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Information on this website is posted for historical reference only.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

12W, 13W: 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

12S, 13S: 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.

28. Courts and Public Policy

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Laws, Glick.

40. Economics of Public Policymaking

12X, 13X: 10A

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.

41. Writing and Speaking Public Policy (Identical to WRIT 41)

12S, 13S: 2A

This course is designed for students who intend to use their writing and communication skills to effect tangible change. Course materials will draw from various areas of public policy, and students will develop policy arguments through position papers, strategy memos, public talks, multi-media tools, as well as op-ed pieces and “letters to the editor” to be submitted to local newspapers. Students will strengthen their understanding and practice of public persuasion, as well as their capacity to analyze the components of effective argument. Prerequisite: Public Policy 5 or permission from the Instructor. Kalish.

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

11F, 13F: 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

11F, 12F: 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

12S, 13S: 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. Ruback.

48. Policy Analysis and Local Governance

12W, 13W: 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

12S, 13S: 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, Post.

52. Leadership and Political Institutions

12W: 2A, 12F: 3A

This course explores how political leaders in the U.S. reconcile the constraints of public office with the opportunities to make major changes in society. Drawing from diverse materials on the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government, the course explores the following questions: How does leadership differ in the public and private spheres? What personal skills and attributes affect the success or failure of leaders of political institutions? What criteria do/should citizens apply to public leaders. How do political context and historical contingency shape institutional leadership? Dist: SOC; WCult W. Fowler.

81.2 Lawyers and Public Policy (Identical to Government 81.04)

11F: 2A

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Bohmer.

81.3 Urban Politics and Public Policymaking

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC: WCult: W. Burns.

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

12W, 13W: 10A

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Hollister.

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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC. Eickelman.

81.8 Economics of Education Policy

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Chaudhury.

81.9 Politics and Markets (Identical to Government 83.02)

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Fowler.

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

11F, 12F: 2A

Dist: SOC or INT. Press.

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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S


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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

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 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Glick.

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

Not offered in the period from 11F through 13S

Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Laws.

84.2 Health Policy Reform

12W, 13W: 10A

The goal of the course is to analyze likely strengths and weaknesses of U.S. health reform to address three major challenges in the health care: access, cost, and quality of health care. Students will explore how recently enacted health reform legislation extends or differs from prior health policies to address these enduring problems. Course work will introduce students to commonly used sources of health data and basic analytical techniques. Prerequisites – at least one of the following: Public Policy 5, Public Policy 26, or Sociology 28. Government 10, Economics 10 or similar course is helpful. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Meara.

84.4 Immigration and Security Policy at the U.S.-Mexico Border

11F: 10A

Security and immigration policy along the U.S.-Mexico border has become a political proving ground, encompassing issues of self-identity and global responsibility. This seminar offers students the opportunity to investigate immigration and admissions policy, law enforcement and citizen activism in border societies, and the securitization of the border. In doing so, we will explore the challenges of setting border policies and the repercussions that these policies have both at the border and beyond. Dist: SOC; WCult: W. Ruback.

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.