Spring 2015 - 61010 - PA383C - Policy Development

Managing Crises

Scope: What do 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and the financial crisis of 2008 have in common? They were all unexpected crisis events that challenged the nation and the national policymaking apparatus. This course affords students the opportunity to examine and analyze policy formulation and implementation at the federal level, under the specialized circumstances of unforeseen crises. The nature of policy structures, organizations and institutions will be examined to assess how problems are defined, agendas are set, information gathered, decisions reached and implemented, and their effects. The course uses a crisis case study approach to examine policy development in the areas of global trade and finance, humanitarian and environmental policy, asymmetric threats, and national security. The aim of the course is for students to develop an understanding of the federal government’s ability to formulate and execute effective policy, especially when forced to depart from established norms by unexpected focusing events.

Requirements: Students are responsible for all readings and for meaningful participation in class discussions. Students should also keep abreast of current events using reputable sources such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and reputable policy journals. Several in-class exercises, short papers, a mid-term exam, and a final group presentation analyzing selected policy issues and recommending solutions will be completed. This class is offered for grade only.