Spring 2022 - 59150 - PA 383G - Policy Making in a Global Age

Policymaking in a Global Age

Course Description:  

This course, a requirement for all students pursuing the Master of Global Policy Studies degree, examines the formulation and implementation of policy from both a theoretical perspective and from its execution in practice.  The first part of the course — drawn, in part, from the professor’s nearly six years at the White House on the National Security Council (NSC) staff — introduces students to the structures, processes, and institutional setting of the U.S. system of foreign policy and national security decision-making.  The course then introduces various theoretical models of decision-making; explores cognitive biases and issues of judgment; and examines how policy leaders often use (and misuse) history and analogies as they formulate policy.  The course also explores the concept of risk; the role of intelligence in the development of policy; the policy impact of leaders and group dynamics; Congress’s role in policy; and how public opinion and the media can influence policy decisions.  Throughout the semester we will take “deep dives” into a diverse set of select policy issues. These include pandemic policy and planning; the history and future of Afghanistan policy; policy issues related to targeted financial sanctions; and the evolution toward a whole-of-society approach to counterterrorism policy and strategy. Although emphasis is placed on the development of foreign policy of the United States, students will be encouraged to apply the various theories, pitfalls, and best practices studied throughout the course to other domains of policy, leadership, and governance.

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