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Spring 2014 - 63570 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Rising Powers & Global Governance in Brazil

Instructor(s): Busby, Joshua W.
Gholz, Eugene
Unique Number: 63570
Day & Time:
Room: Brazil
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 a department-led international study abroad course taking place in Brazil beginning Friday, May 16 through Friday, June 6, 2014.

The course will cover a mix of topics related to the BRICS' role in the world, naturally emphasizing Brazil.  A series of guest speakers and field trips will be built in to the course, taking advantage of the locations that we will be teaching. We are cooperating with the Catholic University in Rio, the Federal University do Para in Belem, and the University of Brasilia for classroom space and access to some other facilities.  Accommodations will be modest but clean, safe, and comfortable. 

Leaders around the world confront new policy challenges in key areas of complex global governance such as efforts to respond to environmental degradation, to maintain efficient (and perhaps fair) rules for international economic interaction, and to deal with new threats to public health like HIV/AIDS.  On these issues, collective action among countries is required to address threats or capitalize on opportunities, and both traditional and new organizations (civil society / NGOs and private, for-profit firms) challenge the power and appropriate role of the state.  At the same time, the economic rise of new powers, notably the so-called BRICS, raises questions about whether the traditional global leaders can handle the challenges alone but also offers some hope for new initiatives to address governance challenges in new ways. This course aims to provide students with a broad survey of the role of rising powers in global governance and to show first-hand the implications of the rising powers’ activities: traveling to Brazil will enable students to discuss these issues directly with government officials and thought leaders in a critical rising power and to see the challenges confronting governance in these countries for themselves.  Students will observe the front lines of environmental challenges in industrial zones and in the Amazon rainforest, reform and implementation in the public health system, and the historical and contemporary effects of new export and manufacturing opportunities.  By combining an analytical overview with direct engagement, we aim to help students understand the complex global challenges.

The Maymester will depart from Austin on the afternoon of Friday, May 16, 2014. The course will end on Friday, June 6, 2014. The group airfare will include a return flight on Saturday, June 7th, arriving back in Austin on the morning of Sunday, June 8. Students can adjust the return leg of the trip -- for example, to do an internship in South America and then to return to Austin at the end of the summer.  The itinerary will be week 1 in Rio, week 2 in Belem, and week 3 in Brasilia.