Spring 2023 - 60104 - PA 383C - Policy Development


Policy Development is part of the MPAff core curriculum. It is a forum for gaining historical background as well as contemporary perspectives on how public problems are framed or ignored; how policy ideas are legitimated or stigmatized; and how legislative decisions are adopted, implemented, challenged, and evaluated. This section deals with these steps in the policy process with the American welfare state as context. U.S. policy related to income safety net, health coverage, labor protection, and community revitalization are used as stories to illustrate the process of policy development.

At the conceptual level, this section of PD is organized around the roles of four I’s in politics: institutional landscapes, identity structures, ideological preferences, and interest competition. At the practical level, the course covers: the formal (institutional) processes of legislating, rulemaking, and judicial review; as well as the informal (political) processes of coalition building, issue advocacy, strategy development, and infrastructure building.

There is no formal prerequisite to this course other than on-going familiarity with current events and acquisition of news-reading habits, although background knowledge on American social/political history is expected.

Students successfully completing this section can expect to learn: political leadership, presidential strategies, congressional politics, judicial review, and administrative processes, all in the context of social welfare policy. In addition, skill objectives in this course includes field observations, bill analysis, rulemaking research, writing policy memos and briefs, and policy story-telling through paper and teaching.

Core Courses
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