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Spring 2011 - 61982 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Gangs and Ungoverned Spaces

Instructor(s): Hazen, Jennifer M.
Unique Number: 61982
Day & Time: W 6:00 - 9:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.355
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 designed to provide an introduction to gangs, the various manifestations of gangs in the US and internationally, and policy responses to gangs and gang violence. Much attention has been paid to the role of gangs in urban violence, their use of ungoverned spaces, and most recently the ìinsurgencyî threat they pose to governments. While the public safety issues are important to understand, this course goes beyond viewing gangs as simply violent criminal actors. It poses broader questions about the origins and nature of gangs and the political, economic and social roles they play in many societies. The intent is to better understand how gangs are situated in the ìlocalî as well as what roles they play in national and international politics and in an increasing global economy.

This course is designed to encourage students to think outside of the "classroom box" and to apply theoretical concepts and frameworks to the real world. In order to do this, numerous case studies and in-class exercises are used, guest speakers from the policy world will be invited to give short talks, and each session will be a combination of the theoretical and the practical.

Student assessment will be based upon: class participation; leading class discussion; 7 short (1 page) memorandum outlining a policy problem or options for addressing the problem; a collaborative interview project (in pairs); a 15-20 page research paper; an in-class presentation of the research paper; and short critiques (1 page) of student presentations. There is no final exam