The Politics Of Public Policy
Course Description In the words of the political scientist Theda Skocpol: “[A]s politics creates policies, policies also remake politics.” This course will explore the interaction between public policies and political coalitions which may either sustain them or undercut them and lead to their modification, replacement or repeal. Historical case studies and the political science literature on policy feedback and the policy process will help students learn to think of public policy in strategic terms. During the semester, prominent scholars and practitioners of public policy, including present and past government officials and leading academics, will join us for conversations. Near the beginning of the semester each student will choose an area of public policy of particular personal interest to the student as the basis of a case study, which will be turned in toward the end of the semester and which will also serve as the basis of an in-class presentation to peers. An open-book mid-term and an open-book final will test the ability of the students to use the concepts we study to analyze the politics of particular public policy reforms. Whatever your future role may be in public policy, this course can help you be more effective. Course requirements Course grades will be determined as follows: Class participation (10%); case study with in-class presentation (30%); book review (20%); open-book mid-term exam (20%); open-book final exam (20%). Course reading Two books are required: Christopher M. Weible and Paul A. Sabatier, Theories of the Policy Process, 4th Ed (2017) Eric M. Patashnik, Reforms at Risk (2008) Books are available for purchase at the Co-Op, and are also on reserve in the library. Other readings will be available on Canvas.