Fall 2022 - 60860 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Fall 2022 - 60860 - PA 388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy


Course overview: Why are some nations rich and some nations poor? What seems to work or doesn’t in the practice of global development? How do we know? This class will seek to answer those questions. We will read studies employing diverse ideologies and methods to understand what has and has not worked in international development. This course includes on both macro and micro approaches to development. Much of our discussion will focus on historical experiences, debates and strategies for producing growth, reducing poverty and inequality, and improving societies’ well-being. 


Student progress will be evaluated on the basis of performance along the following criteria: (1) a take-home final assignment; (2) three responses; (3) one in-class discussions of readings; (4) class participation; and (5) three tutorial discussion boards. This is a reading-intensive course. Students should be prepared to read the equivalent of about one book or five scholarly articles per week.

Course objectives: My aim is for students to leave the class understanding what the main “schools of thought” are in development policy and practice today, and how the beliefs and assumptions within these schools lead to particular policy solutions. My goal is for students to identify what the underlying assumptions are that drive current approaches to development, assess whether the assumptions are reasonable / accurate, and consider the evidence of outcomes. 

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