Fall 2017 - 60720 - PA 381W – Foundations of Policymaking
How Washington Works - D.C.
The course is designed to educate students on three key elements to federal policymaking. First, it examines institutions and actors that inhabit the DC policy world, ranging from the U.S. Federal system, to the multilateral institutions, think tanks, non-profits, and private sector actors, and agencies (e.g. consulting and lobbying firms) that comprise the various sources of authority, influence and information that shape U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Second, it addresses processes that transform ideas into public policies and programs, ranging from political campaigns and lobbying strategy, to design of legislative formats and implementation strategies. Third, students will be introduced to the potential challenges of working in the political environment of Washington DC, including the development of an understanding of power and influence of factions within the policy community and how best to assess the role of these factions in policymaking. Students will be exposed to the ethical dimensions of public administration and policy that arise regularly in Washington DC, often without public awareness. Students are expected to bring to the course a good understanding of the ideological spectrum of U.S. politics from their previous coursework. (A) Institutional Participants in the Capital Political Landscape Surrounding public officials in the legislative and regulatory processes is a political ecological system in which problems are framed or disregarded, solutions are promoted or opposed, and both the general public and the elected officials are influenced. (B) Processes in National Politics and Policymaking The management of political process is an important aspect of national policymaking. While not all policy professionals are involved in political management as their technical expertise, all need basic understanding of these processes. (C) Intersection of Rules, Ethics, Norms, and Personal Practice The understanding of the institutional structure and political process in national policymaking will enable students to develop their own personal ethical and moral beliefs and standards of integrity in a professional setting.