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Spring 2011 - 62020 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Trying to Understand the Financial Crisis

Instructor(s): Galbraith, James K.
Unique Number: 62020
Day & Time: W 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.314
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

Topics for these policy seminars have included environmental and natural resources policy, health-service delivery policy, social welfare policy, transportation policy, science and technology policy, international affairs, national security, urban and regional growth policy, and political campaigns.


Section Description

This course is an effort to develop an understanding of the present economic and financial crisis. It will cover the modern history of financial crises, theories of financial instability, the “instant history” of the present crisis, emerging analytical interpretations and forensic studies.

There will be discussion both of events inside the United States and of the Eurozone sovereign debt crisis, including the linkage between these two crises. The goal of the course is to foster critical thinking about economics and open discussion of policy, having in view that these are ongoing developments and not fully understood as they unfold.

The course will require a large amount of reading – several books or equivalent per week on average. Books will be available at Coop East; papers will be on Blackboard. Readings should be completed by the class date under which they are listed, and students will be assigned to make brief presentations. All should come prepared to discuss, to question and to argue.

The course will require two papers, one due in March and the other in May. The first paper, about 12 pages, should begin to develop a line of research and argument related to the crisis, and should be based mainly on the readings through that date. The second paper, about 25 pages, should be a full-fledged seminar paper, based in part on additional reading and research. It may incorporate and build on the first paper and the feedback thereon. Both papers should exhibit polished writing and professional use of sources.

The course is a seminar. It may not be taken to satisfy the Advanced Policy Economics requirement, without special permission that will not ordinarily be given.

Seating limits have been set at 15. However, I am flexible up to the limits imposed by classroom space. If you cannot register, put your name on the waitlist available through the registration system. And if the waitlist doesn’t clear, just come to class on the first day, and we’ll see what can be done. Ph.D. students from departments across campus are especially welcome.