Political Science | Public Administration, Law & Politics: Public Policy
Y565 | 20584 | Ringquist

This course meets with SPEA V690

Topic:  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.