This course seeks to provide an introduction to the ideas, knowledge, and intellectual skills necessary for wise and effective international policy-making in the twenty-first century. The reading list and topics covered are by design quite expansive, from the historical origins of the modern world to vexing policy problems of today, and how we might address them.
This course is intended to provide students with the knowledge-base and habits of mind that will equip them for success and further learning throughout their careers. More immediately, it is also intended to equip students with an intellectual framework that will serve as an aid to education in their further studies at the LBJ School, and possibly elsewhere.
The course will proceed in four parts:
- How Did We Get Here?
- How Do Policy Makers Think and Act?
- How Does the US Government Work (or Not)?
- What Forces and Issues Will Shape the 21st century?
It is impossible to cover all salient policy mechanisms and global issues in just one semester; this course does not even attempt to do so. Rather its overarching intellectual goal is to equip students with ways of thinking about and understanding the world and the policymaker’s role in it – and to thus prepare you for the lifetime of learning ahead that awaits every policy professional.