Policy Making in a Global Age
PA 383G Redei “Policy Making in a Global Age” This course, a requirement for all students pursuing the Master of Global Policy Studies degree, offers a look at the making and implementation of policy in the global arena. It explores the constraints, dilemmas and opportunities faced by decision-makers from both a theoretical and practical viewpoint. The course aims to help students not only to analyze but also to implement policy, obliging them to react as a policy-maker would and thus gain a better appreciation of how and why states, organizations, and leaders act as they do. The first section of the course lays the intellectual and theoretical foundations for understanding policy-makers and their decisions. It explores how decision-makers’ views of the world are colored by their personal experiences and cultural filters, the ways in which the media and public opinion affect policy, the role of bureaucracies and institutional structures (both democratic and authoritarian) in constraining available choices, and the question of how to act ethically in foreign affairs. The second part of the course applies these tools to investigate various examples of complex policy-making instances, with a particular focus on how supposedly domestic decision-making can have impacts around the globe, and how global forces can act to constrain domestic policy-makers. This portion of the course will be based on detailed case studies drawn predominantly from US, European, and multilateral examples. The course will be run as a seminar, and in each class session, the aim is to get you to think like a policy-maker, seeking to understand how you would approach making decisions in these realms, and what tools you can rely on to analyze the decision-making of your counterparts. The assignments will therefore also be primarily applied: you will present a policy briefing, write two policy memos, and deliver a case study of a policy-making process as a final research project.