Political Science | Comparative Public Policy (3 Cr.)
Y665 | 3405 | Furniss

This section meets with WEST W605

In outlining the intellectual orientation of this seminar, it is useful to
begin with the statement of Elliot Feldman that "the introduction of
comparison into the analsyis of public policy promises to expand the range
of choice available to societies whose perception of choice may be
bounded...and it promises to be an embracing theory for politics, as well as
policy, because comparison helps establish norms of judgment and helps
distinguish the essential from the trivial." We will explore the extent to
which these promises have been and could be realized. Our major focus will
be on approaches or perspectives designed to increase our knowledge of
public policy.
We will begin with an effort to delineate the boundaries of the field. What
do we mean by "comparison"? What do we mean by "policy"? What are some of
the major issues of the "comparative method"? Next, we will examine
approaches useful to comparative policy studies. All in different ways
concern the relationship between action ("actors") and institutions. With
each approach we will consider a major policy issue. In the final section we
will examine all too briefly the question of what might be the possible
benefits of studying public policies.
I would be pleased to discuss details on readings and assignments