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Fall 2010 - 60965 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Political Economy of Global Energy

Instructor(s): Rai, Varun
Unique Number: 60965
Day & Time: W 9:00 - 12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.212/221
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 will introduce students to the major theoretical frameworks commonly used to analyze the design and implementation of public policies related to energy issues, and the response of the energy industry to those policies. The course will focus on the application of these frameworks to specific cases studies. Theoretical frameworks discussed will include public choice; networks, monopoly and regulation; management of global commons; game theory; organizational behavior; technology and society; and economy and development. Among other topics, application case studies will include: geopolitics of oil and gas; ethanol subsidies; renewables portfolio standards; carbon capture and storage (CCS); international coal trade; international climate change negotiations; purchase of overseas energy resources; electricity regulation in developing countries; and innovation systems in energy.

Roughly, one session will cover one case study. Each session will begin with a highlight of the theoretical frameworks relevant to the case study. In a discussion-oriented approach, the class will then analyze the outcomes in the case study through the lens of those frameworks. Student participation in the discussions is required.
Each session will have assigned reading (about 3-4 research papers and/or reports). Individually or in groups of two, students will be responsible for developing a 20-30 minutes presentation on one of the case studies. Each student will also be required to write a 20-25 page research paper that applies the frameworks discussed in the course to a topic of their choice.