim that terrorism is a politically motivated phenomenon, which differs essentially from the violence, allowed by the military conventions. Some say that it targets civil society; others argue that it targets the military facilities.

The definition of terrorism is usually used to describe the attacks of the extremists, including the explosions of the suicide bombers and the events similar to the explosion of the Twin Towers in New York City on September 11.

Undoubtedly, the images of the airplanes crashing to the skyscrapers became ingrained in the memories of the Americans and the world community. Other nations suffered from the terrorist attacks long before the events of September 11, but the United States of America experienced such kind of attack for the first time. Since then, the US government has become focused on the terror defeat.

The American public was shocked by the threat of terrorism, and the government might take action to mitigate the panic in society. The world rethought the extent of the threat of terrorism.

It recognized that it could not be fought without joined efforts. “To deal with their concerns about terror attacks, local officials, not just in New York and Washington but in cities of every size in every region, began routinely to reassign police officers to guard public buildings and public utilities” (Eisinger 323).

The United States government initiated the policy of counterterrorism and undertaken a number of actions to prevent extremist attacks in the future. Furthermore, the events of September 11 became the cause of the military intervention in Iraq and the long-lasting war there.

There were different views on the reasons for war. Obviously, the American government used the situation to pursue its economic interests. However, the terrorist attack on the United States, as well as the subsequent Iraq war, changed world politics. The counterterrorism became the primary goal of the leading nations. The American government engaged its allies to beat the terrorist organizations.

The Bureau of Counterterrorism in the State Department (S/CT) is responsible for the continuous monitoring of the activities of certain groups in order to identify whether they belong to the terrorist organizations (“Foreign Terrorist Organizations” n.pag.).

In conclusion, terrorism is the keen problem of the XXI century. There are different views on the definition of terrorism, but the researchers agree that its aim is to destabilize the society. The attack on the Twin Towers in New York City facilitated the terrorism defeat.

The United States of America started the counterterrorism policy. The Iraq war became its consequence. Nowadays, government agencies still provide continuous monitoring of the activity of extremist groups in order to identify the potential threats to world safety and social order.

Works Cited

Christensen, Terry, and Tom Hogen-Esch. Local Politics: A Practical Guide to Governing at the Grassroots, New York: M.E. Sharpe, 2006. Print.

Eisinger, Peter. The American City in the Age of Terror: A Preliminary Assessment of the Effects of September 11, Emmitsburg, MD: National Emergency Training Center, 2004. Print.

“Foreign Terrorist Organizations”. 2012.

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