Spring 2020 - 58275 - PA 383G - Policy Making in a Global Age | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

Spring 2020 - 58275 - PA 383G - Policy Making in a Global Age

Policymaking in a Global Age

Contemporary policy challenges are infused with science and technology. In many instances, the rapid evolution of science and the adoption of new technology is the policy challenge.

  • Can CRISPR gene editing be safely used and monitored?
  • How will Quantum Computing & Artificial Intelligence change the nature of computing and the character of society?
  • How will unmanned robotic platforms change the nature of war?
  • Can we safely adopt geoengineering and carbon sequestration techniques to remedy the effects of climate change?
  • Will 3D printing indelibly alter U.S. manufacturing and industry? If so, what impact will it have on the American workforce?

These policy questions involve new technologies that promise transformative outcomes. However, often, there is no scientific consensus on the social consequences of adapting these technologies. The risks involved in improper use are substantial. Additionally, partisan preferences, bureaucratic priorities, and lobbying by other interested groups intercede in the decisionmaking process intended to manage these technologies and their impact on public policy.

The goal of this course is to help students explore these types of science and technology-related policy challenges. The course provides the tools needed to understand the mechanisms through which these policy decisions are made and implemented by decisionmakers. At the end of the course, students are expected to emerge with the ability to apply an interdisciplinary framework, combining the natural sciences and social sciences, to modern policy challenges.

Students are expected to have a curiosity in the policymaking process and a willingness to operate across academic disciplines. However, students are not required to have training in science or engineering.


M 2:00PM to 5:00PM
SRH 3.312/3.360