Fall 2020 - 59050 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Strategic Decision Making in Global Policy

This advanced graduate course will examine how leaders formulate a coherent and effective strategy for policymaking in a complex and unpredictable global environment. Readings and discussions will focus on planning, organization, persuasion and adaptation to changing international pressures. The course will focus on case studies in leadership as well as broader studies of global change in the modern world. Students should gain a greater appreciation for what it means to be an effective strategist, policymaker and agenda setter. They should also acquire a certain humility about the difficulties involved with fulfilling these often inhuman tasks.

This course includes a heavy load of weekly reading— generally a full book per week. Students are expected to read all of the assigned materials carefully and critically before each seminar meeting. Focus on each author’s key arguments and how they relate to larger historical concerns and debates—how is the author trying to change the way we think about strategy and policy? Interrogate narrative strategies—how does the author assemble his or her argument for the purpose of convincing the reader? Pay close attention to sources—how does the author “prove” his or her point? Most important, as the semester progresses think about how the assigned readings relate to one another— how is each author responding to other scholars? 


Weekly response essays and comments (30%)
Weekly class discussion participation (30%)
Final project (40%)

Instruction Mode