Political Science | Form Public Policy in the US
Y303 | 3685 | Williams
This course introduces students to the theoretical underpinnings of
public policy, as well as the institutions and processes that help to shape
public policy within the United States. Public policies are designed to
solve problems and therefore require that theoretical solutions be put into
practice. The path from theoretical policy prescription to the
implementation of public policy is complex, with policy outcomes often
deviating extraordinarily from stated theoretical goals. This occurs not
only because theories of policy are often flawed, but also because policy is
the result of a process that takes into account the interests of many
different governmental and nongovernmental individuals and groups. We will
focus on the behavior of elected and nonelected policy actors within the
context of specific rules and institutions of the American political system.
We will concentrate on economic and budgetary politics to explore the above
processes and institutions.
Course requirements include two midterm exams, a final, and a series of
short assignments. Some of these assignments will be completed in a class
session. Typically, there will be no announcement before hand that an
assignment will be given. Thus, attendance is very important.