Political Science | Public Policy
Y565 | 9601 | Ringquist


Y565/V690 Public Policy

This is the first course for graduate students interested in pursuing
the study of public policy.  Though it is the first course,
familiarity with the policy making process is expected.  Course
materials will focus on four themes.  First, we will consider various
justifications for public policy within a market democracy, and
consider the place of policy studies within the social sciences.
Second, we will examine the macro-environment within which policy
demands arise and policy decisions are made.  Third, we will examine
the governmental institutions that make policy decisions, the powers,
incentives, and influences that shape these decisions, and the
interactions between these institutions. Finally, we will focus on a
small handful of approaches to analyzing public policy.  After taking
this course, you should be able to intelligently discuss competing
justifications for policy decisions; discuss the “ideal type”
and “real world” processes by which policy decisions are made and the
institutional, economic, and cultural influences on these decisions;
and have an appreciation for the various approaches and criteria one
can use to understanding policy choices.  This knowledge, in turn,
will serve as a gateway to a more detailed investigation of public
policy.