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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for current requirements.

Public Policy Minor

5. Introduction to Public Policy

11W, 12W: 10

This course is designed as the gateway offering for students beginning to pursue a minor in public policy through the Rockefeller Center. The term will be divided into four main components: The Nature of Public Policy, Making Public Policy, The Policy Players, and The Policy Game. In the concluding section of the course, we will pursue specific policy domains—environmental policy, education policy, health care policy, welfare policy, immigration policy, and defense policy. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Shaiko.

26. Health Policy and Clinical Practice

11S, 12S: 10

This course provides an overview of medical care in the United States. Students are introduced to common health problems facing Americans and problems of the complex system which evolved to address them. They will explore how we know whether medical care improves health and develop their quantitative reasoning skills using clinical data. Doing so will help students to become both informed citizens—and discerning consumers —for the largest sector of the nation’s economy. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Welch.

40. Economics of Public Policymaking

11X, 12X: 2A

The course will use the basic tools of economics to analyze the most significant current public policy issues in the United States. Given the time constraints of the course, we will focus on the issues that the current presidential administration is likely to confront. The goal is to understand both the substance and politics of each issue. We will examine the effects of recent policy changes and analyze the likely effects of prospective reforms, particularly those that are likely to be debated in the political arena in the near future. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Wheelan.

42. Ethics and Public Policy (Identical to Government 60.01)

10F, 11F: 10

This course examines the nature and validity of arguments about vexing moral issues in public policy, focusing on different frameworks for thinking about justice and the ends of politics. Students will address the following questions, among others: Are policies that permit torture justifiable under any circumstances? Should economic distribution be patterned for the sake of social justice? Should people be permitted to move freely between countries? Is abortion wrong in theory or in practice? Prerequisite: Public Policy 5. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Swaine.

45. Introduction to Public Policy Research

10F, 11F: 10A

This course focuses on strategies for, and actual practice of, conducting research relevant to public policy decision-making. Students will be exposed to a variety of research methodologies used in public policy analysis. This course is designed to be a core element of the Public Policy Minor and will also serve as a training ground for prospective applicants wishing to serve in the Rockefeller Public Policy Research Shop during the winter and spring terms. Prerequisite: A course employing mathematical reasoning or statistical methods (e.g. Economics 10 or Government 10). Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Shaiko.

47. Foundations of Leadership—and Followership

10F, 11F: 10A

This course provides a fundamental familiarity with the leadership canon. It travels time, for example, from Lao-tse to Lenin, and incorporates disciplines such as history, philosophy, and government. Four key questions are posed: 1) What about this particular text makes it “required reading”? 2) What is this particular writer’s’ world view? 3) What distinguishes writing about leadership from writing as leadership? 4) Does the written word connect to the real world—if yes, how? Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Kellerman.

48. Policy Analysis and Local Governance

11W, 12W: 10A

This course analyzes the public policy challenges faced by local communities. Particular emphasis will be placed on the problems of urban areas, including education, crime, poverty, economic development, housing, and transportation. Throughout the course, students will use their home towns (or another area of their choosing) as a case study of how specific communities have attempted to address these challenges. The course examines the roles of various actors – citizens, non-profits, and government agencies at all levels – in effecting positive change in local public policy outcomes. Prerequisite: Public Policy 5. Dist: SOC; WCult W. Samwick.

51. Leadership in Civil Society

11S, 12S: 10A

This course focuses on aspects of leadership dealing with the accumulation and utilization of social capital through societal organizations. The literature cover nonprofit leadership, grassroots mobilization, religious leadership, interest group influence, organizational maintenance and political representation, and leadership problems associated with collective action. Students also discuss the roles of political parties as aggregators of societal interests and as intermediaries between citizens and state. Students also evaluate leadership capacity of the media to create informed citizens. Dist: SOC; WCult W. Shaiko.

81.2 Lawyers and Public Policy (Identical to Government 81.04)

11W, 11F: 2A

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Bohmer.

81.3 Urban Politics and Public Policymaking

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course examines how and why cities attempt to address the problems that face them. It investigates who makes public policy in cities and why. The course then considers how and why these actors make policy. The final part of this class analyzes the effects of these policies. The class focuses upon urban education, housing, public safety, economic development, and other policy areas of significance to urban governments, with focused attention on post-Katrina New Orleans. Dist: SOC: WCult: W. Burns.

81.5 Poverty and Public Policy in the United States (Identical to Sociology 55)

11W, 12W: 2A

The most obvious solution to the problem of poverty is to give someone a job. More than four decades of employment programs have shown, however, that this is not as easy as it sounds. Recent changes in the economy (downsizing, globalization, technological change) make this situation even more challenging. This course examines the past and future of employment policies as poverty alleviation strategies. It brings together theories of poverty and employment, an analysis of current trends in the economy, and an overview of past and current employment programs. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Hollister.

81.7 Secrecy and Lying in Politics, Law and Society (Identical to Anthropology 16)

11X: 10A

Dist: SOC. Eickelman.

81.8 Economics of Education Policy

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course seeks to introduce students to the practices and principles that guide local communities. It will challenge existing strategies and develop a fuller understanding of how differences in local decisions influence policy options. The seminar will explore the role of citizen activism in decision-making. It will examine state and federal roles in educational policy and familiarize students with key policy options at the local levels. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Chaudhury.

81.9 Politics and Markets (Identical to Government 83.02)

11W: 3A 11F: 10A

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Fowler.

82.1 Military Statecraft in International Relations (Identical to Government 85.12)

11F: 2A

Dist: SOC or INT. Press.

82.2 Ideas, Politics and Crisis (Identical to Sociology 79.3)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S


82.5 International Law and Transnational Policymaking (Identical to Government 85.25)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course addresses the growing complexity between biotechnology policy and international law in world affairs. We examine several contemporary global controversies surrounding the recent advancements in biotechnology to demonstrate how this area of science impacts food security, public health, economic development, and weapons proliferation. These various dimensions of biotechnology policy are analyzed through the lens of different bodies of international law, such as intellectual property, human rights, and arms control. Our primary objective questions whether biotechnology and international law will promote cooperation and peace or spur conflict and war in the 21st century. Dist: SOC or INT; Hurt.

82.6 Law, Rights, and Public Policy in Education (Identical to Government 83.08)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

How distinct are law and policy? How do they overlap? We will contemplate these questions by investigating affirmative action in higher education and K-12 school funding. We will first broadly consider the nature of rights and the links between legal changes and policy outcomes. Then, we will study the legal questions and empirical realities for each issue. For example, our analysis of affirmative action will include everything from Supreme Court cases to economics journal articles. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Glick.

82.7 Consumer Debt, Bankruptcy, and Economic Policy (Identical to Government 83.07)

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

This course examines the role that public policies around consumer debt and bankruptcy play in shaping the financial lives of Americans. While the accumulation of personal debt is often attributed to an individual’s own decisions, various policies and regulations influence the amount and character of the debt citizens accrue. In the course, we examine some of these policies and the constellation of political interests around them, with particular attention to the vast federal bankruptcy administration. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Laws.

84.2 Health Policy Reform

11W, 12W: 10A

Students will analyze current American health-policy reform proposals, judging their substance and devising variations and replacements. The histories of modern issues will be reviewed and a health-policy problem list created, its entries distributed for analysis to individual students. Projects will proceed in parallel, with lessons learned shared at each meeting, while readings and discussions will explicate factors shaping policy and constraining innovation. A closing exercise will assess student proposals for complementarity and reconcilability. Prerequisites: Government 10 (or its equivalent) and at least one of the following: Public Policy 5, Public Policy 26, or Sociology 28. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Meara.

84.4 Science and Technology Policy

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

The course will provide an analysis of science and technology policy in the United States. Institutionalized in what are known as “R&D budgets,” science and technology policies have become means of confronting the fundamental challenges to our quality of life (e.g., security, environment, health). Federal agencies are entrusted with translating scientific research into policy solutions that benefit society. This course examines that process of translation—the interplay of interests through the apparatus of government to produce “public policy.” Dist: SOC; WCult: W. O’Neal.

91. Independent Study in Public Policy

All terms: Arrange

This course offers an opportunity for a student enrolled in the Public Policy Minor to do advanced, independent work under the direction of a faculty member in the area of public policy. The topic under study may relate to prior coursework in the Public Policy Minor, an off-campus internship, or a co-curricular activity sponsored by the Rockefeller Center. All students enrolled in Public Policy 91 in a given term should expect to meet regularly together for classroom instruction and discussion with Rockefeller Center faculty and staff. To enroll, a student must prepare a brief proposal that describes the topic to be studied, its relationship to the student’s prior public policy courses or activities, and the student’s goals for undertaking the research. Prerequisites: Public Policy 5 and the Research Methods course prerequisite to the Public Policy Minor. Shaiko.