Political Science | Comparative Public Policy (3 cr)
Y665 | 3589 | Furniss
This course meets with WEUR W605
The broad aim of this seminar is to increase our understanding of social
policy and of the potentialities for social policy change. The challenges
facing governments, policy analysts and others who care about such things
are many and obvious. "Structurally" there are increasing tensions between
social programs that are essentially national in scope and systems of trade
and production that are becoming ever more global, while labor markets
remain local. These tensions are reinforced by a host of political, social
and demographic changes.
The final challenge facing those studying and assessing social policy is a
loss of vision, a virtual abandonment of even a search for a political
theory of the welfare state. Among the consequences are policy stalemate and
a dearth of effective policy studies. As Hugh Heclo states, "We are long on
unread papers about policy problems and short on reasons or convictions why
we should do anything about them."
It would not be prudent to suggest that this seminar will straighten out the
field of policy studies. We will adopt the more modest goal of identifying
potential research topics and investigating how they might usefully be
approached. The major "product" of the seminar will be a research paper
(which under some circumstances could be a dissertation proposal draft) that
will be developed and discussed during the seminar.
I would be pleased to discuss any of these matters in more detail. My phone
is 855-9100, Email Furniss @ indiana.edu. To avoid any confusion resulting
from the department's generic course title system, I might note explicitly
that this seminar is not a newly packaged version of my seminar on
"Comparative Public Policy". I would welcome the participation of anyone
interested in social policy who has taken this seminar.