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date: 09 December 2022

Political Processlocked

Political Processlocked

  • James S. MickelsonJames S. MickelsonJim Mickelson, MSW, is the Director of ACE Scholars Services a program he started at California State University San Marcos to transform the lives of foster youth through higher education. For 35 years his social work practice has been in the field of child welfare, advocating for and lobbying on behalf of children. He was the founder and CEO for ten years of CHILDREN AT RISK, a child advocacy, lobbying and research organization that served as the voice for Houston’s children by working with elected officials, media and service providers. He developed and published Growing Up In Houston: Assessing the Quality of Life of Our Children, 1990-2000. He was a social work faculty member at Texas State University San Marcos for five years and taught at the University of Houston and Michigan State University’s graduate schools of social work. He is the co-author of a Social Work textbook Affecting Change: social workers in the political arena, with Dr. Karen Haynes now in its 7th edition. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral sciences from the Colorado State University Pueblo and his Masters in Social Work from Wayne State University.


Although most policy is created as a series of processes, these processes differ considerably depending on which political actors are engaged. Knowledge of formal political system processes (rules, rule-making, promulgation of rules) and the informal political system processes (relationships, influence, negotiations) are necessary if one is to understand both how political systems work and how to begin to make the necessary changes if a relevant social justice goal is not being met.


  • Policy and Advocacy
  • Social Justice and Human Rights

Updated in this version

Bibliography expanded and updated to reflect recent research, and additional non-substantive textual revisions made throughout article.

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